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  • March 24, 2021 9:00 AM | Data Coalition Team (Administrator)

    Today the U.S. Department of Education released the results of a new monthly, nationally-representative, and high-quality survey about the impacts of COVID-19 on students and schools across the country. On behalf of the Data Coalition members, Data Foundation President Nick Hart issued the following statement about the release of initial survey results:

    “When the Data Coalition called for the U.S. Department of Education to launch a School Pulse Survey in late 2020, the hope was that such a resource would provide critical information to decision-makers at the federal, state, and local level for protecting children and promoting learning at schools across the country. With the first release of data from the School Pulse Survey this week, the Department of Education is providing long-overdue leadership and a much-needed resource to support decision-making using data. The Data Coalition applauds the Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences,  National Center for Education Statistics and leaders across government who made this innovative open data resource possible.”

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    The Data Coalition is an initiative of the non-profit Data Foundation. The membership-based initiative facilitates a strong national data community and advocates for responsible policies to make government data high-quality, accessible, and usable. The Data Coalition’s work unites the data communities that focus on data science, management, evaluation, statistics, and technology, including individuals in companies, nonprofit organizations, and academia.


  • December 21, 2020 9:00 AM | Data Coalition Team (Administrator)

    Washington, D.C. – The recent bipartisan deal on FY 2021 appropriations for the Federal government and coronavirus relief includes numerous priorities that advance the country’s data ecosystem. The “Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021” includes the Data Coalition-endorsed AI in Government Act, modernization for public health data systems, and targeted resources for implementing the Foundations for Evidence-Based Policymaking Act. Data Coalition Chief Executive Officer Nick Hart, Ph.D. issued the following statement on the bipartisan agreement: 

    The Data Coalition applauds the efforts in Congress to prioritize our country’s data infrastructure in the omnibus appropriations. Inclusion of the bipartisan AI in Government Act builds on recent actions to ensure the United States plans for rapid advances in technologies and data analytics in coming years, and that our government will be positioned to lead the world in responsibly using AI. 

    The Data Coalition is also pleased to see a targeted proposal to modernize public health data systems, aligning with recommendations offered by the Data Coalition in early 2020 as the coronavirus pandemic highlighted the major need for updates to the current infrastructure. The modernization proposal provides a productive path for advancing public health data standards and improving secure data sharing that can enhance the quality of health statistics, improve medical practice, and encourage the application of evidence-based practice. 

    The Data Coalition appreciates Congress allocating some resources for federal agencies, including the General Services Administration to implement the OPEN Government Data Act and Foundations for Evidence-Based Policymaking Act. Yet the resources allocated by appropriators and agencies pale in comparison to the tremendous needs for building capabilities for realistically and transparently using data for the public good. The Data Coalition encourages agencies in FY 2021 to prioritize resources and funding flexibilities to adequately resource evidence-building and data-management needs.  


  • December 04, 2020 9:00 AM | Data Coalition Team (Administrator)

    In September, Reps Will Hurd (R-Texas) and Robin Kelly (D-Ill) introduced a concurrent resolution calling for the creation of a national artificial intelligence strategy. On Thursday, December 3rd, Data Coalition CEO Nick Hart issued the following statement on the resolution:

    Artificial intelligence (AI) applications hold tremendous potential for devising strategies to improve government services. The Data Coalition enthusiastically endorses H.Res.1250, co-sponsored by Rep. Will Hurd (R-TX) and Rep. Robin Kelly (D-IL). The joint resolution presents a clear strategy for materially improving and rapidly advancing the use of AI across the federal government. In particular, the Data Coalition strongly encourages the Executive Branch to prioritize further implementation of the Foundations for Evidence-Based Policymaking Act and the OPEN Government Data Act to assist in the rapid adoption of AI. With these existing laws the adoption of AI envisioned in the Hurd-Kelley resolution can be achieved by transparently and equitably promoting the use of high-quality data across government. The Data Coalition calls on the 116th Congress to approve the bipartisan Hurd-Kelly resolution to create a national AI strategy.


