The Federal CDO Council is ready to release 10 data science training program use cases in a collaborative effort to educate Federal agencies on the best practices of data sharing, according to Ted Kaouk, the council chair and CDO at the Department of Agriculture.

The use cases will come directly from agencies’ educational successes, such as the Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Data Science CoLab, which is implementing and sustaining a cohort-based data science training program. Another agency use case will feature the Air Force’s data governance certification pilot program.

The CDO Council – established to improve the United States’ ability to leverage data as a strategic asset – is “really excited” about the level of collaboration across agencies and the data science and training programs already happening in agencies, according to Kaouk.

“When you have a forum like the CDO Council, for the first time we have an opportunity to accelerate that learning because we can learn about what others are doing – what’s worked for them,” Kaouk said during an ACT-IAC event on May 4. “And I think that crosses the data skills domain; that crosses data sharing.”

Although Kaouk did not offer a specific date for when the 10 use cases will be published, he said agencies can “expect those use cases to be published fairly soon.”

Additionally, Kaouk said the council’s COVID-19 Data Coordination Working Group – established in April 2020 – has been busy “prototyping and learning through working with COVID-19 data in terms of the challenges of sharing data across agencies.”

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“That’s really focused on working with HHS to facilitate broader access to keep public health data across our internal agencies, and developing decision support tools that are primed to be shared across agencies,” Kaouk explained.

The CDO Council is focused on supporting both the Biden administration’s priorities and the council’s long-term data strategy needs in four key ways, Kaouk said. These include: gathering input on data priorities, developing best practices for CDOs, building capacity, and collaborating with agencies.

“Our vision in the Federal CDO Council is really to lead some transformational change that improves the nation’s ability to leverage data as a strategic asset,” Kaouk said. “And as we’ve had conversations over the past year or so, we’ve really come to believe that that’s going to be advanced most effectively by developing a really vibrant learning community that ensures that the CDOs and their teams have resources and best practices to feed data-driven change.”

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Grace Dille
Grace Dille
Grace Dille is MeriTalk's Assistant Managing Editor covering the intersection of government and technology.