Update from the CSBG DATA Task Force Summer 2019 Meeting

The CSBG DATA Task Force is convened by the National Association for State Community Services Programs (NASCSP) to assist the Office of Community Services (OCS) and NASCSP in understanding and addressing the CSBG Network’s data needs and the use of data for analysis and continual improvement of results. The CSBG DATA Task Force held their third in-person meeting in Washington D.C. on July 31st and August 1st, 2019. Members from local agencies, state offices, and state associations met to discuss the technical assistance needs of the network pertaining to the CSBG Annual Report. The DATA TF discussed topics ranging from the first full submission of the new CSBG Annual Report back in April to the upcoming OMB Clearance processes.

It was recognized that overall the Network did a great job in its first year of reporting in the CSBG Annual Report but that TTA needs still exist. To that end, the DATA TF will develop new tools and resources based on what they’ve learned from the first round of reporting. Tools and resources will include guidance on targeting in Modules 3 and 4; best practices with data collection and systems; a reporting “calendar”; new FAQs; a Module 3 compendium of examples; TTA materials on measurement tools and analysis, and a master listing of all available resources to improve navigation and utilization of existing resources.

The DATA TF had some great discussion about using CSBG data and recognizes that it is imperative that the Network move beyond simply collecting data. Rather, Innovative models for analyzing data to utilize in planning and process improvement efforts were discussed in detail. The DATA TF believes that information is an asset, not a byproduct. There is sure to be more information and deliverables to come from this discussion that will aid the network in moving beyond collection and towards more robust data analysis.

The DATA TF discussed the need for a phased OMB Clearance process in order to ensure that the network can seamlessly report FY19 data in March 2020. Phase I of the Clearance will address technical edits, corrections, and changes to Module 1 to align with the state plan. Phase I will begin in August 2019 and will be limited to these critical technical matters. Phase II, which will begin in 2020, will address more substantive content changes to Modules 2, 3, and 4 that have been identified by the network. This is when the Network should address updates to data points and National Performance Indicators within the Annual Report. The Network can provide ongoing feedback to National Partners and OCS now. The task force and National Partners will have more information to come.

Recently the Analysis Subcommittee sent the network a survey asking about measurement tools and analysis techniques. The survey was distributed to State Offices and RPICS/State Associations to disseminate throughout the network. The Analysis subcommittee is reviewing the 127 submissions. They will provide the network with an initial report out on their results within the next few weeks.

Keep an eye out for more information and future deliverables!