“It could be any day.”

That’s what U.S. Bureau of Economics Analysis Chief of Policy Communication Lucas Hitt said at an ACT-IAC meeting today when he provided an update on the much-awaited release of the Federal Data Strategy, which may come out as early as this week.

The release of the strategy – which would provide interagency guidance to create consistency across Federal data use and access – will be the third of four steps the data strategy team is rolling out.

The draft principles and final principles came out in July and October 2018, respectively, and the expected May release will contain principles and practices. The final step will be the release of the Year 1 Action Plan, which Hitt said will be in August.

Between each of the steps, Hitt said, the public and other stakeholders have had the opportunity to provide feedback, which the strategy team processes through big data analytic tools to analyze. The team considers the results and integrates them into each following iteration of the strategy. Hitt said that with each release, the feedback has been more substantive, and has improved the practices the team has assembled.

The strategy so far has three main principles cemented: ethical governance, conscious design of the data system, and a learning culture.

The expected May release will publish the final iteration of the practices with the principles, which Hitt said is currently a list of 40 actions that promote the value of data, as well as the importance of governing, managing, and protecting it.

“You’re going to find some practices here that focus on prioritization, prioritization of datasets,” Hitt added.

In addition to the release of the Federal Data Strategy this month, the strategy team will roll out a draft of the Year 1 Action Plan for public feedback. Hitt said there are currently 16 steps in the action plan that will cover broad areas including data governance. Following that, there will be two forums – one public, and one for Federal officials only.

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Melissa Harris