2016 Rising Star Awards
Former Deputy Chief Data Officer, Department of Commerce
- By Chase Gunter
- Nov 11, 2016
Tyrone Grandison led the Commerce Data Service, which is tasked with helping to supercharge data initiatives across the Commerce Department’s 12 bureaus.
Working with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, the Census Bureau and the Bureau of Economic Analysis, among others, the former deputy chief data officer led the team in delivering more than 15 data-driven products and services.
They include the Commerce Data Academy (which focuses on updating employees’ data skills), the Opportunity Project (which puts Census Bureau data and digital tools in the hands of the public), Midaas (which allows users to explore how income changes across geographies and demographics) and the Commerce Data Usability Project (which guides users through tens of thousands of datasets).
The work has inspired several communities to use Commerce data to build products and services that solve pressing local problems.
The projects are numerous and complex, and coworkers say what stands out most about Grandison — and how he is able to take on and accomplish so much — is his seemingly boundless energy for his work.
“He is someone who has such crazy amounts of energy,” one colleague said. “Usually when you see someone by the end of the day, they’re tired. They can’t close any more deals or write any more code.” Not Grandison. “He’s the Energizer Bunny of government.… You can’t help but get inspired by how he can keep on moving day to day.”
In addition to his intra-agency projects, Grandison has played a lead role on a series of open-data initiatives and the development of a synonym engine that uses an algorithm to autofill the search bar with recommendations for patent searches.
Chase Gunter is a former FCW staff writer.