The Rise of Data – Plus the 7 Gov Stories

On GovLoop Insights’ DorobekINSIDER:

  • Open data is no longer just a fad. We’re now living in a world that demands government data be open to the public. So how can agencies cope? Last year the Sunlight Foundation came out with their Open Data Policy guidelines. The goal of the guidelines was simple: get government started on the path to openness and transparency. A year later, Sunlight is back with an updated version of those guidelines. So what’s in there -- and what’s changed? We get an update with the Sunlight Foundation’s Emily Shaw.

You can find all of our programs online: DorobekINSIDER.com and GovLoop Insights at http://insights.govloop.com.

But up front: The Rise of Data

How much does data matter?

We have all seen somebody talk about Moneyball -- Michael Lewis’s remarkable work about how a baseball manager reinvents a team by using data. And last week, we had a chance to ponder the question of how much data matters to government during GovLoop’s DorobekINSIDER LIVE where we spoke to data officers about big data. If you missed it, two GovLoop posts coming from that discussion:

And, in fact, one of our guests last week was Peter Aiken, author of The Case for the Chief Data Officer: Recasting the C-Suite to Leverage Your Most Valuable Asset.

I had two big takeaways from the discussion last week:

  1. First -- how early we are on this journey. As I was listening to our guest talk about the importance of data and why it is so important to save and value data -- I believe it was Aiken who said he is the equivalent of a data hoarder -- it is remarkable how little we know and how… and how data will be used.
  2. The second is the importance of data knowledge. When I was planning the discussion, I wanted to have chief data officers discuss big data. There was an interesting discussion about where chief data officers should organizational -- and there was some consensus that it can’t be just limited to IT (ie: don’t trap them in the CIOs office). If that ends up being true, that seems like a missed opportunity for CIOs.

Along those lines… I recently saw this in The Wall Street Journal:

Chief data officer is the new ‘pathfinder.‘ John Fremont is largely forgotten today, but in the history of the 19th century American West, Mr. Fremont was known as “The Pathfinder” for his westward expeditions and his role in establishing California as a state, WSJ op-ed columnist Randy Bean writes. Today, emerging from the frontiers of Big Data and advanced analytics and the rapidly accelerating proliferation of data, comes a 21st century pathfinder: the chief data officer.

It is a brave new world.

NOTE: On May 21 on GovLoop’s DorobekINSIDER LIVE, we will be talking about cyber-security.

The SEVEN stories that impact your life

  1. Associated Press: US Weighs Curbing Deportations - “Tens of thousands of immigrants who are in the U.S. illegally but don't have serious criminal records could be shielded from deportation under a policy change being weighed by Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson. The change, if adopted following a review ordered by President Barack Obama, could limit removals of people who have little or no criminal record but have committed repeat immigration violations such as re-entering the country illegally after having been deported, or failing to comply with a deportation order.”

  2. Federal News Radio: Post 9/11 Military Build-up Reversal Hits Officers - “Already down to about 522,000, the Army must shrink to 490,000 by October 2015, and then to 450,000 two years later. If automatic budget cuts resume, the Army will have to get down to 420,000 -- a size service leaders say may not allow them to wage even one major, prolonged military campaign.”

  3. WSJ: Ohio AG DeWine Defends and Questions False Statement Law - “As the state’s ‘chief legal officer,’ Mr. DeWine filed a brief defending the Ohio Elections Commission from a pair of conservative groups that argue the state law impinges on their free-speech rights. But simultaneously, as ‘a representative of the people and the public interest,’ he filed a separate brief calling into question the constitutionality of the false-statements law.”

  4. New York Times: Supreme Court Upholds Michigan’s Affirmative Action Ban - “The Supreme Court on Tuesday upheld a Michigan voter initiative that banned racial preferences in admissions to the state’s public universities.”

  5. Federal News Radio: GSA Plans $70M Effort to Consolidate Agency Office Space Nationwide - “GSA has plans to continue or start renovations on 19 federally owned buildings across the country, including the headquarters of the Department of Health and Human Services and the Mary E. Switzer Federal Building, both in Southwest Washington, D.C.”

  6. New York Times: Intelligence Chief Issues Limits on Press Contacts - “The Obama administration has barred officials at 17 agencies from speaking to journalists about unclassified intelligence-related topics without permission, according to a newly disclosed directive. The directive, issued by James R. Clapper Jr., the director of national intelligence, also requires the agencies’ employees to report any unplanned contact with journalists. Officials who violate the directive may be disciplined or fired, the directive says.”

  7. WTOP: Texas Search Group Sues FAA Over Drone Use - “A Texas-based group involved in searches for missing persons around the nation filed a lawsuit on Monday asking a federal court to set aside an order that prohibits the nonprofit from employing drones in its work.”

DorobekINSIDER water-cooler fodder... yes, we’re trying to help you make your water-cooler time better too.

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