SD6 - Data Sharing and Analytics Governance Structure for the Commonwealth of Virginia (Chapter 679, 2018 Acts of Assembly)

Executive Summary:

According to the 2017 Executive Directive 7 Final Report, Leveraging the Use of Shared Data and Analytics (Appendix 1), only 22.2% of the Commonwealth's 1,686 enterprise data assets were shared outside of the source agency due to a "Complex array of federal and state laws, regulations, program rules, and related policies." The report also mentions state agencies have developed a risk-averse culture opting to not share data by default. Further, agencies do not have the necessary "technical, financial, or personnel resources to sustain data sharing relationships" or initiate and manage data analytics projects.

The ED7 report also stated:

Several provisions in the Code of Virginia place general restrictions on agencies seeking to share data. State statutes also significantly limit the use of shared data in some contexts, such as provisions in the law that prevent agencies from using data on citizens except for the purpose for which the data was collected.

Data governance and sharing will benefit the Commonwealth by improving operational efficiency, reducing cost, improving our data security posture by minimizing risk and reducing vulnerabilities, supporting outcome-based performance management, eliminating duplicative efforts, and facilitating the development of solutions to complex, multi-disciplinary problems. The ability for Executive Branch Agencies, Institutions of Higher Education, Commissions, Localities, and other Commonwealth-affiliated organizations to share data, information, knowledge, and intelligence raises the collective value of our data assets.

The recommended governance structure to support data sharing and analytics includes a Data Commission (Appendix 2) to set, plan, and prioritize data sharing performance goals for the Commonwealth, review agency accomplishments, and provide recommendations to the Governor and the General Assembly on any changes to laws or funding necessary to achieve desired objectives. The= Data Commission should be established as an advisory commission in the executive branch of state government and consist of 25 members that include 8 legislative members, 7 non-legislative citizen members, and 10 state officials.

In addition, the Data Sharing and Analytics Advisory Committee recommends a governance structure for organizations conducting data operations (Appendix 3). These organizations, which are not limited to the executive branch of state government, are responsible for the collection, storage, management, protection, use and dissemination of data assets. The recommended governance structure facilitates communication and collaboration between executives, senior managers, and technical personnel. The data operations governance structure includes an Executive Data Board, Data Governance Council, Data Governance and Analytics Program Office, and Data Stewards Group.

The Executive Data Board sets strategic performance objectives, advocates for and allocates program and project resources, and coordinates, prioritizes, and oversees multi-agency data sharing and analytics projects. The Data Governance Council advises the Executive Data Board and the Commonwealth Data Commission on technology, policy, and governance strategies to meet Chapter 679 requirements. In addition the Data Governance Council governs the Commonwealth Data Trust promoting greater utility and accessibility of data assets. The Data Governance and Analytics Program Office manages the operation of the Commonwealth Data Trust, advises state agencies and political subdivisions regarding state best practices, standards, and policies, makes government data available, and ensures its security. Lastly, the Data Stewards Group facilitates secure and appropriate data sharing and use of data assets in support of data-driven policymaking, research, and analysis through the implementation of state standards, policies, and best practices.