Federal Data Skills, Upskilling, and Digital Transformation

From IC Insider Alteryx

By Andrew MacIsaac, Director, Solutions Marketing, Public Sector, Alteryx, Inc.

Data, the right analytics capabilities, and actionable insights are important elements for organizations to build sustainable achievements within their digital transformation efforts. However, another critical element is having the workforce that brings the necessary skills, domain expertise, and a diversity of perspectives that will make true digital transformation a reality.

Identifying the Right Data Skills

Recently, as part of the Federal Data Strategy, the General Services Administration (GSA) released the curated Data Skills Catalog (DSC). The objective of this catalog is to help federal organizations improve the data skills of their staff, which is a critical element in enabling agencies to better harness the strategic value of data.

The Federal Data Strategy defined leading Action 13, which requires the GSA, working across Federal Agencies, to determine the significant roles found within the data and analytics ecosystem and define the desired skills that data teams should develop to better ensure a culture built around data and analytics that empowers digital transformation. This Data Skills Catalog lays out a series of data roles and associated skills, such as: ensuring data security, privacy, data collection, and curation. These skills fulfill vital roles within the Federal Data Lifecycle, but I would like to go a little deeper on the roles and skills aligned to actual data analysis and the creation of actionable insights.

Federal Data Lifecycle

As defined by the DSC, people in the “analyze” role are going to need skills and capabilities to condition data for analysis and generate consumable vehicles to share insights. This sounds straightforward, but what is not alluded to is how much manual effort is entailed in accomplishing these tasks. Areas for further complication arise when the reality of multiple tools or systems need to be leveraged.

The next section of desired skills for analysis are more advanced analytics like geospatial analysis — the ability to apply machine leaning algorithms, predictive modeling, and natural language processing. These are all desirable and valuable skills for public sector agencies to develop, but the challenge is how to upskill existing data resources with these capabilities in affordable and sustainable ways.

Building Trust Through Upskilling

Upskilling demonstrates a commitment to people, builds an inclusive culture, and attracts and retains talent — all of which drive sustainable performance improvement and accelerates digital transformation. By making good-faith efforts to upskill your employees, you build trust, and that in turn can enhance your organization’s reputation in a world where trust is an increasingly valuable commodity and digital transformation is an imperative.

Government leaders know that digital transformation is essential to achieving mission success, and as they propel IT transformations forward, need to ensure that their journeys are sustainable and effective. At the same time, as agencies deal with colossal amounts of data, the need to upskill can present new challenges, from technology restraints to workforce culture.

A Unified Approach

One of the ways to accomplish this is for agencies to invest in analytic software like the Alteryx Analytic Process Automation Platform that enables the democratization of data, the automation of key processes, and most importantly, the upskilling of resources with advanced analytical capabilities in a unified approach.

This unified approach empowers every level of data worker — regardless of technical acumen — with access to integrated advanced analytics capabilities like geospatial analytics, predictive modeling, and natural language processing without the complexity of having to leverage multiple tools and systems. This transforms your analytics lifecycle for improved productivity and efficiency and makes upskilling a reality.

Learn More

To support public sector agencies along their journey towards digital transformation, Alteryx is hosting a half-day summit for public sector leaders: Driving Innovation and Digital Transformation.

At this summit, participants can learn from industry experts and government leaders as they discuss the keys to a successful data strategy as well as the future of automation, data, analytics, and digital transformation.

About Alteryx, Inc.

Revolutionizing business through data science and analytics, Alteryx offers an end-to-end analytics platform that empowers data analysts and scientists alike to break data barriers, deliver insights, and experience the thrill of getting to the answer faster. Organizations all over the world rely on Alteryx daily to deliver actionable insights. For more information, visit www.alteryx.com.

Alteryx is a registered trademark of Alteryx, Inc.

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