The government is at no loss for data. And, over the last decade, there has been a concerted effort to use that data more efficiently to improve decision making and service to the citizen. Chief Data Officers are in place across government to shepherd the changes in process and technology needed to achieve the goals set forth in the Federal Data Strategy.
Meeting the Plan to Plan
Department-level data strategies have been borne out of the federal guidance to mature data governance and infrastructure and publish those plans. In fact, the report "CDO Insights: 2021 Survey Results On the Maturation of Data Governance in U.S. Federal Agencies," found that 75 percent of respondents said they had started or completed five of the six action items named in the Federal Data Strategy 2020 Action Plan. The report found that constituting a data governance body (completed by 75%) was the least challenging action. Getting these bodies in place means that beyond department-level plans, some agencies are moving to making plans for critical subsets of data much like the State Department did for geospatial data.
Moving Plans Into Action
More than plans, the government's embrace of data also includes action - how to use all of this data. The release of the 2021 Federal Data Strategy Action Plan added the requirement for agencies to develop a "robust set of AI use cases and workforce expertise" to illustrate how data will feed into automated services and actions. The latest guidance also requires agencies to look beyond their walls and "identify investment areas and improve coordination with interagency councils."
Addressing the Human Element of Data
The CDO Insight report found that one of the most challenging items in the Federal Data Strategy was identifying opportunities to increase staff data skills (95%). To address staff skills, the State Department is providing classes on upskilling employees in terms of technology and data use and improving the overall data literacy of the agency's workforce. More than 2,200 employees have already taken classes at the agency's Foreign Service Institute as part of its data fluency program.
GovEvents features a number of resources aimed at helping government agencies with this journey of discovering, organizing and using data.
- Data Management & Analytics Government Insights - Winter Edition (January 26, 2022; virtual) - This event will bring together public sector data professionals to share best practices on how to collect, manage, and leverage data across all levels and agencies of government. Attendees will learn how governments can capitalize on the data revolution, streamline internal processes, and achieve key policy outcomes.
- IT Modernization Summit (March 2, 2022; Arlington, VA) - Join the top decision-makers from government and tech as they discuss ongoing efforts in federal IT modernization, the continued move to modern, cloud-based systems, and what is in store with emerging technologies like artificial intelligence.
- Gartner Data and Analytics Summit (March 14-17, 2022; Lake Buena Vista, FL) - This summit addresses the most significant challenges that data analytics leaders face as they build the innovative and adaptable organizations of the future. Attendees will hear how to deliver continued value in an uncertain world with strategies and innovations backed by data and analytics, simplify organizational decision making with advanced data analytics capabilities, and, transform uncertainty into opportunity by using data and analytics as powerful tools to drive innovation and manage change effectively.
- Leveraging the Federal Data Strategy (eBook) - The fourth Industrial Revolution is here and with it a technological landscape which is fundamentally altering the way we live, work and relate to one another. These transformations are occurring rapidly and creating huge challenges for organizations and talent management. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the U.S. public sector, and more specifically, the federal government.
- Implementing Data Strategy Across the Department of Defense (white paper) - In an ATARC-hosted roundtable, experts from across the DoD explored what the 2020 Department of Defense (DoD) Data Strategy means for the Department's component agencies, military departments, and service branches. This white paper contains insights on advances made in crafting and rolling out the new data strategy, as well as remaining challenges as it relates to shifting personnel requirements and downstream implementation.