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Government and commerce data strategies underpin the agency’s broader goals

By on September 28, 2021 0

Both the State Department and the Commerce Department are initiating strategies to maximize the use of their data.

The State Department’s enterprise data strategy, released Monday, describes the central role data plays in emerging technologies and how it is needed to stay competitive against global threats.

The strategy calls for better access to data across the department, better data flow across the workforce, and better governance to ensure data security.

The strategy is also linked to the department’s increased focus on emerging technologies – including artificial intelligence, 5G, sensor technology and cybersecurity – as part of its diplomatic mission and as part of its goal of stay ahead of emerging threats. The strategy defines four objectives:

  1. Cultivate a data culture
  2. Accelerate decisions with analytics
  3. Implement mission-oriented data management
  4. Establish corporate data governance

Secretary of State Antony Blinken introduced the data strategy in July during a speech to the National Security Commission on the Global Emerging AI Technologies Summit.

The strategy, he said, would help the department use data “more effectively and creatively for diplomacy.”

“If Netflix can predict which TV show my wife and I might choose to watch next, I think the data can also help us and help the department predict maybe the next civil conflict, the next famine, the next economic crisis and how we can react. more efficiently, ”Blinken said.

The department’s Enterprise Data Council, led by Chief Data Officer Matthew Graviss, will implement the strategy. The board will provide regular updates to Brian McKeon, the Under Secretary of State for Management and Resources.

McKeon wrote in the strategy summary that the department needs to invest in recruiting and training so that employees better understand how they use and maintain data.

“Our people need accurate data at their fingertips, where they are and when they need it. To thrive in this data-driven world, our team needs the skills, expertise and tools to turn data into information. Certainly that mindset calls for a culture change in the department – a change that has already started, ”McKeon wrote.

The strategy aims to empower the ministry’s workforce by upgrading the skills of the existing workforce and hiring for those skills in demand. The department will update job descriptions to include expected data skills and also create a new series of data science positions.

The strategy notes an increased demand for data from departmental executives to enable evidence-based decisions in diplomacy, security and human rights.

The strategy notes that the department has created nearly 900 dashboards supporting nearly 45,000 users for just one of its data visualization platforms.

“The department must support this growing appetite for data analysis and visualization by building enabling capacities, including training in data analysis, data management, governance, scientific and data integrity,” data storage and sharing to facilitate the cultural and organizational changes necessary for data adoption. informed decision-making, ”states the strategy.

Business data strategy emphasizes equity goals

The Commerce Department, meanwhile, puts its data to better understand how it serves the public. The ministry last week released a data strategy focused on the challenges of equity in job growth and resource distribution to underserved communities.

As part of the strategy, the ministry will hold regular summits on the barriers that prevent greater use of federal data.

The strategy highlights the work the Census Bureau is already doing to promote equity through its Opportunity Project. The office is also working on a toolkit focused on correcting sources of bias in federal data.

The data strategy also encompasses emerging goals, such as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s recent focus on space commerce.

The strategy, however, also seeks to provide a common path for a ministry whose component agencies cover everything from the bottom of the ocean to the surface of the sun.

With that broad mission in mind, Thomas Beach, the department’s acting data director, said Commerce won’t try to create a department-wide enterprise data analytics platform, but rather focus on the existing platforms that exist in the component agencies.

“As a CDO, I have to constantly see where the eye is for vision, and vision has to be about value,” Beach said on an ACT-IAC panel last week. “If I can’t offer something of value to the whole organization, people won’t understand why I have to play with others. “

Beach said the Commerce Data Governance Board, which created the data strategy, serves as a sounding board for common data challenges across its agencies and helps advance a “Commerce helps commerce” mantra.

“It’s really an opportunity to have other organizations sit side by side and understand each other’s issues, and understand where they’re trying to go,” Beach said.


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