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Deloitte, Beeck Center at Georgetown University Release New Playbook Examining How Government Leaders Can Improve Social Impact Through Open Data Strategies

Thinking about adding a chief data officer? Article series reveals ways chief data officers can help your agency and the public good.

WASHINGTON, Feb. 5, 2019 — A new playbook launched by Deloitte’s Center for Government Insights and the Beeck Center for Social Impact + Innovation at Georgetown University provides insights into the role of the chief data officer (CDO) and how it has evolved in today’s federal government. The “Chief Data Officer in Government: A CDO Playbook,” consists of seven chapters, focusing on the key issues and trends affecting public sector data while also examining strategies CDOs could apply.

“Public sector data are growing increasingly important for a variety of reasons, including public pressure for more transparency and accountability,” said William D. Eggers, executive director, Center for Government Insights, Deloitte. “The government collects and produces an abundance of data, on topics ranging from health care and housing to domestic and national security. In addition to creating more efficient operations, effective application of this kind of data has the potential to improve government operations. The approaches outlined in this playbook can help the government use this data to gain greater insight, optimize resources, and improve mission delivery.”

“Leaders working at the intersection of data, technology, and governance have an opportunity to leverage that data to improve social outcomes for people and society,” said Sonal Shah, executive director at the Beeck Center for Social Impact and Innovation, Georgetown University. “The CDO playbook is not just for government CDOs, but for government executives who want to better understand how to best share data across the public and private sectors, how to train public sector leaders, and ways to leverage new tools for greater impact.”

Each of the seven chapters explores some of the toughest challenges CDOs face, and provides strategic insights on how to counteract them:

  • Turning public data to the public good – As digital tools and technologies continue to evolve rapidly, the role of data in government and the roles of those who oversee it will require more clarity and definition if governments wish to effectively use data to further the public good.
  • Connecting data to residents through data storytelling – Government, at all levels, can better engage with constituents through data storytelling: going beyond the numbers to craft narratives about issues people care about.
  • Promoting machine learning in government – Machine learning is a powerful and versatile technology, but a number of factors are restraining adoption in both the private sector and government. Five vectors of progress in machine learning can change that.
  • Overcoming obstacles to open data-sharing – Governmental CDOs can take the lead in making data publicly accessible, allowing citizens to help find solutions for thorny social problems, but challenges could stand in the way.
  • Implementing the DATA Act for greater transparency and accessibility – The Federal DATA Act has the potential to increase internal management efficiency and transparency by creating an open data set for all federal spending.
  • CDOs, health data and the Open Science movement – Government CDOs may be among the best placed to encourage health care stakeholders to practice Open Science—the idea that knowledge must flow freely across the scientific community to accelerate breakthroughs that benefit society.
  • Managing algorithmic risks – Automated decision-making algorithms can have many uses in government—but they also entail risks such as bias, errors, and fraud. CDOs can help reduce these risks while capitalizing on these tools’ potential.

To learn more about the CDO Playbook or to read any of the seven chapters within, visit: Deloitte's Center for Government Insights. Additional chapters will be added in the near future with topics such as data ethics, data lakes and crafting a data strategy.

Deloitte’s Center for Government Insights produces groundbreaking research to help government solve its most complex problems. Through forums and immersive workshops, we engage with public officials on a journey of positive transformation, crystallizing insights to help them understand trends, overcome constraints and expand the limits of what is possible.

The Playbook reflects a series of convenings held at the Beeck Center for Social Impact and Innovation bringing together multi-sector leaders on technology and data in the public sector, including Chief Data Officers. Through a grant from the Rockefeller Foundation, the Beeck Center is also creating a network of cross-sector leaders to transform government by leveraging data and technology to deliver better services for people.

About Deloitte
Deloitte provides industry-leading audit, consulting, tax and advisory services to many of the world’s most admired brands, including more than 85 percent of the Fortune 500 and more than 6,000 private and middle market companies. Our people work across more than 20 industry sectors to make an impact that matters—delivering measurable and lasting results that help reinforce public trust in our capital markets, inspire clients to see challenges as opportunities to transform and thrive, and help lead the way toward a stronger economy and a healthy society. Deloitte is proud to be part of the largest global professional services network serving our clients in the markets that are most important to them.

About Beeck Center for Social Impact + Innovation at Georgetown University
The Beeck Center is an experiential hub at Georgetown University that trains students and incubates scalable, leading edge ideas for social change. We believe impact at scale requires the courage to think and behave differently. Our work centers on investing in outcomes for individuals and society. We equip future global leaders with the mindset to promote outcome-driven solutions, using the tools of finance, data, and civic voice. We convene actors across the public, private, and civic sectors to advance new tools, frameworks, and approaches necessary to achieve these outcomes.

Media contact:

Megan Doern
Public Relations
Deloitte Services LP
+1 571 858 1990

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