Data and digital workforces: Agencies assess where they stand
In 2019, the Office of Management and Budget released the Federal Data Strategy, which outlined how agencies can use data effectively and required them to conduct a Data Maturity Assessment—an assessment that analyzes “all aspects of agency policies, procedures and operations related to data and data infrastructure.”
To support this effort, the Partnership worked with Boston Consulting Group to launch the Federal Data and Digital Maturity Index survey, or FDDMI survey.
This survey contained nearly 30 questions that asked agencies to assess their data or digital maturity. Between September 2021 and February 2022, over 100 respondents across six federal agencies completed the inaugural edition of this assessment. We shared the results of this survey in a recent issue brief, “Federal Data and Digital Maturity: Agencies Assess Where They Stand.”
Human capital is a core component of boosting agencies’ data and digital maturity. A strong human capital strategy develops a motivated and engaged data workforce that uses new digital technologies and data to improve service delivery.
To that end, our survey includes a human capital “deep dive”—a separate set of 20 questions that evaluates how agencies recruit, hire, develop, engage and retain their data and digital workforces.
Despite the strong relationship between an agency’s human capital strategy and its ability to boost its data and digital maturity, the overall human capital score among agencies who took the FDDMI survey was a 28 out of 100. This was lower than agencies’ average maturity score across all other categories, which was a 36 out of 100.
Scores across the six human capital categories were similar, but Leadership and Cultural Change, a category exploring whether agencies’ data and digital workforces demonstrate leadership skills and promote data literacy across the organization, received the highest score at 30 out of 100 points.
On the other hand, the Organizational Transformation category, which assesses how thoroughly data and digital specialists are involved in an agency’s projects, scored just 25 out of 100—the lowest point total in the human capital categories. Moreover, this category had the highest target score—a 70 out of 100—of all the human capital categories. As such, the agencies measured by the FDDMI will need to improve their organizational transformation scores by 45 points over the next five years, the window for change outlined in the survey.
Encouragingly, participating agencies aim to improve their overall human capital score drastically in the next five years—from 28 to 67, an increase of nearly 40 points. This goal mirrors the agencies’ desire to improve their scores in the non-human capital categories as well—from 36 to 75 points.
The table below breaks down the agencies’ current and target maturities for all human capital categories.
Human capital deep dive scores
These survey results show that agencies across government should focus on building an effective data and digital workforce to modernize their operations, improve decision-making and more effectively serve the public.
For more insight into our human capital deep dive and the results of our entire FDDMI survey, read our full issue brief, “Federal Data and Digital Maturity: Agencies Assess Where they Stand.”