Chief Data Officers (CDOs) are one of the newer positions in government, but their role is quickly becoming one of the most critical. A CDO is charged with overseeing data-related functions, including data management, ensuring data quality, and creating data strategy. For government agencies, this requires close coordination with the Federal Data Strategy and the DoD Data Strategy.
Both of these documents define the specific roles and responsibilities of data officers and provide a framework for working with and securing data. Of course, each agency has unique requirements and missions, leaving the CDO to work out how to apply this guidance and standards to their organization.
Agencies are meeting these guidelines and integrating CDOs in different ways. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) recently announced a department-level CDO office to better integrate data into its operations and those of other agencies. The need for this level of coordination was underscored as DHS launched a department-wide COVID-19 vaccination campaign in partnership with the Department of Veterans Affairs health centers. DHS needed to identify, contact and manage responses from workers, which meant collecting and reconciling many different datasets from across the department.
Beyond department efforts, CDO coordination is happening government-wide. The Federal Chief Data Officers Council was formed to ensure there is collaboration and consistency across government. This group recently announced the development of 10 data science training program use cases that aim to bolster agencies' data workforces. In addition to training, the council is also looking to strengthen data skill sets by hiring new data scientists via a collaborative effort with a joint hiring announcement issued by ten agencies in January.
There are a number of events and resources that can help CDOs share their successes and collaborate on their challenges.
- Five Best Practices for Data Sharing (July 13, 2021; webinar) -- This live webinar and Q&A session will focus on best practices to modernize data sharing. Discussions will include how technology has changed the way we view data, challenges to data acquisition and distribution, and five strategies for establishing more secure data collaboration.
- How Pfizer Used Analytics to Accelerate Cloud Data Migration (July 22, 2021; webinar) -- Take a look at how Pfizer improved access and reduced costs for its petabytes of data. The solution involved using analytics across multi-vendor storage environments to plan data management and data movement to the cloud.
- FCW Workshop: Digital Transformation (August 11, 2021; virtual) -- The federal sector has been pursuing digital transformation for years through various avenues in an effort to replace inefficient, creaky legacy systems with more powerful, agile, interoperable, and efficient technologies. These new systems are the foundation for transformative services and processes that break through agency silos and encourage closer collaboration across operations.
- The Convergence of High Performance Computing, Big Data, and Machine Learning (white paper) -- The high performance computing (HPC) and big data (BD) communities traditionally have pursued independent trajectories in the world of computational science. However, both communities are evolving in response to changing user needs and advancing technological landscapes. There also is an increasing need for real-time data analytics, which requires large-scale computations to be performed closer to the data and data infrastructures to adapt to HPC-like modes of operation.
- 5 Big Data Lessons That The COVID Crisis Taught Us (white paper) -- With data at the center of today's businesses and government operations, we have learned great lessons about data, its potential for helping us face and deal with emergencies, and how to overcome disruption without losing its integrity on our way to operability. These lessons have paved the road for all of us to leverage data to develop new approaches and products for delivering services.
- Federal CDO Council: Chief Data Officers Presentation (eBook) -- The Chief Data Officer Council was established by the Foundations for Evidence-Based Policymaking Act of 2018. The Council's vision is to lead transformational change that improves the nation's ability to leverage data as a strategic asset. All agency-level CDOs are members.
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