As 2021 comes to a close and we reflect on the hard work we’ve put in over the last year, we can see the many ways the Chief Data Officers Council has pursued its vision to lead transformational change that improves the nation’s ability to leverage Federal data as a strategic asset.
First, we recognized that our individual and collective success relies on the development of a vibrant learning community to ensure CDOs have the resources and best practices to lead data-driven change. We also have the unique responsibility of building a new profession in the Federal government, and so this year we worked to develop a foundation for the CDO profession itself, creating an online presence through the launch of the CDO Council website, seeking to better understand the current role of the Federal CDO at agencies through our member survey, and outlining steps we as CDOs can take at our agencies to lead data-driven transformation through the development of a CDO playbook, which we are officially releasing today.
We also provided strategic support to ensure that Federal agencies have a workforce with the needed data skills, publishing Data Skills Training Program Case Studies to help agencies upskill their agency current workforce and developing the first government-wide data scientist hiring action to bring new talent into the Federal workforce, resulting in over 50 hires across government.
The Council gained valuable input from the public on how the government can improve its data practices through our first public meeting and request for information (RFI). Our committees and working groups are now reviewing the comments received to inform our future work together.
We demonstrated strategic value by creating tangible data products and strategic recommendations, including a public comment analysis pilot that leveraged the latest in natural language processing models. We also developed a roadmap for wildland fire fuels data management to demonstrate best practices for governing and combining disparate data that can reduce wildfire risk, increase transparency, and increase coordination across the Federal and state wildfire management community. Building on the challenges we encountered sharing COVID-19 decision support tools during the early days of the pandemic, we developed prototypes for government-wide HR and diversity dashboards, and provided recommendations on how the government could tackle challenges related to sharing HR decision support tools across agencies, a set of recommendations we are also releasing today.
Finally, we are creating foundational reports to create a common understanding of our current challenges, opportunities, and best practices related to key CDO Council responsibilities on inventorying and sharing government data, reports we look forward to publishing early in the new calendar year.
With this foundational work complete, the CDO Council is well-positioned to transition to delivering increased strategic impact in 2022, directly supporting the Evidence Act, the Federal Data Strategy, and the President’s Management Agenda, while achieving our collective vision as a Council.
Thank you to everyone who contributed your ideas, resources, and sweat equity in getting us to this point in the race. I look forward to running the next few miles together with you in the new year!
Ted Kaouk, PhD
CDO Council Chair