(US & Canada) VIDEO | Data Strategy Should Be Quality-Driven, Mission-Focused, Interconnected, Forward-Leading — US Immigration and Customs Enforcement CDO

Carin Quiroga, Chief Data Officer of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), speaks with Adita Karkera, Chief Data Officer for Government and Public Services at Deloitte, in a video interview about her professional journey, the role of the CDO, building a data strategy, four goals of the data strategy journey, and building the Data Bodega platform.

From wanting to become a dolphin trainer to starting in IT and then transitioning into data, Quiroga sheds light on her background. Her first job was in IT, starting with building computers and networking that led her within the federal government, where she spent 11 years at U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) before joining ICE.

At ICE, Quiroga was the branch chief under a software delivery division before becoming the CDO two years ago. Before her joining, the CDO role was outside of the Office of the Chief Information Officer but was in the Management and Administration (M&A) role tied to privacy and Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).

Two years ago, the CDO role was moved into the Chief Information Office. Further, she affirms doing her research to understand where the role fits and states that while the role sits in the OCIO, her responsibility is tied to the business.

A CDO is the person who can facilitate the two ends and bring them together, says Quiroga. Speaking of the data strategy journey, she mentions focusing on becoming an action-oriented office and tackling the data gaps.

To identify the challenges, Quiroga communicated with different stakeholders and leaders across ICE and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and created the IT Data modernization roadmap. Further, the office created a framework that focuses on collecting, automating, and using the right data to become data-driven.

This aided in identifying gaps and then the data strategy was built ensuring it is quality-driven, mission-focused, interconnected, and forward-leading. In continuation, Quiroga discusses the four strategic goals:

  1. Keeping data secure

  2. Making data accessible

  3. Staying connected with stakeholders

  4. Having reliable data

When asked to share specific data initiatives, Quiroga mentions the gaps found in data exchange and sharing aspects that led to identifying a better way to ensure data access.

To fill in the gap, having a data catalog was critical, and that led to the creation of the Data Bodega platform, says Quiroga. With this, the organization is trying to create a centralized location that everyone can rely on for anything related to data.

While it is not a data warehouse, affirms Quiroga, the platform will help individuals know how to get data access and where to get it from. She concludes that it can also create APIs for technical users to connect with, or they can download the data to do their analytics.

CDO Magazine appreciates Carin Quiroga for sharing her insights with our global community.

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