  • October 08, 2020 9:00 AM | Data Coalition Team (Administrator)

    Washington, D.C. – Data Coalition Chief Executive Officer Nick Hart, Ph.D. issued the following statement on the Government Accountability Office's report assessing the progress of federal agency implementation of the OPEN Government Data Act, released October 8, 2020: 

    The White House’s lack of prioritization for implementing the OPEN Government Data Act is exceedingly disappointing. Nearly two years after enactment of a milestone open data law intended to support transparency and accountability of our government, the Office of Management and Budget has failed to issue implementation guidance. The Data Coalition calls on OMB to address GAO’s recommendations, specifically issuing guidance to provide agencies meaningful direction for ensuring inventories of government data assets are timely, comprehensive, and useful. In the interim, the Data Coalition encourages all federal agencies to continue promising efforts to implement the OPEN Government Data Act, supporting the new chief data officers, sharing and updating data inventories, and increasing the prevalence of open data provided to the American public.


  • August 21, 2020 9:00 AM | Data Coalition Team (Administrator)

    On Friday, August 21, Rep. Scott Peters (D-CA), Rep. Lucy McBath (D-GA), Rep. Anna G. Eshoo (D-18) and Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA) introduced the bipartisan Health Standards to Advance Transparency, Integrity, Science, Technology Infrastructure, and Confidential Statistics Act of 2020 (Health STATISTICS Act). Data Coalition CEO Nick Hart issued the following statement on the bill’s introduction:

    The pandemic highlights something we have known for years – that our country’s data infrastructure needs continuous improvement and resources to adjust to emerging priorities. The lack of certain health data standards limits our ability to reliably and meaningfully use data to generate insights for decision-makers inside and outside government. The bipartisan Health STATISTICS Act promotes the rapid adoption and use of existing data standards created by industry and non-profit partners, while also planning for future data innovation. The Data Coalition is pleased to endorse the Health STATISTICS Act legislation that will ultimately support evidence-based decision-making, higher quality open data, and responsible data sharing. The Data Coalition members look forward to rapid advancement of this important legislation that will result in much-needed and long-overdue improvements to public health data standards.


  • August 20, 2020 9:00 AM | Data Coalition Team (Administrator)

    Nick Hart, CEO of the Data Coalition and President of the Data Foundation, has been appointed to serve as a member of the Federal Government's Advisory Committee on Data for Evidence Building.

    The new advisory committee was established by the Foundations for Evidence-Based Policymaking Act of 2018, or the Evidence Act (P.L. 115-435). The committee will provide advice to the Director of the White House Office of Management and Budget about strategies for improving government data sharing, applying privacy-protective techniques, and reviewing capabilities across the government.

    “I am honored to be appointed to this important committee, which will help rapidly advance the potential for our government and society to meaningfully use data to improve the lives of the American people,” Hart said. “While our country has made notable progress in recent years for more strategically using government data, we have a long road ahead to deploy modern technologies and methods for data analytics while also ensuring adequate privacy safeguards are in place.” 

    Hart previously served as the Policy and Research Director for the U.S. Commission on Evidence-Based Policymaking, which formulated recommendations that led to the Evidence Act and the creation of the committee.

    Members of the advisory committee were selected from nominated experts in government data policy, privacy, technology, transparency, evaluation, and research. In addition to experts from outside government, the committee also includes senior leaders from agencies including chief data officers, evaluation officers, and statistical officials established by the Evidence Act.  

    As the head of the non-profit Data Coalition, America’s premier voice on data policy, Hart’s work involves real-time collaboration with leaders across the private sector, non-profits, and academia developing new and innovative approaches that are relevant for the government to have accessible, high quality, and usable data. Similarly, the non-profit Data Foundation is a think tank that advances solutions to improve government and society by using data to inform public policymaking. 

    Additional details about the advisory committee and a full list of members is available at www.bea.gov/evidence


  • July 21, 2020 9:00 AM | Data Coalition Team (Administrator)

    Yesterday, the House of Representatives voted in the affirmative to advance the Taxpayers Right-to-Know Act in the William M. Thornberry National Defense Authorization Act (H.R. 6395) for Fiscal Year 2021. The bipartisan bill leverages and builds upon recent data-centric reforms like the DATA Act of 2014 and the Evidence Act of 2018. The Taxpayers Right-to-Know Act uses existing government-wide financial data standards to make information about federal expenditures more readily available and transparent to American taxpayers.This will increase the understanding of how to improve the productivity and impact of federal programs delivering valuable services to the American public. 

