Frequently Asked Questions

The New Jersey Statewide Data System (NJSDS), formerly the New Jersey Education to Earnings Data System (NJEEDS), is the State of New Jersey’s centralized longitudinal data system for public administrative data. Initially developed in 2012 with start-up funding through a grant from the U.S. Department of Education, NJSDS has expanded through coordination with partnering state agencies. Having grown significantly since that time, it is now a large statewide interagency and intergovernmental platform where data from participating agencies are securely stored to expand access and analysis to improve governance efforts, policymaking, and performance of public initiatives.
NJSDS was developed to help the public and stakeholders make data-informed decisions to improve public policies and practices for New Jersey residents. This includes facilitating longitudinal and linked-data research, providing statistical data, and publishing reports that are made available publicly through the NJSDS website.
A statewide longitudinal data system is a state-level platform that maintains information about individuals over a period of time. NJSDS links data from four partnering state agencies: New Jersey Department of Education, New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development, New Jersey Higher Education Assistance Authority, and New Jersey Office of the Secretary of Higher Education. It includes de-identified, individual-level K-12, postsecondary, and workforce information, which includes, but is not limited to, student demographics, program participation, assessments, performance, financial aid, degrees and certificates, wages, and industry.
NJSDS’s goals are to:
  • Integrate independently developed and collected administrative data at the individual level into a comprehensive, strategic, and secure data platform.
  • Improve the quality of data maintained and provided by the state data sources and improve the capacity to sustain, support, and expand a robust and integrated state longitudinal data system.
  • Better measure the success and effectiveness of public programs and services for New Jersey’s students, businesses, industries, and residents by identifying critical research and policy questions and creating informational products that provide relevant and accurate information to decision makers.
  • Develop a sustainable governance structure with knowledgeable state agency leaders supported and guided by the involvement of key stakeholders and end users.

NJSDS is a collaboration between the New Jersey Department of Education, New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development, New Jersey Higher Education Assistance Authority, New Jersey Office of the Secretary of Higher Education and Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. NJSDS operates under a state agency governance structure through three standing governing bodies, the Executive Leadership Committee (ELC), the Data Stewards Work Group (DSWG), and the Data Advisory Council (DAC).

The Executive Leadership Committee is a steering committee comprised of designees from the NJSDS partner agencies and is responsible for providing overall guidance and strategic policy direction to the design, development, deployment, and maintenance of NJSDS.

The Data Stewards Work Group governs NJSDS and is co-chaired by executive-level representatives from the partner agencies. Additionally, each agency has four data stewards who represent different programs and/or technical areas of expertise. This work group is responsible for ensuring the quality, timeliness, and availability of the administrative data in NJSDS.

The Data Advisory Council is a stakeholder committee comprised of external leaders that represent participating agencies, such as colleges and universities, community organizations, and workforce development boards. Members receive updates on the status of NJSDS and public access, as well as opportunities to guide the research agenda and outreach activities.

NJSDS is owned by the State of New Jersey and operated by the John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey.

NJSDS brings together data from four state agency sources, matches the data to the correct individuals, then eliminates any personally identifying information before an analysis is completed.

Participating agency staff and approved external users can apply to access and use NJSDS data.

Requests from staff at participating state agencies are fielded and reviewed by the NJSDS Executive Leadership Committee.

External researchers will be able to request access to aggregate or de-identified data for research that benefits public programs beginning in 2024.

Currently, research conducted using NJSDS data is primarily used to evaluate the effectiveness of specific federal and state educational and workforce programs and to compare and contrast student achievements at the state level as well as the district, postsecondary institution, and program levels. As NJSDS continues to grow, the topics of evaluation will similarly expand.

NJSDS currently includes de-identified individual-level data from multiple New Jersey state agencies, including the PreK-12 education system, colleges and universities, and workforce and training programs, all within a secure environment. The data are collected and linked from these existing state agency data systems and includes, but is not limited to, student demographics, program participation, assessments, performance, financial aid, degrees and certificates, interventions, future wages, and industry. Personally identifiable information, such as names, social security numbers, addresses, and other data that can identify a person is not part of the shared data system.

State data sources currently in NJSDS include:

PreK-12 Education

  • PreK-12 (NJSMART) Enrollment Data
  • PreK-12 (NJSMART) Completion Data
  • PreK-12 (NJSMART) Staff Data
  • Career and Technical Education (Carl Perkins Act) Enrollment and Completion Data

Higher Education

  • Student Unit Record (SURE) Enrollment Data
  • Student Unit Record (SURE) Completion Data
  • Higher Education Student Assistance Authority (HESAA) Student Aid Records

Labor and Workforce Development

  • Unemployment Insurance Wage Data
  • Unemployment Insurance Claims Data
  • Workforce Investment Opportunity Act (WIOA) Case Data
  • Vocational Rehabilitation Program Case Data
  • Consumer Report Card Private Training Provider Data
  • Participant Individual Record Layout (PIRL) Data
  • Registered Apprenticeship Partners Information Database System (RAPIDS) Data

NJSDS contains multiple data governance, privacy, and security-related checks and balances. Strict protocols regarding human subject research, confidentiality, and privacy of the data have been established and must be followed.

NJSDS is in compliance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), National Institutes of Standards and Technology (NIST), and Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA) security guidelines, along with state requirements related to the storage of sensitive data elements and any data shared.

Data access is only permitted to approved researchers working on approved projects and are in accordance with state and federal laws and regulations.