All in Agency Data

Needed: Better Integration of Project Management and Data Management

These days, still, when you read about big data or if you attend conferences or webinars you’re much more likely to read about products and tools. You don’t hear as much about “back room” management issues you need to address to make sure all the members of the project team are sharing information and marching in the same direction.

Is Loss of Government Economic Survey Data Inevitable?

While it may be inevitable that all government data collection efforts have to tighten their belts, hopefully the process of making tough prioritization decisions will be done in light of rational factors such as the value of the data to users, the cost of collecting it, the availability of alternatives, and the manner in which data management processes are governed.

The Commerce Data Advisory Council's 2nd Meeting: Storytelling, Staff Recruiting, and Complex Processes

There’s an understanding represented by this group that the data resources being stewarded by Commerce programs both reflect and are critical inputs to U.S. technical and industrial competitiveness. Hopefully this group will be able to facilitate an exchange of useful “lessons learned” and resources across the varied Commerce programs.

Dashboarding Open Data Program Governance

A key feature of the Project Open Data effort being managed by OMB and OSTP is that so much of it is being conducted in the open using accessible resources such as shared documentation, a defined metadata schema, and use of GitHub for capturing comments and issues. Agencies that want to involve private sector vendors in their open date efforts should consider the use and management of such tools as a required part of program governance and oversight (as long as sufficient staff and resources are provided to manage such efforts, of course).

NOAA’s Big Data Project Comes Into Focus

What’s different about this newly announced NOAA program is not just the potential “big data” scope of the program but the way in which private sector cloud vendors are involved as intermediaries not only to the public but also to potential data vendors and resellers.
Still, knowing that data exist – which is what the inventories will tell us — is not the same as accessing and interpreting the data. Even assuming the public eventually gains access to the inventoried data, we’ll still need contextual information about the programs described by the data and measurement of the impacts these programs have.

Open Data Management at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

Much of what the EPA staff talked about involved processes and activities that are necessarily associated not only with “open data” but with any data intensive business process. Data must be managed. Systems that share data need to be coordinated. Resources need to be allocated and shared. Such requirements are not unique to “open data” but are universally relevant.
While it is true that a platform such as GitHub is not really designed to be as user friendly as, say, Facebook, the fact is that the sharing of technical expertise among mid-level IT staff and data administrators in different governmental agencies has probably been at least as important to open data progress as the Administration’s top down support.