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Federal Data Strategy Releases Draft Practices on Leveraging Data as a Strategic Asset

Starting with the constitutional requirement to count every person living across the country, the Federal government is charged with providing essential information about our people, our economy, and our surroundings.  The Department of Commerce produces a wide range of data for everyone from consumers to Fortune 500 companies and local governments.  In fact, counting, measuring, and producing data is one of the oldest and most essential functions of our government, and it is a cornerstone of our mission at the Department of Commerce.

The government has a vast amount of data – for example, the Department of Commerce produces 20 terabytes of data per day.   That’s about 1.7 million phone books worth – each and every day.  As a result, managing all of it is a challenging task, but one that is crucial if we are to use our assets to their full potential.

This is why the President's Management Agenda, which launched in March of 2018, established the Cross-Agency Priority (CAP) goal of Leveraging Data as a Strategic Asset. The long-term goal is to develop a comprehensive Federal Data Strategy designed to help agencies learn how to best leverage data to grow the economy, improve the way we deliver government services, inform research, and catalyze innovation.

In recent months, the Federal Data Strategy team has released principles to guide the development of a comprehensive data strategy and has developed 47 draft practices published for stakeholder feedback.

These draft practices are designed to remain relevant and broad enough to apply across government, regularly informing agency actions. In addition, the strategy and its practices apply across the data lifecycle:

  • creation or collection or acquisition;
  • processing;
  • access;
  • use;
  • dissemination; and
  • storage and disposition. 

After public comment, the practices will be revised and published in January 2019.

Comments on the specific questions can be sent to strategy.data.gov/practices by Nov. 16, 2018.

We will continue working to engage the statistical community, mission-focused communities, and mission-support communities to truly leverage the value of our federal data. Today more than ever before, data is revolutionizing the way government, businesses, and the public engage with each other. Moreover, data is a powerful tool that can foster innovation and support entrepreneurship.  By providing principles, practices, and a definitive action plan, the Federal Data Strategy will guide the government in leveraging the value of this critical national asset.