Data Labs Now Accepting Project Proposals for Its Third Cohort

The award winning program will offer select states hands-on support for data projects tackling the areas of safety net benefits, workforce transitions, and student outcomes

Recently recognized on Fast Company’s Next Big Things in Tech list, Data Labs—a collaboration between the Beeck Center for Social Impact + Innovation and the National Governors Association (NGA)—is accepting proposals for the 2024 cohort. To be selected in April, the cohort will be composed of state data and policy leaders from across the country that will embark on an eight-month program designed to offer hands-on support in the execution of a thoughtfully-designed data project intended to improve safety net benefits, workforce transitions, and student outcomes.

Data Labs uses a human-centered design approach to help states launch data-sharing projects that improve government services and the lives of residents. This year’s program builds upon the program’s legacy of helping states redefine the role of data in decision making to drive immediate and long-term improvements in people’s lives. Previous cohorts have focused on key issue areas including student outcomes, housing and houselessness, small business support, workforce support, and safety net benefits. 

 “We are thrilled to be continuing our Data Labs program in partnership with NGA,” said Lynn Overmann, Executive Director of the Beeck Center. “This program serves as a powerful catalyst for change in how state governments use data to address pressing societal challenges, and we are excited to collaborate with this next cohort of innovative states to help build a future that is more equitable, inclusive, and prosperous for all.”

Data Labs is accepting project proposals from states that are hoping to focus on one of three key issue areas:

  • Safety Net Benefits: Improving access to and administration of programs such as Medicaid, SNAP, WIC, EITC, CTC, and UI. 
  • Workforce Transitions: Understanding pathways to employment and improving access to career opportunities.
  • Student Outcomes: Using longitudinal data to improve student progress and outcomes, from preschool to post-secondary school.

State participants will gain invaluable insights from national experts, practitioners, and peers. The program pairs a human-centered design curriculum with individualized support to give state teams a framework to think through data challenges and solutions, as well as customized guidance that meets them where they are and helps advance their goals to champion data innovation in government.

“NGA is pleased to continue to partner with the Beeck Center on its innovative Data Labs program,” said Tim Blute, director of NGA’s Center for Best Practices. “The use and sharing of data is key to driving progress on Governors’ top priorities, and we look forward to working with state leaders as they harness data to make government programs more effective.”

Many individuals and families across the country have benefited from their state’s participation in the Data Labs program. In Colorado, a historic investment of $250M was committed for data infrastructure and analysis to address homelessness, and in Oregon, a first-of-its-kind multi-agency analysis provided a more granular, regional-level understanding of the state’s nursing shortage in order to develop stronger solutions for improving educational pathways to the healthcare industry. Data Labs is committed to being a resource for all states, and published the Data Labs Playbook to provide a practical guide for public servants who want to launch a data-sharing project, offering best practices, key questions, and tactical tools to advance any data project action plan, whether the project is new or existing.

Data Labs will be accepting project proposals through March 29. Selected proposals will be notified by April 5, and the program will run from April to November 2024. Please visit to learn more and submit a proposal. Have questions or need further information? Email us at