    The Data Coalition’s CEO Nick Hart release the following statement:

    “The Data Coalition applauds members of the House of Representatives for including and advancing the Taxpayers Right-to-Know Act (Amendment 237) in the National Defense Authorization Act (H.R. 6395) for Fiscal Year 2021. This bill will provide the American public, Congress, and federal managers valuable information to make informed decisions about the operations of the federal government. At a time when the country has a great need for transparency and accountability, the Taxpayers Right-to-Know Act will provide valuable open data that will ultimately help improve the efficiency and effectiveness of federal programs.”


  • July 08, 2020 9:00 AM | Data Coalition Team (Administrator)

    Data Coalition Chief Executive Officer Nick Hart issued the following statement on the publication of new open data from the Small Business Administration (SBA) and the Department of Treasury on the federal Paycheck Protection Program established under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act:

    The Data Coalition members appreciate the Executive Branch’s recent publication of new data resources on some of the recipients and distribution of loans under the Paycheck Protection Program. The publication of open data is an approach for enhancing government transparency and accountability. However, the Data Coalition is disappointed this information was only published following a Freedom of Information Act request, instead of proactively in compliance with the requirements signed into law by the President as part of the OPEN Data Government Act in 2019. The OPEN Government Data Act rightfully establishes an expectation that non-sensitive government data be made open by default. 

    The recently-published Paycheck Protection Program open data has substantial quality issues that should be addressed by the Treasury Department and SBA as a matter of good practice and in accordance with the Information Quality Act, the OPEN Government Data Act, and other existing federal laws. For example, the application of basic data standards for text fields in the administrative records will vastly improve analytical capabilities for researchers and oversight officials alike. 

    The Treasury Department has yet to name its Chief Data Officer under the OPEN Government Data Act, which was required to be designated over a year ago. The Data Coalition calls on the Treasury Department Secretary to rapidly designate a Chief Data Officer who can support compliance with the important provisions of that law, as well as to begin addressing data quality and accessibility issues affecting transparency and accountability related to government’s spending on the coronavirus pandemic. 

    The American public has a right to know how its government is using taxpayer dollars and this requires that the government publish high-quality data. The Data Coalition members look forward to working with the Executive Branch to continue promoting high-quality, accessible, and usable data. 


  • April 14, 2020 9:00 AM | Data Coalition Team (Administrator)

    Data Coalition Chief Executive Officer Nick Hart issued the following statement on the White House Office of Management and Budget’s (OMB) issuance of guidance to federal agencies on "Implementation Guidance for Supplemental Funding Provided in Response to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)" 

    The Data Coalition applauds the focus in the guidance on promoting evidence-based decision-making and open data, balanced with the need to expedite spending in order for resources to meet the needs of the American people and businesses. OMB’s new guidance identifies steps that align with the goal of awarding funds rapidly for mission-critical purposes, while also promoting transparency and accountability. The Data Coalition encourages agencies to lean on existing frameworks like the DATA Act of 2014, which has put federal agencies in a much better position than they were a decade ago to track and report on emergency spending.


  • March 11, 2020 9:00 AM | Data Coalition Team (Administrator)

    Washington, D.C. – Data Coalition Chief Executive Officer Nick Hart issued the following statement on the White House Office of Management and Budget’s (OMB) issuance of guidance to federal agencies on "Program Evaluation Standards and Practices" required by the Foundations for Evidence-Based Policymaking (Evidence) Act of 2018: 

    Data Coalition members welcome responsible guidance from the White House on how federal agencies use data to continuously improve federal programs. The new OMB guidance establishes reasonable standards for increasing the number and quality of evaluations available to policymakers. Data Coalition members strongly support the five principles outlined in the guidance: relevance and utility, rigor, independence and objectivity, transparency, and ethics. We look forward to working with federal agencies to implement effective evaluation practices in coming months and years. 

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