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Indiana Network of Knowledge

INK > About > Overview Overview

Welcome to the Indiana Network of Knowledge's overview page. On this page you'll find INK's mission and vision along with some important information we want you to know about INK. If you have more questions about INK, check out our Frequently Asked Questions page as well. Don't forget to watch the videos about longitudinal data systems at the bottom of the page. These videos will give you insight into why these systems exist, and the potential they have to improve education and the workforce in our state and country. 

 
Mission

Provide access to accurate, secure, and timely data to help Hoosiers make informed education and workforce decisions.

Vision

Become the trusted source for Hoosier education and workforce information.

What is INK?

The Indiana Network of Knowledge, or INK, was established in 2014 by the Indiana General Assembly with bipartisan support. Today, partner agencies include the Indiana Department of Education, the Indiana Commission for Higher Education, the Department of Workforce Development, and the Family and Social Services Administration.  INK does not replace agency data collection and administration responsibilities; rather, it serves as a clearinghouse where specific data elements are linked across the four agencies.  This allows research and analysis of data over a period of time that would otherwise be impossible to achieve.

What does INK do?

First, it might be helpful to define longitudinal data since it’s not a phrase familiar to many people.  When talking about data, people likely think of static data sets that represent a snapshot or specific point in time.  These data sets are useful to answer time-specific questions (e.g., what was the high school graduation rate in 2009?), but really don’t lend themselves to trends analysis or cross-sector research because of their limitations.  When data are linked over a period of time, they create longitudinal data; in essence, it creates a three-dimensional data set that can be analyzed a myriad of ways.  Thus, longitudinal data can help inform students, parents, teachers, higher education institutions, employers, and policymakers on potential outcomes when making important decisions.

What kinds of research questions does INK support?

INK focuses on cross-sector questions related to pre-K, K-12, postsecondary education, and the workforce such as “what are the average earnings for a specific associate degree?” and “what is the relationship between high school diploma type and unemployment?”  It does not answer questions specific to only one of those sectors—individual agencies are still responsible for responding to those data requests to ensure consistent messaging and data stewardship.  Take a look at our INK Research page for more information on the types of questions INK was built to support.

Who is in charge of INK?

The Indiana Network of Knowledge has an Executive Director that oversees the day-to-day affairs and advises the Governance Committee.The INK Governance Committee is responsible for providing oversight, direction, and creating policy.  The Governance Committee is comprised of (or their designees) the Superintendent of Public Instruction, Commissioner for Higher Education, Commissioner of Workforce Development, the Secretary of the Family and Social Services Administration, a representative from the business community, and a representative from the private higher education community. Agencies, researchers, and technical experts are also engaged in the work of INK through various working groups and subcommittees.

The Power of Longitudinal Data Systems

What is a Statewide Longitudinal Data System?

 

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