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January 04, 2023

CDO Council 2022 Review

By Ted Kaouk, PhD, CDO Council Chair

The end of 2022 ushers in a time for review and reflection, and Dan and I cannot be more proud of the development of the Federal Chief Data Officer function and the CDO Council. Through the dedication of our members, we have advanced and completed projects to support the strategic use of data across the government, tested innovative technologies, developed the data workforce, and built understanding of opportunities and challenges in various data areas.

We would like to give special appreciation to our members, committees, working groups, and cross-functional partners for their hard work and efforts to improve the nation’s ability to leverage Federal data as a strategic asset and strengthen the CDO Council learning community. As the Federal Government expands its use of data, the CDO Council’s Data Skills and Workforce Development Working Group published the CDO playbook which explores and defines the evolution of the federal CDO role. The playbook also provides CDOs with guiding principles, opportunities for quick wins, and best practices to navigate key mission areas. 

The Council also completed a new CDO Council survey to help the community and other stakeholders understand Federal CDOs, their responsibilities, and provide the community with information on how the role of CDO is implemented and managed across the government.

In June 2022, the CDO Council launched an awards program to highlight innovative data achievements and recognize both civilian and military employees who contributed to advance government mission achievement and increase the benefits to the nation through improvement in the management, use, protection, dissemination, and generation of data in decision-making and operations. And in the fall, we launched our first podcast, Unstructured Data, to elevate and spotlight the impacts of CDOs to their Agency mission and the Nation.

The CDO Council collaborated with various  Federal agencies to create new technology tools to provide better insights and greater efficiency to test using state-of-the-art Natural Language Processing (NLP) techniques. The Public Comment Analysis Pilot established a proof-of-concept tool that allows agency comments to be grouped by general content and recognizes topics and themes while noting duplicates and semantically similar comments. 

In an effort to improve and assist the land risk management and the wildland fire community to fight the deadly wildland fires in their properties, the Council developed the Wildland Fire Management Pilot model. The model combines disparate data on wildland fire fuels to increase transparency and coordination across the federal and state wildfire management community.

Our commitment to collaboration and teamwork was modeled this year as the Council regularly initiated and participated in cross-council projects and meetings to leverage the interdisciplinary nature of data. A full list of ex-officio representatives is included on the Members page of the CDO Council website. Additionally, the CDO Council held multiple discussion sessions where CDOs shared their perspectives on successful practices, challenges, opportunities, and resource strategies. The CDO Council’s Data Sharing Working Group assessed current sharing needs and challenges and developed a set of recommendations for improving the methods to access and share data within and between agencies in the Federal Government. The Council’s Data Inventory Working Group released a Data Inventory report to highlight challenges agencies may face when implementing and managing comprehensive data inventories and to identify opportunities for stakeholders to effectively find, access, and use data assets. The report also summarizes agencies’ experiences with, and suggestions for developing required inventories of data assets.

The Council and our members exceeded expectations this year by delivering increased strategic impact, directly supporting the Evidence Act, the Federal Data Strategy, and the President’s Management Agenda, while achieving our collective vision as a Council.

As we look into 2023, we will continue to build upon this foundation to advance our goals to strengthen and empower the workforce in the use of data, enable simple, secure and seamless customer experience, support data ethics and equity, and support the strategic use of data for intelligent government operations.

Thank you to our members, partners, leadership and staff for your dedication and engagement in this community. None of this is possible without you!

Ted Kaouk, PhD

CDO Council Chair

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