Giving Compass' Take:

• MDRC describes several current projects — mostly aimed at low-income and at-risk young people — through their Center for Data Insights, seeking to improve programs through actionable evidence.

• Numbers matter! MDRC is truly dedicated to analytics in social work, and it's worth looking at how they execute this mission in several different contexts for those looking to improve their own metrics-based programming.

• Here's how technology and data can lead to more opportunities in education and the workplace.

MDRC has more than four decades of experience in developing, evaluating, and improving social and education programs, as well as in managing and analyzing vast amounts of data in ways that meet the highest standards of responsibility, security, and privacy. With the creation of the MDRC Center for Data Insights, MDRC is furthering its long-standing commitment to helping our partners improve their programs and systems. Ranging from simple descriptive summaries to advanced machine learning algorithms, the Center’s eight current projects aim to use institutions’ increasingly rich data to provide new insights that can help them refine and target their services:

Temporary Assistance for Needy Families Data Innovations (TDI) is supporting innovation and effectiveness of state-level Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) programs by enhancing the use of data from TANF and related human services programs. This work will include strengthening state integrated data systems, promoting proper payments and program integrity, and enabling data analytics for TANF program improvement. Across its activities, the project will support the use of data for understanding the broad impact that TANF has on families and will improve knowledge of how the federal government and state partners can use data to more efficiently and effectively serve TANF clients ...

Partnership with the Center for Employment Opportunities (CEO) for Predictive Analytics is harnessing granular, longitudinal administrative data to build a system for ongoing, advanced analytics that support CEO’s continuous improvement process ...

Subprime Lending Data Exploration Project, a “big data” project funded by the MetLife foundation, is designed to produce policy-relevant insights using an administrative data set that covers nearly 50 million individuals who have applied for or used subprime credit.

Read the full article about about the MDRC Center for Data Insights at