Breaking data silos to reduce unemployment

A nonprofit has developed two solutions to help states use data to improve their workforce.

One is affectionately known as a “pizza tracker,” said Scott Jensen, CEO of Research Improving People’s Lives (RIPL), a nonprofit that started out at Brown University as a policy lab. It uses cloud computing to give unemployment insurance (UI) applicants the ability to track the status of their claims, much like Domino’s web tool allows customers to track their pizza orders, Jensen said.

The Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training (DLT), of which Jensen was a director until February, was the first to use it. During the pandemic, it partnered with RIPL to launch a pandemic unemployment relief application on the Amazon Web Services cloud. Today it is known as User interface online.

DLT and RIPL have replicated the entire user interface …


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