The federal government released a 2021 action plan outlining specific measures that agencies should take to advance the Federal Data Strategy and a survey by Data Foundation and Guidehouse showed that 63 percent of federal chief data officers said they began or completed implementing five of the six priority agency actions listed in the plan.
The six agency action items listed in the plan are collecting and assessing data identified for priority agency questions; maturing data governance; data and infrastructure maturity; increasing staff data literacy skills; publishing agency open data plans; and improving data inventories.
The survey found that 83 percent of federal CDOs do not have enough resources to carry out their statutory responsibilities and meet agency missions, Guidehouse and Data Foundation said Tuesday.
According to the survey, 70 percent of respondents said they think CDOs play a key role in an organization’s data culture and a majority stated that they collaborate with chief information officers and officials in other organizations.
“Overall, it is encouraging that many of the CDOs surveyed said they had taken steps to set policies for data sharing, setting data standards, creating a data warehouse, or creating an agency-wide analytics platform,” said Paul Seckar, a partner at Guidehouse and a board member at Data Foundation.
“As CDO offices become more established, it is imperative that CDOs clearly understand their mission as it relates to data governance and data literacy. These are activities that partners across the public and private sector can support through collaborative efforts for achieving these mission critical functions,” Seckar added.
The findings were based on the responses of federal CDOs and designated statistical officials invited by the Data Foundation to take part in an online survey between June and July. The survey included responses from CDOs invited through multiple rounds of non-response follow-up.
The report offers several recommendations for Congress, such as increasing CDO funding flexibilities, establishing federal CDO as a senior executive-level position at the Office of Management and Budget and eliminating the statutory sunset for the CDO Council. It also recommends that OMB release guidance to clarify CDO responsibilities and facilitate the implementation of the OPEN Government Data Act.