Carlene Ileto, deputy chief data officer at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), explained the agency’s data strategy and data governance approaches at a Feb. 23 virtual event organized by FCW, and emphasized how DHS is aiming to use data for making evidence-based decisions.

“Today, the Chief Data Officer Directorate (CDO D) is leading the charge to really provide line of sight data across DHS and external entities in order to encourage transparency to inform evidence-based decision making,” Ileto said.

She explained how making data more visible and shareable helps to “support the required depth and breadth of meaningful data analysis across the department.”

Data accessibility, Ileto said, is a key to the agency’s data strategy and ensures ease of availability of data to authorized users. Another facet of DHS’ data strategy includes making data linkable to ensure the department adheres to industry best practices for open data standards, as well as maintaining data transparency to ensure data is credible.

“Our data governance structure is one of the most important parts of our data management efforts,” said Ileto. “It links together the six governance categories of data: data quality, security, sharing, analytics, operations, and data culture. And as required by the Evidence-Based Act of 2018, DHS established a data governance structure that includes the first tier of being the CDO council that manages the oversight of enterprise data.”

Ileto said that to share data appropriately, a common data standard must be in place to allow interoperability. This has given rise to a “mean standard,” Ileto said, with the National Information Exchange model being the standard for DHS.

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Jordan Smith
Jordan Smith
Jordan Smith is a MeriTalk Senior Technology Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.