Mar 27 2024
Data Analytics

NASCIO Calls for States to Implement Data Literacy Programs

Government employees would benefit from improved data analysis capabilities, association says.

State CIOs should develop and implement state government data literacy programs, recommends the National Association of State Chief Information Officers in a recent report, which outlines steps to get started.

NASCIO points to the Indiana state government, which notes, “Our ability to read, analyze, create and talk about data is our data literacy.”

“Every state employee must have a certain minimum level of understanding of data, data quality, an ability to analyze data and gain insights from that analysis,” NASCIO adds in the report, “Data Literacy Within State Government.”

Yet the association’s annual CIO survey, The 20223 State CIO Survey: The Force of Automation and the Reality of Modernization, found that only 16 percent of state CIOs have a formal data literacy or proficiency program for state employees. In response to those findings, NASCIO convened a panel of state chief data officers who prescribed recommendations for “creating a culture of data literacy.”

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What State CIOs Should Do to Support Data Literacy and Why

Those recommendations include:

  • Gaining executive endorsement and support
  • Publishing a data literacy policy
  • Establishing data governance that includes all stakeholders
  • Creating a data steward network
  • Employing a collaborative approach to gaining participation
  • Delivering training that is relevant to an individual’s role and responsibilities
  • Partnering with community colleges to deliver training
  • Employing effective communications and marketing to gain awareness and active participation

Strong data literacy assists state agencies in achieving the following objectives, according to NASCIO:

  • Fraud detection and prevention
  • Better application of limited resources
  • Cost savings or better investment of funding
  • Transparency in government
  • Fewer errors in decisions based on incorrect information
  • Earned and sustained citizen trust in government

“Training in the use of data should be relevant to the role a state employee plays and should be delivered in the most effective way for that role,” NASCIO adds.

The association recommends resources provided by the Texas Data Literacy Program and the Indiana Management Performance Hub as strong models for states to follow.

MORE FROM STATETECH: Data dashboards provide true citizen service through analysis.

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