Data Linking Toolkit: Benefits of Data Linking Partnerships

Part C and Part B 619 program staff and their partners can benefit from data linking partnerships in a variety of ways. There are four commonly referenced benefits (adapted from Introduction to Data Sharing & Integration, AISP).

  • Linked person-level records: When child or family data are shared across programs, Part C and Part B 619 program staff have a more complete understanding of what services are (or are not) provided across programs and who are (and are not) receiving needed services. For example, linked person-level records can allow Part C and Part B 619 program staff to investigate equitable service provision across regions and subgroups.
  • Time and cost: Data linking leverages existing data resources so that there is no additional data burden (data entry, surveys, etc.). Linking Part C and Part B 619 data already collected as part of service delivery is much less time- and resource-intensive than collecting new data.
  • Program or agency efficiencies: In some cases, data linking supports internal efficiencies. For example, when internal (single program) data are linked, it provides a more complete, single-source data set from which data can always be pulled and consistently reported. When data from two programs are linked, it creates a data set with additional information that can lead to greater efficiency (e.g., most current family contact information when linked data includes date and family contact information).
  • Improved relationships of state staff across agencies or programs: Data linking across agencies or programs requires collaboration and trust. Thus, data linking is an opportunity to build both person-to-person and program-to-program relationships. Through the data linking process, staff from different agencies or programs will learn about each other’s programs, such as who it serves, what services it provides, how it operates, and what successes and challenges it has had. Better relationships facilitate an increased understanding of other programs and awareness of future collaboration opportunities.

Published July 2022.