Data is the backbone of a successful sector strategy, beginning with identifying the sectors upon which the strategy will focus. Data tells the story of which sectors in your area are growing, which are shrinking, and which are having trouble finding and retaining the talent they are seeking. 


The resources listed here have been identified as the most useful for people needing a basic introduction to using data to guide their sector strategies, covering both why the use of data is important and how to go about using it to guide decisions.

Below are descriptions of the resources that can be found on the left-hand side of the screen under “Related Content”. Resources identified by “[NEW]” were completed under the ETA Sector Strategies Technical Assistance Initiative.

Introduction to Data and Sector Strategies: The How and The Why

  • [NEW] Using Data to Understand Demand: This tool is for practitioners—workforce leaders, managers, and program staff—to help them understand how to identify target industry sectors, assess the performance of these industries, and make common-sense decisions, within sector partnerships, about occupations and skills upon which training and education investments will be made. While there are many ways to collect and present industry and occupational data to decision-makers, this brief spotlights some of the most commonly used methods.
  • Defining Labor Market Data Resources and Applications: This recording of a Peer Learning Group call from October 2015 offers a strong starting point for anyone just beginning the work of putting data in the forefront of organizational decision making.
  • Understanding the What, Why and How of Good Data in Sector Partnerships: How and why to use data within sector partnerships. Includes an outline of the guiding principles of Labor Market Information, as well as real-world exercises to undertake with partners.
  • Colorado Regional Sector Partnership Convener Training Workbook: How and why to use data within sector partnerships. Full workbook for practitioners with tools and templates.