Today, federal government agencies need to be data ready, not just to meet the requirements of the Federal Data Strategy but also to meet the changing needs of citizens and be ready to deliver on the mission and serve the public. By becoming data ready, agencies like the Department of Interior, the Department of Homeland Security, and the Department of Justice are all taking steps to become data ready by making data more visible and accessible.
Though, as data becomes even more vital to government success, the challenges of securing the data, sharing it, and gaining the most value from it should also be considered.
David DeVries, Senior Director, Strategic Initiatives – SLED at Commvault; and Richard Breakiron, Senior Director, Strategic Initiatives – Fed, DoD and the Intelligence Community at Commvault, provide a deep-dive into this topic in the latest Government Technology Insider podcast.
Serving in various government CIO and Executive Program Directors roles, both Breakiron and DeVries bring close to 80 years of collective experience and insights from the DoD, federal agencies, and states and local government.
“What is changing around us is how data is driving the world as we know it today,” said DeVries. “If you extrapolate what is going on the with the COVID-19 pandemic, federal agencies are all turning towards what data they can collect and use for their mission, and what they are organized to do.”
In addition, government is leveraging industry capabilities for making data more powerful. “Government today has always run on information transfer and data, and they are now learning more from industry when it comes to machine learning and artificial intelligence,” said Breakiron. “It’s a great and dynamic time when it comes to data management across the government.”
For government to be truly “data ready,” agencies need to focus on people, processes, and technology, where automation and leadership engagement are both vital. “Data readiness is no longer about the responsibility of IT and the administrator who maintains the server,” added DeVries. “It’s everyone’s responsibility – from the top of leadership to all the way down.”
Government organizations are also gaining value from data by being able to synthesize it for achieving actionable insights for rapid decision-making. Finally, both of these government experts provide guidance for how agencies develop holistic data management strategies.
“Data is often just generated in an ad-hoc fashion, and agencies should align mission and outcomes to the data sources,” said Breakiron. “Start with use cases where there are gaps, and make a logical path to crawl, walk, run in your data management efforts.”
Listen to the whole conversation here: