Federal Chief Data Officers Achieve Data Governance And Compliance: Study

Most federal agencies are doing a good job when it comes to data governance, judging by Effective Data Governance, a study by the Data Foundation in partnership with Grant Thornton Public Sector and Qlik.

Of federal chief data officers (CDOs) surveyed, 75% report compliance with core components of the Evidence-Based Policymaking Act, a bipartisan law designed to strengthen data governance.  

This is also critical because 93% say their leadership relies on data-driven insights when making missing decisions sometimes or all of the time.

However, many challenges remain, including financial and budgetary constraints cited as significant barriers by 60% of CDOs. And 50% have faced hurdles defining their own role in government, with only 54% saying they know what is expected of them. 

Email marketers and brands in general might benefit from comparing their own data governance practices against the model portrayed here, given GDPR and CCPA. 

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The top CDO responsibility, cited by 71%, is establishing and implementing data policies and governance. 

The main progress over the past year has been in these tasks:

  • Develop a complete inventory of your organization’s data assets — 79%
  • Launch a data governance board (or participate in a department-wide board) — 71%
  • Improve the quality of your organization’s data — 64%
  • Access staff data capabilities and training needs — 57%
  • Move to the cloud — 57%
  • Approve them availability of metadata for users — 54%
  • Create an enterprise data architecture — 46%
  • Introduce new technologies — 46%
  • Publish new data sets as open data — 43%
  • Conduct a data maturity assessment — 39%
  • Identify the sensitivity of data assets — 39%
  • Other — 18%

But they face these barriers in creating a data-driven organization: 

  • Financial constraints—61%
  • Lack of clarity about data value—43%
  • Hiring data-literate staff—43%
  • Lack of data governance—39%
  • Lack of authority to enforce decisions about data—36%

More than anything, CDOs need support from agency leadership (68%), data-literate staff (61%), culture for using data in decision-making (57%) an adequate funding (50%). 

Challenges aside, CDOs plan to focus on the following over the next year:

  • Develop a complete inventory of your organization’s data assets — 71%
  • Achieve Federal Data Strategy year One Action plan objectives — 64%
  • Improve the quality of your organization’s data — 64%
  • Conduct a data maturity assessment — 54%
  • Improve the available of metadata for users — 46%
  • Access staff data capabilities and training needs — 39%
  • Launch a data governance board (or participate in a department-wide board) — 39%
  • Move to the cloud — 36%
  • Publish new datasets as open data — 36%
  • Introduce new technologies — 29%
  • Identify the sensitivity of data assets — 25%
  • Other — 21%

The Data Foundation worked from an inventory of all known federal CDOs and achieved a 26% response.

 

 

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