2018 State Standard of Excellence

3. Data Leadership

Did the governor’s office or any state agency have a senior staff member(s) with the authority, staff, and budget to collect, analyze, share, and use high-quality administrative and survey data—consistent with strong privacy protections—to improve (or help other entities including but not limited to local governments and nonprofit organizations improve) federal, state, and local programs? (Example: chief data officer)

Why is this important?
A designated chief data officer can create a coherent set of policies, structures, and guidance for how a state government and its agencies should routinely use data to improve programs.

Leading Example

Indiana Outline



A 2017 Indiana law established the position of chief data officer (p. 8) with the budget, staff, and authority to (1) coordinate data analytics and data transparency for state agencies; (2) advise state agencies regarding best practices for data maintenance, security, and privacy; and (3) oversee the Indiana Management Performance Hub, which uses state data, such as the Education and Workforce Development database, to provide “analytics solutions tailored to address complex management and policy questions enabling improved outcomes.”

Promising Examples



A 2017 Arkansas law (1) created the position of chief data officer with the authority, staff, and budget to “provide master data management by facilitating standardization, deduplication, sharing, and integration of critical data between systems and state agencies” [section 1(b)(1)(A)]; and (2) created the position of chief privacy officer to ensure the state’s compliance with data privacy protections and laws.



A 2014 Connecticut executive order established the position of chief data officer, launched the state’s Open Data Initiative, and required each state agency to designate an agency data officer, “an upper level manager with broad knowledge of agency operations and data holdings, along with an understanding of the legal and policy issues surrounding the agency’s data.” The chief data officer established the Open Data Advisory Council and developed the state’s Open Data Publisher Guide, a resource for accessing the data portal. Under the chief data officer’s leadership, the state has streamlined the data-sharing process, automated the publication of open data, and leveraged data as a strategic asset for state agencies and departments.



A 2016 Michigan executive order requires the director of the Department of Technology, Management, and Budget to designate a chief data officer to “carry out the powers, duties, functions and responsibilities of implementing the Enterprise Information Management program.” The Enterprise Information Management program established statewide protocols for data sharing, management, and governance. As part of these efforts, Michigan developed a statewide data sharing agreement template to facilitate improved data sharing among its agencies and departments.



North Carolina’s chief data officer oversees the North Carolina Government Data Analytics Center, which manages data sharing, integration, and data analytics to improve service delivery and the efficiency of services. In this role, the chief data officer has the authority, staff, and budget “to transform existing data assets into an information utility for the state’s policy and operational leaders for their use in making program investment decisions, managing resources, and improving financial programs, budgets, and results.”