USDA stands up 500 data dashboards from executive brainstorming


Nearly a yr into the Trump administration’s Federal Data Strategy, companies have taken large steps in making data analytics the inspiration for executive decision-making.

The Chief Data Officers Council, which held its first assembly in January, has helped coordinate work on the data technique and its 2020 motion objects at a governmentwide degree.

But CDO Council Chairman Ted Kaouk, additionally the Agriculture Department’s CDO, stated a lot of the work previously yr has come from companies constructing up their IT infrastructure and workforce.

“Fundamentally, it’s about raising the expectations of the kinds of questions that people are asking, and then building behind that the workforce and the technology and the tools that are needed to get there,” Kaouk stated Monday in the course of the General Services Administration’s influence summit on data analytics.

USDA working underneath this method has stood over 500 dashboards throughout its mission areas to provide company executives and workers higher entry to info.

Those dashboards give supervisors on the Forest Service, for instance, an built-in view of metrics on timber gross sales, and provides scientists on the Food and Nutrition Service’s Office of Food Safety entry to well timed data on laboratory sampling. Meanwhile, a COVID-19 dashboard has helped company executives make key choices about reopening  amenities

Kaouk stated USDA took an iterative, human-centered design method to face up these dashboards, bringing workers along with greater than 30 companies executives to brainstorm cross-cutting questions, after which standing up prototype dashboards to reply to questions.

This train, he added, additionally revealed the place the company had data high quality points, or wanted to fill in gaps in its ata.

“In a lot of cases, the findings that we had created a shared opportunity — that we had the data, but it might not have been available to those owners, and that led us in a direction of standing up a platform that could help us answer those questions,” Kaouk stated.

To oversee this work, USDA has established a data governance board and stood up assistant chief data officers in every mission space. Kaouk stated USDA has additionally hung out coaching its workforce on data visualization and spent a lot of the previous two years working with GSA’s Centers of Excellence to strengthen its data analytics.

VA stands up data platform to trace vets’ prescribed drugs

The Department of Veterans Affairs, in the meantime, has stood up an enterprise data analytics platform known as Rockies, which permits evidence-based determination making, improves well being outcomes for veterans and their households, and lowers prices for the VA and taxpayers.

Denise Kitts, the chief data know-how officer at VA’s Office of Information & Technology, stated the data platform provides that company a big-picture view of how veterans search out and work together with company providers.

“There’s moments that matter in the journey that involve lots of different services that VA is delivering, and even folks external to VA that are delivering to veterans. And so we really needed a platform that could help us integrate data from lots of different programs,” Kitts stated.

The data platform features a zone-organized data lake that exceeds three billion rows of data, which has confirmed helpful, for instance, in working with the Office of Mental Health to find out whether or not veterans have been taking their prescribed drugs.

“They struggled with being able to do that in a timely fashion, so they were really excited about what we were able to do with this new modern platform and provide this information — these insights out to the frontline, the people that are delivering care to our veterans,” Kitts stated.

JAIC seeks to make extra data accessible, safe

While companies face distinctive challenges in maturing their data infrastructure, almost all should put within the work to arrange messy and unstructured data.

To overcome this problem, Marcus Comiter, the chief of the Data Science & Artificial Intelligence Engineering Division of the Defense Department’s Joint AI Center, stated the company is creating acquisition autos targeted on providers that enable companies to organize their data to be used in  AI algorithms.

The JAIC has additionally stood up a governance council aimed toward setting greatest practices for data challenges distinctive to the protection neighborhood, similar to organizing a wealth of video data.

“It’s easy to kind of get into this gold rush mentality, we just want to grab all of the data and bring it into our infrastructure,” Comiter stated, “But what this data governance council allows us to do is to make sure that we have things like where that data came from, how it was prepared, who is the authority and  owner of the data, all those types of things really written down, vetted and institutionalized.”

Other initiatives for the JAIC governance board embody defending AI algorithms and the data that powers from getting corrupted by adversaries, and constructing AI algorithms which might be clear of their decision-making. Comiter stated the company can be trying to make data discoverable and reusable for a number of initiatives.

“After we do all that work, we want to make sure that we get the maximum visibility for that across the department, so that the next component has to address a similar issue, they don’t have to start with data preparation at Step Zero, they can leverage existing datasets,” he stated.


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