Accurate nuclear data provide an essential foundation for advances in a wide range of fields, including nuclear energy, nuclear safety and security, safeguards, nuclear medicine, and planetary and space exploration. In these and other critical domains, outdated, imprecise, and incomplete nuclear data can hinder progress, limit precision, and compromise safety. Similar nuclear data needs are shared by many applications, thus prioritizing these needs is especially important and urgently needed. Many levels of analysis are required to prepare nuclear measurements for employment in end-user applications. Because research expertise is typically limited to one level, collaboration across organizations and international borders is essential. This perspective piece provides the latest advances in nuclear data for applications and describes an outlook for both near- and long-term progress in the field.