Too often, instead of having a single, effective data system, communities have multiple systems. School districts, health systems, justice systems, libraries and other public and private agencies are but the tip of the iceberg. Frequently overlapping sets of information are collected within each system – and when there is redundancy, there is often greater expense. As information technology continues to improve by leaps and bounds, new savings are possible through new systems that “talk to each other” across previous boundaries, with filters that restrict access to those who don’t need to know. Reinventing and integrating data systems will enable access to the greatest amount of useful information for the least expense and the greatest breadth.
NFocus is a commercial entity that has worked with numerous communities and non-profits to integrate data systems to advance graduation rates. Check out the case studies on its website and links for examples of what is possible in linking data bases, http://www.nfocus.com/company/casestudies.