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Goal 1: Develop a data-driven culture and workforce

Develop a strong, data-driven culture and a highly skilled data & analytics workforce across the Federal government.

The Federal workforce is the government’s most important asset as it embodies the government’s culture, values, and knowledge, and delivers on its mission. The workforce is critical to advancing a data-driven culture and leveraging the Federal government’s rich data assets for evidence-based decision-making. Over the next few years, OPM will vigorously promote training programs, creative learning opportunities, and data skill-matched hiring to increase data fluency, both across the Federal government and within OPM.

To that end, OPM’s data strategy takes a broad approach to data competency development by emphasizing the specific opportunities for the government-wide workforce (Objectives 1.1–1.2), the government-wide human capital analyst community (Objective 1.3), and OPM’s workforce (Objectives 1.4 and 1.5).

Making decisions that produce high-quality results depends on the ability to ask the right questions, analyze key problems, and understand risks using data. Executive data fluency is critical to the Evidence Act requirement that Federal agencies develop evidence to support policymaking. OPM will improve data-informed decision-making at the executive level by including data fluency in the Federal Executive Core Qualification (ECQ) framework, which will help drive the focus of data skill development as an essential part of executive leadership development and preparation.

To enable agencies to have the skills to effectively build evidence and accomplish their organizational missions, OPM will partner with agencies and government-wide councils to develop standard assessment models for conducting data skills gap analyses. OPM will also partner in building evidence for updating classification standards by evaluating artificial intelligence, data analytics and data management roles to determine where occupational series should be established or updated.

With the largest workforce in the country and perhaps the largest body of human capital data analysts, the Federal Government has unparalleled opportunities to gain insight and deliver better decision-making capabilities through collaborative efforts. OPM will promote a CHCO Council Human Capital Data Working Group, Federal Human Capital Data Analytics Community of Practice, and OPM learning incubators to jumpstart or improve their data-driven initiatives and deliver quick wins.

CHCO Council Human Capital Data Working Group: The Human Capital Data Working Group seeks to serve as a strategic partner to OPM on its data strategy and plays an advisory role in the Human Capital Analytics Community of Practice. The working group is working to improve data and dashboarding support to agencies in planning for the future of the workforce and enabling agencies to attract and retain talent with the skills needed to achieve their missions. This includes facilitating the sharing of dashboards and visualizations that agencies find useful, modernizing data collection methods so that data is collected and made available on a centralized basis for agency use, and working collectively to upgrade the skills of agency personnel making use of the data.

The Human Capital Data Analytics Community of Practice: The Human Capital Data Analytics Community of Practice is a grass-roots community of practitioners working together to identify and solve common problems. This community will enable data analytics practitioners across the Federal government to share methods, tools, and insights across Federal agencies. It will provide a forum where all agencies will have the opportunity to improve their data analytics capability; and it will identify opportunities where solutions to key challenges and questions that are common across agencies can be discovered once and replicated or tailored for reuse. Learning from this community will propagate laterally to other professionals and have a catalytic effect on the entire workforce.

OPM will leverage its data competency model and skills assessments to design and deliver data skills training programs to OPM staff. By matching data competencies to positions, OPM will enable delivery of advanced analytics and machine learning training to data professionals, while also increasing data fluency among non-data professionals. OPM will also promote a stimulating work environment to create continual opportunities for employees to grow in their application of data practices, tools, and skills in decision-making. Furthermore, OPM will share achievements, success stories, and additional resources to strengthen OPM’s data-driven culture.

OPM will revamp its position descriptions and hiring practices to include required data skills. Furthermore, OPM will define new data-oriented positions that match the organization’s growing needs. These are important steps to ensure that the organization proactively addresses skill gaps and continues to make progress towards achieving a data-driven culture.
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