OPM Previews Its New Cyber Workforce Dashboard

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The dashboard will launch after the agency has determined what data to make publicly available.

The Office of Personnel Management plans to launch a federal cyber workforce dashboard to provide agencies with a better tool to address workforce needs, according to a demo of the proposed dashboard held during a National Institute of Standards and Technology webinar on Tuesday.

An OPM spokesperson told Nextgov the cyber workforce data dashboard is a new tool that will have two versions: a public version looking at governmentwide data and an agency-specific version—where each agency will have a more granular view—to help support their workforce needs. The spokesperson added that OPM has been showing the dashboard to cyber workforce community stakeholders, such as the Office of the National Cyber Director and the Office of Management and Budget.

“Currently, the cyber workforce dashboard is under development, and, due to the sensitivity of the data, OPM is deliberating which data can be released to the public. And as of yet, there’s no release date set,” said Sarah Brickner, program analyst for OPM’s employee services, strategic workforce planning, forecasting and methods team, who demoed the dashboard.

The dashboard was originally set to be publicly released in the second quarter of fiscal year 2023, but it is unclear if it will make that original timeline, as the agency is still working on addressing privacy concerns. Once released, the dashboard will be available on OPM’s data products page. 

For the presentation, OPM used notional data, or hypothetical figures that stand in place of real information. However, the actual data will come from Enterprise Human Resources Integration-Statistical Data Mart, or EHRI-SDM, data—which is sourced from agencies’ human resources systems—as well as survey data. 

The dashboard will use onboarding data to capture a single point in time and dynamic data to illustrate hiring and separation information, such as a retirement or other departure, throughout the fiscal year. Both datasets will have a delay of a few months before populating in the dashboard.

Users will also have the ability to compare the cyber workforce to the governmentwide workforce in demographics such as age, education and gender. 

“At this point in time, we only have gender, age and education,” Brickner said. “We had others in our previous dashboard. We had race and ethnicity, we had veteran status and disability. But our privacy team at OPM felt that in order to protect the privacy of our employees, we needed to remove it.”

According to Brickner, the combination of such demographic data with the information that is already available in FedScope—the agency’s comprehensive federal workforce data dashboard—would have enabled users to identify individual workers at certain agencies.

As an additional layer of privacy protection, if a field in the cyber workforce dashboard contains 10 people or fewer, that information will be withheld, according to Brickner. For privacy purposes, the data will be shown as percentages, not as counts. 

Brickner added that the educational data used in the dashboard is only as good as the data OPM receives, noting that some agencies may only have educational data from the time of hire and may not have updated it if the worker has gotten an additional degree. Furthermore, credentialing data was deemed to not be reliable enough to include. 

Users will be able to search for statistics by work role, and other filters and functionality will be able to supply  data such as retirement eligibility, demographics and occupations. 

The dashboard does not, however, compare federal cyber workforce demographics to that of the general population, due to differences in definitions that would make it an apples to oranges comparison.