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Maria Roat Sees Federal Data Management Maturity in 2021

Maria Roat

Deputy Federal CIO


Maria Roat Sees Federal Data Management Maturity in 2021

Maria Roat, deputy federal chief information officer at the Office of Management and Budget and a 2020 Wash100 inductee, said the soon-to-be-released Federal Data Strategy 2021 will highlight secured cross-agency collaboration, promote data skills training and emphasize data management maturity.

During her CIO stint at the Small Business Administration, Roat served as co-lead for the data strategy development team that prepared the 2020 Action Plan and Federal Data Strategy released in late 2019, GovernmentCIO reported Tuesday.

The FDS is a 10-year plan to use data as an asset in government agencies. In its first-year action plan, civilian agencies were required and expected to carry out and complete the 20 items outlined within 12 months.

In 2021, agencies will move further to reach data governance maturity, according to Roat, a past Potomac Officers Club event speaker.

“Even though 2020 was a foundational year, we’re building on that foundation in 2021,” she said. “We recognize the agencies have diverse needs, resources; they have different missions. So even as we’re looking at the execution of all of those milestones, we have to keep in mind that agencies are at different levels of maturity.”

The official said the demand for information and insights obtained from data during the COVID-19 pandemic has led agencies to speed up momentum around data use and cross-agency collaboration around data.

She urged agencies attempting to mature their own organizations to examine their inventories and the quality of their data assets to continue informing their strategic planning. She expects that agencies will focus on developing master data management programs.

Roat noted that while the initiatives are among the short-term projects agencies will take in 2021, implementing FDS is only a part of the entire IT modernization.

“There is a need for continued, sustained IT modernization across the federal government,” the deputy CIO told GovernmentCIO. “You have to have that multiyear funding and that vision to continually keep up with and leverage the changes in technology.”

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