Deputy Secretary for Management and Resources Brian P. McKeon signs the Department of State’s first-ever Enterprise Data Strategy at a ceremony at the Harry S Truman building. Photo: U.S. Department of State
According to the U.S. Department of State, the release of “Enterprise Data Strategy – Empowering Data Informed Diplomacy” on September 27, 2021 is a milestone in the Department’s transformation into a more data-centric organization.
The Enterprise Data Strategy (EDS) aims to help ensure that the Department’s workforce is equipped with the timely, data-informed insights necessary to make key mission and management decisions.
The EDS supports the Biden Administration’s “Memorandum on Restoring Trust in Government Through Scientific Integrity and Evidence-Based Policymaking,” Executive Order 14028: “Improving the Nation’s Cybersecurity,” and “Executive Order on the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology.”
It also supports OMB Bulletin M-13-13 (“Managing Information as an Asset”), OMB Bulletin M-19-23 (“Phase 1 Implementation of the Foundations for Evidence-Based Policymaking Act of 2018: Learning Agendas, Personnel, and Planning Guidance”), and the Department’s Agency Priority Goals: Data Informed Diplomacy. It also satisfies several other Congressional and Regulatory requirements.
The State Department says driving the creation of the EDS is the Department’s need to adapt to an ever-evolving global landscape, the need for data-driven insights, and an increase in technological innovation.
The Enterprise Data Council (EDC) led the year-long effort to develop the first EDS which involved more than 20 bureaus across the Department and 25 Chief Data Officers within the interagency and the private sector.
Through this collaborative effort, recurring data challenges were identified and converted into four goals that address the most critical area needs of the Department: Cultivating a Data Culture, Accelerating Decisions through Analytics, Establishing Mission-Driven Data Management, and Enhancing Enterprise Data Governance.
The Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources Brian P. McKeon signed the EDS and sees this strategy as a catalyst for cultural change in the Department toward harnessing the power of data for diplomacy.
The EDS connects the Department’s workforce to its vast and diverse data assets to reveal bold insights and enhance decision-making. It does so at the speed of global events, making data a true tool of diplomacy in this digital age.
Not only does the EDS ensure data is used as an instrument of diplomacy, it also fulfills mandates in Federal Data Strategy and The Foundations for Evidence-Based Policymaking Act of 2018 (P.L. 115-435).
In order to ensure the EDS is actionable and relevant to the core priorities of the Department, the EDC will oversee the implementation of the EDS over the next three years. This approach will bolster data analytics and management with a focus on two major themes every six months.
The first of these two themes is Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility (DEIA). This supports President Biden’s and Secretary Blinken’s commitment to ensuring the Department’s workforce reflects the diversity of America, as exemplified in the “Executive Order on Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility in the Federal Workforce.”
This theme also supports the Biden administration’s position that the Federal Government’s policies must reflect American values, as exemplified in the “Executive Order on Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government.”
The second theme is Strategic Competition, which highlights the importance of using data as an instrument of diplomacy to engage competitor. This theme aligns with Administration priorities outlined in the Interim National Security Strategic Guidance.