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The Data Initiative


What challenges does HHS face to make the organization fundamentally data-driven? This report highlights the challenges – technical, legal, and cultural – that prevent data from being shared and used across the organization.

About the Initiative

From across the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), its many agencies collect a vast array of data to better understand the health of the nation. The Office of the CTO has been a leader in the federal government in enabling the public release of more than 1,500 data sets collected by HHS for use by researchers and entrepreneurs. The Open Data movement continues to be a focus of the Department and the Office of the CTO is committed to making data available for the public to to do research, develop applications, and create new products to improve health.

HHS is also examining how it is currently using its own data assets to make more evidence-based policy decisions. Sharing data internally at HHS and across its many different agencies is a priority. The Data Initiative is exploring HHS’ data assets across all agencies and the ways in which data can be shared and connected in responsible ways to improve how HHS delivers on its mission. The Office is interested in identifying models of effective sharing and looking for opportunities to address inefficiencies.

This effort is being led by Dr. Mona Siddiqui, the Chief Data Officer at HHS.

What’s Next

  • Test the idea. We will identify use cases for data integration and analysis and implement a proof of concept. The objective, beyond testing, will be to demonstrate the business value of data sharing. This will involve creating a technical environment for data analysis and workflow management.
  • Define the functions of what a solution might look like, concurrently with the proof of concept, including technical and non-technical components.

Stay in Touch

We strive to have an open and transparent approach to leveraging HHS data assets to solve critical problems and will continue to keep you updated on our progress. Please share your thoughts, questions, and feedback at @HHSIDEALab or idealab@hhs.gov.

Content created by Office of the Chief Technology Officer (CTO)
Content last reviewed on September 24, 2018