Federal News Network: A new set of priorities for the State Department means good data will be in high demand

“Just prior to the change in administrations, the State Department appointed a new chief data officer. Presuming the Biden State Department wants to use data to inform its decisions, the CDO position should be in high demand. New Chief Data Officer Matthew Graviss joined Federal Drive with Tom Temin for more discussion…”

“Tom Temin: State Department is in the midst of modernizing across a lot of fronts in the IT area. There’s going to be some policy changes, probably, because that’s what happens when administrationa and parties change. So there’s a lot of activity going on at State. How do you envision data supporting all of what’s going on?

Matthew Graviss: Well, data is going to be really important. I think we’re seeing that across the landscape, both in industry and across the federal government. It’s becoming more and more an important asset. I think you saw that with Congress passing the Evidence Act a couple of years ago, which requires each agency to establish the CDO position, and how CDO[s] will implement and carry out those responsibilities can vary from organization to organization. In my case, at the State Department, I’m kind of focusing on four fundamental things, the first isn’t going to surprise you – that’s really about culture, and how do we shape the use of data and democratize the use of data across the entire department. That’s so that we have our leaders saying, before they make big decisions, what does the data say, right? And it also means that our employees across the board can say I know where the data are, and I know how to access them. And I have the tools to use them. We’re also focusing on data management, how do we get the data good. We need to create high quality data and make sure we have the structure and processes in place to do that. And then another area that we focus on is the data technology, right? And that’s working with our partners in the Information Resources Management Bureau, to really make sure that we have that technology foundation, to maximize the use of data across the department. All three of those things are really important – the culture side, the data management side, and the technology piece, all bringing to bear an opportunity to leverage analytics. You can’t really do one without the other. And I think what’s cool about the State Department is that within the Center for Analytics, which I lead, as they designed the Center for Analytics out, all three of those are under one roof, along with an analytics team to go provide integrated services. And so that was really exciting and intriguing to me as I as I joined the team…” Read the full interview here.

Source: A new set of priorities for the State Department means good data will be in high demand – By Tom Temin, March 2, 2021. Federal News Network.


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