Data

State to set up analytics office

"Department of state" by U.S. Government - Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons.

The State Department plans to set up an analytics office to harness big data, an area in which the department says it needs to do better.

The analytics “hub” will house “the best available resources in a scalable, entrepreneurial start-up environment to solve complex problems,” according to the Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review, the department’s strategic plan that was published April 28. The office will integrate data from other agencies and from outside government, and will boost the flow of information across the department’s posts around the world, the document said.

The analytics office is a central piece of the department’s quest for more data-driven diplomacy and policy analysis. The QDDR also calls for “continuously updating our technology,” to bolster a strategy that “will encourage the use of data science in making decisions and evaluating their impact.”

The document also said the U.S. Agency for International Development should find a means of using data to better inform decision-making and program evaluation. 

“The idea is we want to put a lot more muscle behind those efforts to think about this information environment differently, to think about lessons learned differently,” Tom Perriello, the State Department’s lead official for the QDDR, said in a press briefing. 

About the Author

Sean Lyngaas is an FCW staff writer covering defense, cybersecurity and intelligence issues. Prior to joining FCW, he was a reporter and editor at Smart Grid Today, where he covered everything from cyber vulnerabilities in the U.S. electric grid to the national energy policies of Britain and Mexico. His reporting on a range of global issues has appeared in publications such as The Atlantic, The Economist, The Washington Diplomat and The Washington Post.

Lyngaas is an active member of the National Press Club, where he served as chairman of the Young Members Committee. He earned his M.A. in international affairs from The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, and his B.A. in public policy from Duke University.

Click here for previous articles by Lyngaas, or connect with him on Twitter: @snlyngaas.


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