Data Modernization Leader Offers Advice in Getting Data Ready, Accurate and Accessible for 2017 Spending Reporting Deadlines
South Harwich, MA – August 26, 2015
As U.S. federal agencies are racing to prepare plans for the Department of Treasury and Office of Management and Budget’s (OMB) 2014 Digital Accountability and Transparency Act (DATA Act) implementation proposal deadline this fall, BackOffice Associates today announced comprehensive data management and mapping capabilities via a single platform to support federal agency DATA Act compliance. As the worldwide leader in information governance and data modernization solutions, BackOffice Associates enables large global organizations and government institutions to gain deep insights by harmonizing complex data environments.
“The biggest challenge for complying with the DATA Act and the Treasury’s 57 standardized data elements revolve around understanding the full breadth of agencies’ enterprise information and their data relationships. Establishing a harmonized view of an agency’s enterprise information allows it to continue using current business processes and systems while providing the required level of transparency and accountability,” said Jason Ludwig, vice president of public sector and regulated industries, BackOffice Associates. “Our experience working with multinational corporations and major government entities translates into agencies leveraging the right combination of people, process and technology, to significantly reduce the risk and minimize impacts to ongoing operations.”
The Department of Treasury and OMB have recommended in the DATA Act Playbook that agencies perform an inventory of agency data and associated business processes. BackOffice Associates offers the following insights as initial steps to address critical data challenges:
- Conduct an Enterprise Data Assessment -–The agency’s spending data is in a constant state of change, and different systems often use and define the same data differently. By analyzing how the data is stored, managed and used by the business, an enterprise data assessment can determine what data is actually relevant as well as identify gaps and data quality issues.
- Implement Data Governance – Implementing a data governance initiative early will help ensure accurate data is available and accessible, and provide the platform for analytics required to answer the inevitable questions as the public begins to use the data.
- Don’t Ditch Current Systems – With most agencies using disparate financial, budget execution, grant and contract award systems, many agencies believe upgrading to new systems will ease their data mapping and reporting systems. Regardless of the systems an agency uses, enterprise wide data quality, accuracy and relevancy can be achieved.
“The DATA Act is the first U.S. open data law, with the goal of transforming all federal spending information from disconnected documents into standardized, machine-readable data,” said Hudson Hollister, founder and executive director of the Data Transparency Coalition. “Based on directly-applicable expertise working with another large governmental treasury department, BackOffice Associates is uniquely suited to rapidly assess and manage a seemingly complex open data management issue for federal agencies.”
The Data Transparency Coalition is the nation's only open data trade association, advocating the publication of all government information as machine-readable data. Supported by BackOffice Associates and other innovative technology companies, the Coalition is pursuing a comprehensive data reform agenda for federal and state governments.