What the Rise of the Data Act Means for Data Analysts

The Data Accountability and Transparency Act of 2014, technically launched in 2017, is about to become more visible in 2022. This act seeks to create an open data set for all federal spending.

While it has only been implemented at the platform level so far, by 2022 it is expected for all entities needing to report federal funds to provide information to the government in a very specific way. This is required so that government dashboards can be populated with ease and accountability can be easily extracted.

Through publicly available websites, the spending of data will flow automatically from agency originators to interested government officials and private citizens. The goal of this transaction is to save time and increase efficiency across the federal government in several ways, including the following:

  • Spending reports would populate automatically, rather than agency leaders needing to request distinct reports from different units.
  • Congress could make appropriations more transparent. Such as when it comes to crafting legislation, congress could evaluate the impact of spending bills with greater ease.
  • Auditors would have direct access to data describing spending at a granular level. Using data analytics, auditors could also gauge the cost-effectiveness of spending decisions or compare similar endeavors in different agencies or regions. These efforts could help root out fraud and enable auditors to do less detective work.
  • There could be greater spending transparency. Citizens could have real-time clarity into where their money goes, how citizens might influence local grant recipients, nonprofits, and infrastructure.

How does this affect data analysts?

If your work involves the management or visibility of the data that’s ultimate destination is the brokers of government, or government itself, there are some important things to note:

Data Act Information Model Scheme (DAMIS) represents an agreement on how OMB and the Department of the Treasury want to categorize federal spending. It’s a common taxonomy that all agencies can use to organize information, and it could shape how the federal government approaches budgeting for years to come. To allow other agencies to connect to DAIMS, OMB has built open-source software—the “Data Broker”—to help agencies report their data.

While the Data Act deals with federal government data, it can directly affect how state and local governments manage their data as well. Data officers from state and local governments will likely need to be familiar with DAIMIS and the Data Broker if they hope to collect grants from the federal government. When contractors adopt federal protocols, they’ll likely prefer to report to states in a similar format.

If your task does not involve the use of schema directly, you can become valuable to your customer by making them aware of DAIMS and the DATA ACT.

Want to learn more about the world of Data Governance?

Check out our Govern by Design™ framework below.

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