Former CDO, Agriculture Department, and Chair, Federal CDO Council
Ted Kaouk believes his biggest achievements this past year were establishing a new cadre of data leadership at the Agriculture Department with an assistant chief data officer in each of USDA’s eight mission areas supported by centralized analytics teams to perform and advance the use of analytics.
The agency also launched its first analytics services program to deliver an enterprise analytics platform that provides a centrally available set of tools and connected data sources that enable a broad range of analytics and data sharing across USDA’s 29 agencies and offices.
Kaouk, who also chairs the Federal CDO Council, says he has had the privilege of working with over 80 other agency CDOs to shape the vision and goals for the first year of the council.
“The new federal CDO community is filled with dedicated, creative, ethical and entrepreneurial leaders whose first focus is service,” Kaouk says. “Our members have shown that we are all about getting things done and pooling our collective knowledge to accelerate our work. We are excited by our partnerships that light the way ahead and help align our resources while we together improve the nation’s ability to leverage data as a strategic asset.”
As he looks to the future, Kaouk says he believes his team has recognized that to better understand how the USDA can deliver equitable and effective service, it needs a deep bench in its workforce with the best in data acumen and customer experience competencies.
To make progress while gaining better insights into their broader needs, USDA is fostering communities of practice in areas like data visualization, advanced analytics and data stewardship, while conducting a broader assessment with supervisors on the data skills they will need and a roadmap for closing any skills gaps.