State honored for 2021 use of data

Tennessee is being honored by a national group for its use of data and evidence in making budget and policy decisions.

Results for America today named Tennessee a leading state in evaluation leadership and governance. It’s the second time the group has spotlighted Tennessee for its efforts in using data and evidence-based decisions through the Office of Evidence and Impact (OEI) in the Department of Finance and Administration (F&A).

“As Tennesseans demand more online services and convenience, it’s imperative that we focus on data-driven, proven decisions,” Commissioner Butch Eley said. “The Office of Evidence and Impact has evolved quickly to help our departments shine a light on how our investments and policies are performing so we continue to give Tennesseans the best possible service at the lowest cost.”

OEI was established in the fall of 2019 to create and foster a culture of data and evidence-based policymaking and budgeting that pursues best outcomes for Tennesseans.

OEI Director Christin Lotz said, “The steps we have recently taken to ensure our state budget is informed by data and evidence have enabled Tennessee’s leadership to make better-informed budgeting decisions. I am proud of the work our departments are doing to focus on evidence and data, because as stewards of taxpayers’ dollars, it is our responsibility to spend that money wisely. It is our obligation to know that what we are investing in works, and it’s a privilege to be a part of this important work in Tennessee.”

The state’s evidence-based budgeting involves three steps: creating a comprehensive list of funded programs to examine program outcomes and available research; requiring new funding requests to include data showing effectiveness; and sharing data among departments for deeper insights into program outcomes.

Results For America first named Tennessee one of the top states in the nation for using data to make decisions in 2020. The group helps decision-makers at all levels of government harness the power of evidence and data to solve our world’s greatest challenges.

For more information about evidence-based budgeting, the framework for evaluating state programs, or to meet the OEI team visit https://www.tn.gov/finance/oei.html.