Five Ways the Department of Commerce Supports a Data-Enabled Economy


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Open For Business

Through its 12 bureaus, the Department of Commerce creates the conditions for economic growth and opportunity on both a domestic and global scale. As the voice of business in the President’s Cabinet, Secretary Pritzker has spearheaded the Department of Commerce’s “Open for Business Agenda” Strategic Plan and focused on five strategic goals: trade and investment, innovation, environment, data and operational excellence. Secretary Pritzker’s two-year anniversary is this Friday, June 26, and each day this week we are highlighting one of our strategic pillars by recognizing recent achievements.

The Data pillar of the Strategic Plan calls for transforming the Department’s data capacity to enhance the value, accessibility and usability of Commerce data for government, business and the public; improving data-based services, decision-making, and data sharing within the Department and with other parts of the federal government; and collaborating with the business community to provide more timely, accurate, and relevant data products and services for customers.

According to a 2013 McKinsey Global Institute Report, open data could add more than $3 trillion in total value annually to the education, transportation, consumer products, electricity, oil and gas, healthcare, and consumer finance sectors worldwide. If more of this data could be efficiently released, organizations will be able to develop new and innovative products and services to help us better understand our planet and keep communities resilient from extreme events.

Data are the fuel of the modern economy, and the Department of Commerce publishes valuable new data every second of every day, from NOAA’s weather report data to Census’s population data to NIST’s time service data. The continued excellence with daily operations of sharing data every day confirms that the Department of Commerce is America’s Data Agency.

Here are five important accomplishments in Data since Secretary Pritzker joined the Commerce Department:

  1. ESA assembled 19 technology leaders and established the Commerce Data Advisory Council to provide guidance and insight into how the Department of Commerce should analyze, promote, and disseminate its trove of data.
  2. Commerce engaged with data users and launched a new Developer Outreach Program, which led to the launch of the Trade Developer Portal and a “City Software Development Kit” at the National Day of Civic Hacking.
  3. Commerce recruited a new data team, led by the Department’s first-ever Chief Data Officer Ian Kalin, to improve the operations of the Department. The team is focused on the distribution and use of open data.
  4. NOAA established Cooperative Research and Development Agreements to handle their Big Data initiative.
  5. NYU’s GovLab worked with the Commerce Department, specifically USPTO, to shape the bureau’s open data roadmap. Govlab also outlined private sector recommendations for improving Commerce Department data management, which led to more data jams with data users.

The progress that the U.S. Department of Commerce has made reflects both the dedication of Secretary Pritzker as well as the commitment of our 47,000 Commerce employees, to keeping America Open for Business.

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Last updated: 2015-10-26 14:26

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