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New Federal Data Strategy Playbook Seeks to Help Agencies Improve Employees’ Data Skills

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The U.S. federal government has released a playbook to serve as a guide for agencies to assess and improve the data skills of their employees as part of the Federal Data Strategy. The playbook seeks to help agencies execute Action 4 of the 2020 action plan, which calls for agencies to identify opportunities to enhance their personnel’s data skills.

The document details ways how agencies may approach the four-step process of identifying opportunities to increase staff data skills. The steps are identifying any critical data skills needed for the agency, assessing current staff capacity for needed data skills, performing a data skills gap analysis and executing ways to meet those needs.

Agencies should come up with performance metrics, audit practices, gather implementation and outcome data, assign responsibility and learn from results. They should also share those metrics, results and processes with the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and other agencies.

FedScoop reported the action plan originally set a June 30 deadline for agencies to perform an assessment of staff data literacy and data skills, but that schedule was pushed back to July 31 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The playbook supports cross-agency priority goal of leveraging data as a strategic asset in the President’s Management Agenda.