Budget Invests in Statewide Data Strategy

Published On: January 15, 2021

Accessible and secure data has long been a priority of Gov. Gavin Newsom’s administration, and according to the new 2021-22 state budget, GovOps has received the funds to implement its Statewide Data Strategy.

The budget allocates an ongoing General Fund of $558,000 that will allow California’s Chief Data Officer (CDO) Joy Bonaguro to “develop the infrastructure, processes, and people to manage, access, and use data efficiently, effectively, securely, and responsibly.” 

The state doesn’t just collect data for the sake of data. When used effectively, data can allow departments to serve the state’s most vulnerable residents in the most efficient manner possible. That means using data to conduct research that informs policy, allocate funds to regional entities within the state, and provide crucial services to the public.

Published back in Aug. 2020, the Statewide Data Strategy reflects that vision, outlining high-level goals that include streamlining data access, improving data management and governance, and pushing data use via statewide data communities.

“California remains behind the curve,” says the recently posted Budget Change Proposal. “Based on internal observations and discussions with various data-rich state departments, much of California’s available structured data isn’t actively used in the decision-making process and more work needs to be completed in order to fulfill the vision of a California for ALL.”

“The State of California has a treasure trove of information that routinely goes underused by policy-makers due to the lack of a statewide data strategy,” says the proposal. “More than ever the ability of California to manage torrents of data is critical to our future success.”

The $558,000 allocated to the Statewide Data Strategy will build on the state’s initial steps to make use of their data, such as hiring a CDO. A comprehensive and uniform strategy will put that data to work with efficiency and effectiveness. 

About the Author: Will Keys

Will Keys writes about technology issues for the GovReport. He is a graduate of the Reynolds School of Journalism at the University of Nevada, Reno. He can be reached at will at govreport.org