USDA Improving Data Analytics Through Dashboards

USDA Agriculture

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has continued its progress toward modernizing IT and data analytics capabilities across the agency in accordance with the President’s Management Agenda (PMA) with a set date of Sept. 30, 2019, to “provide USDA leadership with instant access to key data on program activities and trends.”

The department is standing up dashboards for “Mission Areas” to improve program effectiveness, availability and expenditure of resources, customer distribution and needs, customer service, and highlight key indicators of risk. According to an Agency Priority goal plan update – through Q3 of FY19 – the agency has completed all mapped-out Mission Areas and its remaining two areas of Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs (TFAA) and Research, Education, and Economics (REE) are underway.

The USDA also wanted to improve the usage of the dashboards over the course of the fiscal year. The agency set a baseline of 1,700 views, with a goal of 3,400, but views through July have exceeded 14,000 and the number of users has spiked, as well.

To advance data analytics, USDA’s data team is ensuring data management practices are up to par by working with chief experience officers and Mission Areas.

“Data team is also conducting interviews and workshops with data stewards and other staff to ensure their organizations’ staffing and skills, funding, processes, and infrastructure are optimized to best support the data analytics effort,” the report said.

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