In a recent article, DJ Patil former chief data scientist for the US Government said, “Data helps us understand problems and find solutions, but we should never forget that it’s about people first.” This line struck me as central to mission we are undertaking in the innovation program here at Wake County. Let me breakdown some of the things that have been churning through my head these past few months.

I just want to say that I am fortunate to not be the first person to doing this. There is an amazing network of government data professionals that are sharing ideas and collaborating across geographic boundaries that I am basing this on. One idea in particular is the concept of Dataops for government. Tyler Kleycamp came up with this definition:

DataOps is a way to organize the people and processes involved with data that promotes communication between, and integration of, formerly siloed data, teams, and systems. It takes advantage of process change, organizational realignment, and technology to facilitate relationships between everyone who handles data. DataOps closely connects the people who collect and prepare the data, those who analyze the data, and those who put the findings from those analyses to good use.

This is something we are striving to accomplish.

Some of the specifics around this are:

  • Everyone is equally valuable – You can’t make that fancy dashboard without quality data
  • Data/Analytics is a process not a product, DataOps must focus on process-thinking aimed at achieving continuous improvement both in terms of data quality, but also analytics quality; ultimately leading to organizational/functional improvements and outcomes
  • Frequent, face-to-face communication is a requirement

Be sure to keep looking here as more details on our offerings are solidified.