MITRE Response to the Request for Comments on the CAP Goal: Leveraging Data as a Strategic Asset (Phase 2)

November 2018
Topics: Data Analytics, Data Management
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In March 2018, the Trump Administration launched the President's Management Agenda (PMA). It lays out a long-term vision for modernizing the Federal Government in key areas that will improve the ability of agencies to deliver mission outcomes, provide excellent service, and effectively steward taxpayer dollars on behalf of the American people. The PMA established a Cross-Agency Priority (CAP) goal of Leveraging Data as a Strategic Asset with an intended purpose of guiding development of a comprehensive long-term Federal Data Strategy to grow the economy, increase the effectiveness of the Federal Government, facilitate oversight, and promote transparency

During development of the Federal Data Strategy, an interagency team published a draft data framework that consisted of 47 data practices. This team then requested feedback on the framework and data practices, specifically asking for better framework ideas, as well as suggestions to add, delete and/or modify the individual data practices so that the Federal Data Strategy could enhance its chances of meeting the goals prescribed in the President’s Management Agenda.

MITRE has direct experience assisting federal agencies leverage government and private-sector data to meet critical mission needs. Per the Federal Acquisition Regulation, FFRDCs can have unique access to both sensitive government data and proprietary private sector data–and both the government and the public sector have regularly trusted MITRE to access and leverage their data. Thus, we have combined and leveraged a variety of data sources in support of research, analysis, and the development of new operational capabilities on important national issues. 

MITRE agreed with the concept of basing the Federal Data Strategy on a collection of practices and action steps, but felt that the draft framework needed to be simplified.  The final practices will have the greatest impact when they are easily understood and it is readily apparent which apply to each impacted actor within the federal data ecosystem. The originally drafted framework, however, attempted to organize forty-seven practices around (a) five objectives, (b) ten principles, and (c) six lifecycle steps. The result was a three-dimensional matrix that requires an excessive amount of effort to fully comprehend.

As requested, MITRE reviewed the current framework and considered how to restate and organize the practices so that they would have the greatest impact. In so doing, we strove to reach a final product that fit on a single page, thus allowing federal agencies to orient around a set of easy-to-reference data strategy practices.

NoteThis RFI response is one in a series of MITRE’s input into the development of the Federal Data Strategy.

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