State Department sets out 3-year timeline for new data strategy

(U.S. Department of State / Flickr)

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The State Department has outlined plans to launch a new data strategy over the next three years, which it says will ensure the U.S. continues to have a world-leading diplomatic service.

State’s new data strategy is centered on four goals including the cultivation of a data-focused culture, accelerated decision-making through analytics, and enhanced data governance, according to policy documents published Monday.

“When our foreign affairs professionals are equipped with high-quality and timely data, we can help make the world safer, more just, and less divided,” the department said in the documents. “This strategy, and a following implementation plan, are set on a three-year time horizon to create momentum, deliver rapid return on its efforts to support the department’s workforce, and provide accountability to American taxpayers.”

Specific details of the strategy outlined by the State Department include plans to hire new staff with data expertise and changes to how it uses metrics to assess the efficacy of agency programs.

The launch of State’s new strategy comes just days after the Department of Commerce launched a similar data plan for fiscal years 2021 to 2024. That plan also sets out an array of strategic goals for that department to adhere to, including coordinating data collaboration and more efficient data access and analysis.

Under the new strategy, State said it will also seek to pilot and scale artificial intelligence and machine learning applications to accelerate decision-making.

Agencies across the federal government have been forced to fast-track their approach to digital security and the use of data following the Biden administration’s cybersecurity executive order in May.

Under the Evidence-Based Policymaking Act, which was passed in 2018, agencies are mandated to increase the visibility of data and promote its use for decision-making.

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Department of Commerce (DOC), Evidence-based policymaking, State Department
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