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Six Months In, White House Data Scientist Reflects on Progress

White House Chief Data Scientist DJ Patil

White House Chief Data Scientist DJ Patil // Flickr user Joi Ito

Sixth months after his first day in office, White House Chief Data Scientist DJ Patil is assessing the administration's progress in making data more accessible to the public. 

His team, he wrote in a blog post on Medium, helps federal agencies and departments in "using data to benefit all Americans" and "using the data available responsibly."

Patil outlined a few data projects the administration has been working on in the past half-year, including:

  • The Precision Medicine Initiative, a National Institutes of Health-led program whose mission is tailoring treatment to specific patients, "people’s individual variations in genes, environment and lifestyle," according to NIH
  • The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, sharing data about weather and the environment with Google, IBM, Microsoft, Amazon and the Open Cloud Consortium
  • The Police Data Initiative involves a development "sprint" during which volunteers work with law enforcement to build technology to improve community trust and internal accountability. So far, PDI has worked with 26 jurisdictions.

But there's still more progress to be made, Patil wrote in his post. 

“Data science is a team sport, and we need your ideas, suggestions and feedback to make it work," he told readers and invited them to post comments on his Medium post or to Tweet him at @DJ44.

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