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Commerce Has the Best Data, Will Hire Chief Data Officer, Secretary Says

Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker

Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker // Commerce Department

Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker spoke Monday at a conference in California held by mapping software company Esri. Here are some highlights from her remarks, as prepared for delivery.

On the Commerce Department having the best data:

It is not hyperbole to call the Department of Commerce, “America’s Data Agency.” No other department can rival the reach, depth, and breadth of our data programs: Our data efforts are rooted in the Constitution, which laid the groundwork for the creation of the Census Bureau and the Patent and Trademark Office, two key data agencies housed at the Commerce Department.

Two hundred and twenty-five years later, our data touch the lives of Americans every day. Our data enable start-ups, move markets, and empower companies large and small. Our data collection on climate literally reaches from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun. Our data appear whenever we check the time on our cell phones. Our data can shape and redefine economic development, with information on GDP, personal consumption, and income.

On Commerce hiring its first chief data officer:

We are announcing today that we will hire the department’s first-ever Chief Data Officer. Our Chief Data Officer will be responsible for developing and implementing a vision for the future of our diverse data resources. Our Chief Data Officer will pull together a platform for all of our data sets; oversee improvements in data collection and dissemination; and ensure our data programs are coordinated, comprehensive, and strategic. Put simply, our Chief Data Officer will hold the key to unlocking more of our government data.

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