Chief information Officer Suzanne Kent of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) revealed the thrust of the federal data strategy and released a draft action plan that is designed to “establish a firm basis of tools, processes, and capacities to leverage data as a strategic asset.”

The 16-step action plan has set a total of 40 separate goals that government agencies will try to accomplish. Short-term goals include the hiring of a CDO and the creation of data governance structures that will encourage efficient and appropriate data use.

Troy K. Schneider tells us more about the OMB’s new data strategy in this article from FCW:

Those basics include establishing an Office of Management and Budget Data Council by November, piloting a government-wide data catalog by May 2020 and identifying priority datasets at each agency by August 2020. Arguably more-ambitious actions include improving geospatial and financial-management data standards, identifying opportunities to increase data skills within the federal workforce and improving “the data and computing resources for AI Research and Development.”

The ultimate goal, Kent said, is to enable agencies to use their data “to inform how we manage the government — how we apply human capital, financial and other resources, but most importantly how we serve mission and better serve our citizens.”
Data Coalition CEO Nick Hart called the final strategy and draft action plan “a promising step forward in the data discussion.” Acknowledging that he was still “digesting the documents,” Hart told FCW the plan outlines actions “that are plausible and frankly necessary for government to take in the coming year.”

Hart also noted that the final principles and practices clearly “reflect the feedback from stakeholders” and praised OMB for taking a “holistic approach” that incorporates relevant statutes and recent actions like the president’s executive order on artificial intelligence. “The fact that they’re tying together all these pieces is encouraging,” he said.

The first draft of the data strategy came out nearly a year ago. Progress was slowed in part by the federal shutdown in December and January, but OMB is working to keep a tight schedule moving forward. Public comments on the draft action plan will be accepted through July 5, and Hart noted that the Data Coalition is working with OMB to organize an event this summer for additional stakeholder discussion. A final version of the action plan is expected in September.