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Agency CDOs on Connecting With Federal Employees With Data Science Skills

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Chief data officers said they were able to establish connections with federal employees with skills in data science driven by recent visibility into their mission, Federal News Network reported Tuesday.

“You tread a little bit lightly, but fact is these groups have been looking for greater guidance and greater alignment. The establishment of a centralized CDO office provides them with a place to go with respect to questions,” said Jamal El-Hindi, interim CDO at the Department of the Treasury.

Daniel Morgan, CDO at the Department of Transportation, said the agency helps empower a group of employees to gain access to data and make connections with other individuals through his office. 

“At least in my agency, what I have is a bunch of folks who are really dedicated to managing high-quality data sets, and they’re just never satisfied with how good they are,” Morgan said. 

“And if you can harness that kind of energy and transform the disappointment into a positive direction, and equip them with the tools and the policies and the practices that will help them succeed, that’s the way to find the quick win – to get the data set that they never had before, to connect the data that they weren’t able to previously connect.”

Jim Rolfes, CDO and chief information officer at the Consumer Product Safety Commission, said at the American Council for Technology-Industry Advisory Council’s ReImagine Nation ELC virtual conference the growth in the number of agency CDOs has provided an informal community of federal data scientists with greater visibility.