People-Powered Data: Designing a Data System for and with All Californians


Imagine a tool propelling educational and career success for every Californian. The California Cradle-to-Career Data System (C2C) stands poised to be just that– a readily accessible data resource with the capacity to allow more Californians to successfully navigate the pathways from early childhood to career. This will serve as the catalyst for more informed policymaking as well as improved practices that directly confront barriers and fortifies a future where all communities thrive.

However, to bring this vision to fruition, the leaders steering the system’s development must acknowledge and support the multifaceted needs of its diverse stakeholders. In this brief, we delve into the crucial role of user-centered design for building a dynamic data infrastructure that advances California’s education and workforce goals. Building on insights gathered from the development of our California Postsecondary to Prosperity Dashboard, we present actionable recommendations to ensure the forthcoming data system is not just accessible, but actively utilized.

View the accompanying webinar where California Competes and C2C leadership investigate further.

key findings
  1. To ensure the California Cradle-to-Career Data System can fulfill its promise, it must be used. User-centered design principles can support this objective and promote the system’s success.
  2. Tailoring data tools and formats to meet the diverse needs of users based on their backgrounds, interests, and comfort levels can foster wider accessibility and facilitate deeper engagement with the data.
  3. By continuously gathering feedback from users and stakeholders, C2C can cultivate a culture of ongoing improvement, which is essential to achieving its goal of providing accessible and useful data tools to support Californians throughout their education and career journeys.
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