RD148 - Commonwealth Data Standardization: Final Plan - Reported Pursuant to Item 427 of the 2012 Appropriation Act -- July 1, 2013

Executive Summary:
Item 427 C of the 2012 and 2013 Appropriation Acts (Item 427) requires the Secretary of Technology to develop data standards for information commonly used by state agencies. (This requirement builds upon similar directives in Item 460 of the 2008 Appropriation Act and § 2.2-1115.1 of the Code of Virginia.) The current report constitutes the Secretary of Technology’s final submission to the General Assembly in response to the Item 427 requirements. The report has been prepared by the Virginia Information Technologies Agency (VITA), on behalf of the Secretary of Technology.

Progress on Data Standardization and Governance

• To date, the Secretary of Technology has approved data standards for three of the seven business areas cited in the 2008 Appropriation Act, including the Chart of Accounts Data Standard.

• VITA is also working with the Department of Planning and Budget to develop the Agency Identification Data Standard, which will be the fourth of the seven business areas cited in the 2008 Appropriation Act.

• Since last year’s publication of the "Commonwealth Data Standardization: Interim Plan," VITA has completed an eight-month planning process to develop the Commonwealth’s Enterprise Information Architecture (EIA) Strategy.

Alternatives for Standardized Data

• To meet the requirements of Item 427, VITA staff examined several alternatives for implementing standardized data:

* First, VITA staff explored the two primary methods for data standardization: data standards and data exchange standards.

* Second, VITA staff explored whether Web services, and services offered in VITA’s Services Oriented Architecture (SOA) environment, may be viable alternative means of standardizing data instead of using data standards.

* Third, VITA staff examined whether the Enterprise Data Management (EDM) solution could standardize data through the use of a shared services platform rather than through data standards

Item 427 C.1 Element

• Item 427 C.1 requires the Secretary of Technology to develop Commonwealth data standards for “Person” data (citizen-centric data, personnel, recipient information), and other common sources of information.

• In compliance with Item 427 C.1, VITA worked with other state agencies to develop a strategy for standardizing the types of data outlined in the Item.

• A core element of the implementation strategy for Person data involves migrating systems which do not already use adopted Person data standards into conformance with the National Information Exchange Model (NIEM). Migration to NIEM and other nationally-recognized standards will align the Commonwealth with industry best practices, federal standards, and existing data standards.

• As required by Item 427, VITA staff estimated the per-system cost of data standardization. Using the NIEM Cost Model, as the number of agencies using NIEM-conformant exchanges increases, the average implementation cost per system is projected to be approximately $173,890.

• Adoption of NIEM as a central part of compliance with Item 427 C.1 will achieve the business objectives of standardizing Person data while maximizing cost efficiency for onboarded systems.

Item 427 C.2 Element

• Item 427 C.2 requires the Secretary of Technology to:

* Determine if standardized data, as used by systems currently in development, should be more broadly adopted as Commonwealth data standards; and

* Ensure that systems currently in development comply with data standards, including those identified in response to the requirements of Item 427 C.1 and C.2.

• VITA worked with Commonwealth agencies to develop an Item 427 C.2 compliance strategy. The strategy involves coordination between VITA’s Commonwealth Data Governance (CDG), IT Investment Management Division (ITIMD) and Project Management Division (PMD) staff to evaluate whether a system’s use of standardized data should be adopted as a new Commonwealth standard, or if a system should use other data standards.

• VITA staff did not identify any current use of standardized data that merits adoption as a Commonwealth data standard. This approach would move the Commonwealth away from compliance with industry best practices, federal standards, and existing data standards.

• However, VITA staff identified certain projects cited in Item 427 as candidates for adoption of existing data and data exchange standards:

* Person data (Item 427 C.1) Data: 26 Projects

* Other Data Standards: 7 additional Projects

• Projects determined by VITA CDG staff as needing to adopt data standards will continue to be monitored throughout their lifecycle to ensure compliance with data standards.

Governance Model

• As indicated by the participation of more than 30 agencies, VITA has established a process model that supports the business objectives of data standardization.

• VITA recommends that each Commonwealth Executive Branch agency designate a data steward who will serve as the agency’s lead point of contact on data governance and related Enterprise Information Architecture issues. VITA will work with agencies to establish formal roles for data stewards as part of a business-driven, enterprise data governance function.