The administration has finalized its federal data strategy and action plan for 2020, following feedback over three public comment phases that resulted in numerous changes to draft versions as well as the addition of some initiatives.
“The Principles, Practices, and 2020 Action Plan are designed to leverage government data as a strategic asset. Federal agencies and their employees play a critical role in implementing the strategy to improve the use of data for decision-making and accountability for the federal government, including for policy-making, innovation, oversight, and learning,” it says. “The strategy also seeks to leverage the value of data beyond government. Making government data more accessible and useful for the American public, businesses, researchers, and other stakeholders has wide-ranging benefits.”
The initiatives now are grouped into three general categories: building a culture that values data and promotes public use; governing, managing, and protecting data; and promoting efficient and appropriate data use.
In the former category are: identify data needs to answer key agency questions; assess and balance the needs of stakeholders; champion data use; use data to guide decision-making; prepare to share; convey insights from data; increase accountability of federal spending; monitor and address public perceptions; connect data functions across agencies; and provide resources to explicitly leverage data assets.
In the second are: prioritize data governance; govern data to protect confidentiality and privacy; protect data integrity; convey data authenticity; assess maturity; inventory data assets; recognize the value of data assets; manage with a long view; maintain data documentation; leverage data standards; align agreements with data management requirements; identify opportunities to overcome resource obstacles; allow amendment; enhance data preservation; coordinate federal data assets; and share data between state, local, and tribal governments and federal agencies.
In the third are: increase capacity for data management and analysis; align quality with intended use; design data for use and re-use; communicate planned and potential uses of data; explicitly communicate allowable use; harness safe data linkage; and promote wide access.