Agencies Will Start 2020 With 20 Data Actions to Complete by Year’s End

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The administration released the Federal Data Strategy Action Plan for the next year, adding four more action items from the draft released in summer.

As the federal government prepares to begin a new calendar year—with funding and everything—the administration released a set of 20 actions agencies will be required to take in 2020 around how they collect, manage, share and use all the data they collect.

Monday, the Office of Management and Budget released the final version of the first-year action plan for the new Federal Data Strategy. While the Data Strategy looks at how the government will use data over the next decade, the 2020 Action Plan—formerly the Year One Action Plan—is the starting block, including 20 specific deliverables tagged to individual agencies, agency teams or spanning governmentwide.

“Fully implementing the 40 practices described in the strategy will require a sustained, iterative, and systematic effort over a 10-year period,” the plan reads. “The Action Plans produced each year will identify priority actions for a given year and incrementally build on progress from year to year, capitalizing on the successes of previous efforts, aligning with ongoing federal government programs and policies, and complementing new statutory requirements.”

OMB released a draft action plan in June along with the finalized elements of the long-term strategy. The draft plan included 16 actions, all of which were forwarded to the final action plan, though some have been tweaked. Along with some alterations on the existing action items, the data strategy team added four more actions, as well:

  • Agency Action 6: Publish and update data inventories.
  • Community of Practice Action 7: Launch a Federal Chief Data Officer Council.
  • Shared Solution Action 19: Develop data quality measuring and reporting guidance.
  • Shared Solution Action 20: Develop a data standards repository.

Beyond the additional actions, the plan was touched up in several places based on feedback from stakeholders. The Data Strategy leads opted to shuffle the action items to put agencies up top; rename the categories and include more detailed descriptions; and added a resource repository, among other changes.

For an additional level of transparency, OMB also released a document detailing stakeholder input and how that feedback was used to make decisions on the finalized components of the strategy.

But incorporating feedback was not just a transparency exercise, according to the team.

“The views of stakeholders were essential for ensuring that the strategy fully leverages federal data to provide quality services for the American people, add value for business, and increase government effectiveness and transparency while maintaining data security and preserving privacy and confidentiality,” they wrote in the change document. “Agency input from across the statistical community, mission-focused communities, and mission-support communities was necessary to ensure that the strategy captured to the wide range of data produced by the federal government.”

The full list of actions slated for 2020 include:

Agency Actions

  • Action 1: Identify data needs to answer priority agency questions.
  • Action 2: Institutionalize agency data governance.
  • Action 3: Assess data and related infrastructure maturity.
  • Action 4: Identify opportunities to increase staff data skills.
  • Action 5: Identify priority data assets for agency open data plans.
  • Action 6: Publish and update data inventories.

Community of Practice Actions

  • Action 7: Launch a Federal Chief Data Officer Council.
  • Action 8: Improve data and model resources for AI research and development.
  • Action 9: Improve financial management data standards.
  • Action 10: Integrate geospatial data practices into the federal data enterprise.

Shared Solution Actions

  • Action 11: Develop a repository of federal enterprise data resources.
  • Action 12: Create OMB Federal Data Policy Committee.
  • Action 13: Develop a curated data skills catalog.
  • Action 14: Develop a data ethics framework.
  • Action 15: Develop a data protection toolkit.
  • Action 16: Pilot a one-stop standard research application.
  • Action 17: Pilot an automated tool for information collection reviews that supports data inventory creation and updates.
  • Action 18: Pilot enhanced data management tool for federal agencies.
  • Action 19: Develop data quality measuring and reporting guidance.
  • Action 20: Develop a data standards repository.