(US & Canada) VIDEO | Siloization of Data Is a Key Reason Behind Public Sector Resistance to Change — Commonwealth of Virginia CDO

Ken Pfeil, Chief Data Officer at the Commonwealth of Virginia, speaks with Adita Karkera, Chief Data Officer of Government and Public Services at Deloitte, in a video interview about data modernization challenges in different sectors, building the Commonwealth Data Trust and Universal Entity Index, the data trust automation project, having an open data portal, and community support.

Speaking about the challenges faced in data modernization, Pfeil states that while the private sector is more data-mature, the public sector is resistant to change. He notes that it has been challenging to apply the lessons learned in the private sector to the public sector for a variety of reasons.

Pfeil affirms speaking with peers across the country to find out that siloization of the data is the common reason behind public sector resistance. He says that when an agency holds the data in its custody, it fails to understand that data sharing will lead to better outcomes.

Next, Pfeil asserts that it requires a lot of relationship-building to be able to draw the parallels. He then sheds light on building the data trust which has two major moving parts - Commonwealth Data Trust and Universal Entity Index.

The commonwealth data trust is set up for agency-to-agency sharing or locality-to-locality sharing and the universal entity index is built of 8.7 million Virginians. He mentions assigning a global unique identifier to each Virginian and that assures outcomes while maintaining anonymization, keeping everything private, and secure.

The Commonwealth Data Trust side of the house has a common MOU, continues Pfeil. This was created by the Office of the Attorney General with input from all the other general attorneys assigned to certain agencies, he adds.

In the 27-page document, the first 22 pages list the organization’s obligations to each agency to keep the data private, keeping it secure, classifications, and roles. All of these obligations must be in sync with the board’s governance policies and the organization is working on that.

Delving further, Pfeil mentions kicking off the data trust automation project within the agency. With the common MOU, he asserts saving 6 days of an attorney’s time. As the trustee of Commonwealth Data Trust, he shares that three of its healthcare agencies are already engaged in three-way data sharing.

Also Read
(US & Canada) VIDEO | We Work with Data Throughout the Commonwealth — Commonwealth of Virginia CDO
Ken Pfeil, Commonwealth of Virginia Chief Data Officer

However, Pfeil confirms not having any mandate over the specifics of information shared as it is understood that there are certain agreements that the agencies have to abide by. He states that the agencies decide what data to share and the organization facilitates the data transfer from one agency to another.

Regarding the future of the data trust automation project, Pfeil states that the agency is working to cut down the time taken for a task from two days to 10 minutes. For instance, if someone wants to change the data shared, or wants to share it with another agency, they currently have to go through the paper format. However, the agency is working to automate everything in the system, enabling the users to complete the task within 10 minutes.

On the other side, says Pfeil, there is the agency’s open data portal of datavirginia.gov that has been set up for transparency purposes as per Virginia code. Within that, the agency federates one locality’s public data to another and vice-versa.

Furthermore, Pfeil mentions having a lot of locality partners from 103 localities and has personally met eight localities to understand their goals and objectives. He appreciates having great partners at Norfolk and Virginia Beach and cherishes having great community relationships.

When asked about adding addendums for data sharing requirements, Pfeil states that adding repeated addendums is not required after automation. He concludes by saying that after one addendum is added, there is a revision history, with logging, accountability, authorization, and authentication on it.

CDO Magazine appreciates Ken Pfeil for sharing his insights and data success stories with our global community.

Executive Interviews

No stories found.
CDO Magazine