Management

The evolving role of the chief data officer

data door

The role of chief data officer in the federal government continues to evolve, according to members of the profession.

"I'm part of a team that's working on the whole life cycle, the architecture, the technology,...the policy and management practices, and then they have to work together because they are interconnected," said Dan Morgan, chief data officer at the Transportation Department, during at a data summit organized by the Advanced Technology Academic Research Center.

Linda Powell, chief data officer at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, reports to the CIO and said that is where the position of a CDO should live.

"At this point, [the bureau is] five years young, and we are still doing a lot of building," she said. "I often talk about data being the link between the business and the technology, and you have to have the understanding of both and you have to have some influence, if not control, over both."

Powell said she has talked more about server clusters than metadata in the past year. And that is perfectly fine. "We need to have both sides of it."

By contrast, Jeff Chen, chief data scientist at the Commerce Department, said his office is more collaboration-driven than the CIO's office, which deals more with cybersecurity issues.

About the Author

Aisha Chowdhry is a former staff writer for FCW.


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