Federal CIO Kent Emphasizes Importance of Data in COVID-19 Response

Federal CIO Suzette Kent provided several examples today of different ways that Federal agencies are using data in the fight against the COVID-19 coronavirus, and emphasized the critical importance of IT modernization in battling the pandemic.

“The data that we’re using to drive change now is to save lives,” Kent said at the Tableau Government Summit 2020. “Data is not only critical for our modernization journey and driving change, it’s critical for how we respond and how we recover as a nation,” she said.

Kent gave a few examples of how she’s seen data used amid the pandemic. Among them: organizations are using data to determine how to search for vaccines, drive visibility of the medical supply chain, understand state and local spread of the virus, and inform strategies for creating a safe work environment.

Rapid data sharing and increased visual representation of available data, she said, has helped accelerate the frontline of service delivery and mission support amid the pandemic.

“It’s been inspiring to me to see CIOs and CEOs take the elements of our technology modernization efforts and the Federal Data Strategy and put those things to the test against this battle,” Kent said. “The demand for contactless interactions and aggregated data insights have been proof points about the importance of our continuous investments in modernization.”

Kent concluded that with a strong foundation of data and analytical capabilities, the Federal government can lead change to overcome any adversary.

Katie Malone
About Katie Malone
Katie Malone is a MeriTalk Staff Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.

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