Better results from better data
Anyone who has changed jobs in the federal government knows first-hand why data standards are the foundation of efficient processes. Civil servants who move to a different agency often have to print out all their benefits information from the previous agency so it can be rekeyed by HR staff at the new agency, according to Jessica Salmoiraghi, the associate administrator at the Office of Government-wide Policy at the General Services Administration.
"The process is broken," she told the audience at FCW's March 21 Modernizing for the Mission event. "The feeder systems in your old agency don't match to the feeder systems at your new agency. It's a manual process that's rife with mistakes." GSA is working with the Office of Personnel Management on governmentwide data standards that would eliminate the headaches and wasted time associated with processes like changing jobs.
Standardized data has already helped agencies save money by more efficiently managing office space and fleet vehicles. GSA's Real Property Management Tool consolidates data on rented properties and occupancy agreements and uses data visualizations to help agencies find opportunities for office consolidations, colocations and disposals. The Federal Fleet Inventory Tool delivers a more robust view of fleet inventory and operating costs, potentially saving $.26 per mile, Salmoiraghi said. Accurate data also ensures per-diem rates reflect local costs.
Following the President's Management Agenda to move toward "higher value work," GSA developed a solicitation review tool that unlike many robotic processes that eliminate data entry, actually analyzes federal IT solicitations posted on fbo.gov. It uses natural language processing, text mining and machine learning to predict whether they are compliant with Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act.
Find out more about the Office of Government-wide Policy's work on building a data standards culture in the video above.
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