The Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) adopted a data-driven, risk-informed strategy to better assess risks, prioritize investments, and cost effectively modernize its aging nuclear infrastructure. NNSA’s new strategy, and lessons learned during its implementation, will help inform other federal data practitioners’ efforts to maintain facility-level information while enabling accurate and timely enterprise-wide infrastructure analysis.
Although not a true pause in operations, ONR’s data standdown made data quality and data consolidation the top priority for the entire organization. It aimed to establish an automated and repeatable solution to enable a more holistic view of ONR investments and activities, and to increase transparency and effectiveness throughout its mission support functions. In addition, it demonstrated that getting top-level buy-in from management to prioritize data can truly advance a more data-driven culture.
Purchase-to-Plate Crosswalk (PPC) links the more than 359,000 food products in a comercial company database to several thousand foods in a series of USDA nutrition databases. By linking existing data resources, USDA was able to enrich and expand the analysis capabilities of both datasets. Since there were no common identifiers between the two data structures, the team used probabilistic and semantic methods to reduce the manual effort required to link the data.
NASA’s data scientists and research content managers recently built an automated tagging system using machine learning and natural language processing. This system serves as an example of how other agencies can use their own unstructured data to improve information accessibility and promote data reuse.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) releases data from millions of consumer complaints about unwanted calls to help fuel a myriad of private-sector solutions to tackle the problem. The FTC’s work serves as an example of how agencies can work with the private sector to encourage the innovative use of government data toward solutions that benefit the public.
Through its Enterprise Learning Agenda, Small Business Administration’s (SBA) staff identify essential research questions, a plan to answer them, and how data held outside the agency can help provide further insights. Other agencies can learn from the innovative ways SBA identifies data to answer agency strategic questions and adopt those aspects that work for their own needs.
The Census Bureau team produced a new interactive mapping tool in early 2018 called the Response Outreach Area Mapper (ROAM), an application that resulted in wider use of authoritative Census Bureau data, not only to improve the Census Bureau’s own operational efficiency, but also for use by tribal, state, and local governments, national and local partners, and other community groups. Other agency data practitioners can learn from the Census Bureau team’s experience communicating technical needs to non-technical executives, building analysis tools with widely-used software, and integrating efforts with stakeholders and users.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ Office of Minority Health (CMS OMH) Mapping Medicare Disparities Tool harnessed the power of millions of data records while protecting the privacy of individuals, creating an easy-to-use tool to better understand health disparities.
Improving staff data skills allows agencies to better harness the power of data. This playbook provides advice and tools for assessing data skills and addressing gaps. Executing the activities contained in this document will help agencies progress in fulfilling requirements of the Foundations for Evidence-Based Policymaking Act of 2018 and related guidance.