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.
Bloomberg Government analysts put together a prototype through the Census Bureau’s Opportunity Project to better assess where volunteers should direct litter-clearing efforts. Using Census Bureau and Forest Service information, the team brought a data-driven approach to their work. Their experience reveals how individuals with data expertise can identify a real-world problem that data can help solve, navigate across agencies to find and obtain the most useful data, and work within resource constraints to provide a tool to help address the problem.
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.
A recent collaboration between the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) and the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) helps shed light on the segment of the American workforce employed by foreign multinational companies. This case study shows the opportunities of cross-agency data collaboration, as well as some of the challenges of using big data and administrative data in the federal government.
Bureau of Economic Analysis / Bureau of Labor Statistics
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) experience forming the Data Stewardship Tactical Working Group (DSTWG) provides meaningful insights for those who want to address data-related challenges collaboratively and successfully in their own agencies.
This case study details the development of the renewable energy applications built on the Open Energy Information (OpenEI) platform, sponsored by the Department of Energy (DOE) and implemented by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL).
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.
The Veterans Legacy Memorial (VLM) is a digital platform to help families, survivors, and fellow veterans to take a leading role in honoring their beloved veteran. Built on millions of existing National Cemetery Administration (NCA) records in a 25-year-old database, VLM is a powerful example of an agency harnessing the potential of a legacy system to provide a modernized service that better serves the public.
It is a well-kept secret that the U.S. Geological Survey and the U.S. Census Bureau were the original two federal agencies to build the first national digital database of roads and boundaries in the United States. The agencies joined forces to develop homegrown computer software and state of the art technologies to convert existing USGS topographic maps of the nation to the points, lines, and polygons that fueled early GIS. Today, the USGS and Census Bureau have a longstanding goal to leverage and use roads and authoritative boundary datasets.
To improve customer service and give better answers to users of the USA.gov website, the Technology Transformation and Services team at General Services Administration (GSA) created a chatbot using artificial intelligence (AI) and automation.
The Federal Data Strategy provides a common set of data principles and best practices in implementing data innovations that drive more value for the public. Annual Federal Data Strategy action plans identify and prioritize practice-related steps for a given year, along with targeted timeframes and responsible entities. The plan identifies initial actions for agencies that are essential for establishing processes, building capacity, and aligning existing efforts to better leverage data as a strategic asset.
This memorandum establishes a Federal Data Strategy (Strategy) as a framework of operational principles and best practices that help agencies deliver on the promise of data in the 21st century. Through consistent data infrastructure and practices, the Strategy will enable Government to fully leverage data as a strategic asset by supporting strong data governance and providing the protection and security that the American people, businesses, and partners deserve. Dated June 4, 2019.
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.