EPA Chief Data Officer Richard Allen on role of data visualization tools in new EPA digital strategy

“… proliferation of data tools across enterprises has in some cases created as many challenges as they’ve solved. For example, Richard Allen, chief data officer at the Environmental Protection Agency, said that before he was CDO, he created a data visualization tool that is now used across the agency. But now, due to lack of a unified data strategy, different offices and programs within the EPA are duplicating data and cleaning it multiple times.

So Allen worked with EPA’s chief IT architect to interview leadership across the enterprise to discover what data challenges they had, what tools they were using, and build all of this into EPA’s new digital strategy.

He said they found a couple of themes during these interviews.

‘One is we don’t communicate as well as we could internal. So our people don’t necessarily know where the data that they want are, they don’t even know if that exists necessarily. And even if they do, finding it can be a challenge,’ Allen said during the webinar. ‘And then that there’s a challenge for us in terms of providing the proper guidance. So if there’s a lack of overall guidance from us, people create their own governance strategies and create their own management. And we don’t want to throw out the baby with the bathwater. We’re working with them to figure out what their best strategies are, and how to integrate them a little more holistically across our agency.’

That’s why Allen said he’s been focused on working with the data governance body that CDOs were required to stand up. He said another council of executives wouldn’t help him get the support and labor he needed to do the work that’s necessary. And since he doesn’t have a staff, he’s used the data governance council to pull in the people that he needs from other offices across the enterprise…” Read the full article here.

Source: Better data management requires more education, communication across enterprise, experts say – By David Thornton, December 18, 2020. Federal News Network.

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