The Office of the Chief Data Officer (OCDO) is responsible for managing and improving the Department’s ability to leverage data as a strategic asset. The OCDO is led by the Department’s Chief Data Officer (CDO), whose responsibilities include lifecycle data management and developing and enforcing data governance policies. The OCDO has oversight over the Department’s information collections approval and associated OMB clearance process. It is responsible for developing and enforcing the Department’s open data plan, including management of a centralized comprehensive data inventory accounting for all data assets across the Department. The OCDO is also responsible for developing and maintaining a technological and analytical infrastructure that is responsive to the Department’s strategic data needs, exploiting traditional and emerging analytical methods to improve decision making, optimize outcomes, and create efficiencies.
Additional information on the implementation of the Evidence Act at the Department, charter of the Data Governance Board, and the Department’s Data Strategy can be found at https://www.ed.gov/data.
The Office of the Chief Data Officer (OCDO) is responsible for managing and improving the Department’s ability to leverage data as a strategic asset. The OCDO is led by the Department’s Chief Data Officer (CDO), whose authority is partially set forth in the OPEN Government Data Act. The OCDO:
- Has oversight over the Department’s information collections approval and associated OMB clearance process;
- Develops and enforces the Department’s open data plan, including management of a centralized comprehensive data inventory accounting for all data assets across the Department;
- Develops and maintains a technological and analytical infrastructure responsive to the Department’s strategic data needs, exploiting traditional and emerging analytical methods to improve decision making, optimize outcomes, and create efficiencies; and
- Coordinates ED data across the Department, federal government, and public and private sectors.
To drive these functions, the OCDO is comprised of two divisions, collectively developing, supporting, and enforcing the Department’s data strategy, data governance, and strategic use of data assets:
Data Governance and Policy Team
The Governance and Policy group supports development and execution of OCDO and Department policies on lifecycle data management, data resources, data protection, data quality, access, and dissemination; serves as OCDO liaison for government and non-governmental requests for data access; prioritizes data asset inventory as in accordance with Department’s open data plan; evaluates data for value, risk, and quality, and enforces agency policies under the Information Quality Act; represents OCDO in Disclosure Review Board (DRB) proceedings; and coordinates with the Department’s Senior Agency Official for Privacy to review and approve systems of records notices, computer matching agreements, and other memoranda of understanding related to data access and disclosure. Key efforts managed by the Data Governance and Policy Team include the Data Governance Board, the Data Strategy, and Data Sharing working group.
Innovation and Engagement Team
The Innovation and Engagement team develops and publishes the Department’s open data plan as a part of the Department’s Strategic Information Resources Management Plan; promotes data integration and sharing, making data accessible, understandable, and reusable; engages the public and private sectors on how to improve access to the Department’s data assets; develops solutions that provide tiered access based on public need and privacy protocols; develops consumer information portals and products that meet the needs of external consumers; and partners with OCIO and Department data stewards to identify and evaluate new technology solutions for improving collection, access, and use of data. Key data tools managed by the team include the Open Data Platform, College Scorecard, and Education Stabilization Fund Public Transparency Portal.
Strategic Collections and Clearance Team
The Strategic Collections and Clearance (SCC) team within the Office of Planning, Evaluation, and Policy Development (OPEPD), is responsible for ensuring the agency’s information collections are consistent with data management best practices and compliant with both the Foundations for Evidence-Based Policymaking Act of 2018 and Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) of 1995 (Public Law 104-13). The SCC ensures all new and existing information collection requests (ICRs) are reviewed and approved internally and facilitates submission to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to obtain final approval. Key work managed by the SCC team include Information Collection, Information Quality, and liaising with the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).
Questions? Email ICDocketMgr@ed.gov or visit the Public Comments section.
Analytics and Evaluation Team
The Analytics and Evaluation team exploits cutting-edge and emerging methods, such as machine learning and artificial intelligence for program optimization, predictive analytics, and the development of other analytical products; conducts quick-turn analyses that leverage methodological techniques such as statistical modeling, quasi-experimental conditions, experimental designs, and A/B testing; developing micro-and macro-level forecasts and trends; and identifying and managing agency risk in agency programs and products, including the federal student loan portfolio, through the development of risk models, profiles, and scoring. Key work of the Analytics and Evaluation team includes the Department’s Data Literacy Program, priority and ongoing research and evaluation activities, and data visualizations.
Infrastructure and Support Team
The Infrastructure and Support team supports the maintenance and continuous improvement of technological and analytical infrastructure needed for lifecycle data management and strategic use of data; boosts operational data systems through the deployment of prescriptive models that enable and automate data-driven decisions in real time; and serves as program data experts that execute, on behalf of POCs and leadership, quick turnaround analyses requiring extraction and transformation from Department systems. Key work of the Infrastructure and Support team includes the planning and development of an enterprise-wide analytic platform by capturing analytic use cases on unmet business needs, planning platform technical requirements to support analytics, and coordinating with key stakeholders and investment partners around data lifecycle management.
Meet the Chief Data Officer
Greg Fortelny became the Chief Data Officer (CDO) of the U.S. Department of Education (ED) in July 2019, designated by the Secretary of Education in accordance with the requirements of the Foundations for Evidence-Based Policymaking Act of 2018 (Evidence Act) and associated OMB guidance. Greg started his public sector career as a statistician using data to improve student outcomes and business operations in the Office of Federal Student Aid (FSA), an agency then serving over 40 million customers and a loan portfolio of over $1.4 trillion. There he helped establish FSA’s Enterprise Data Office and became FSA’s Director of Statistical Research and Modeling. In 2018 Greg became the Director of the Program and Policy Studies Service, ED’s internal think tank responsible for conducting policy analysis and developing consumer information tools such as the College Scorecard. As CDO, Greg leads ED’s new Office of the Chief Data Officer (OCDO), which is responsible for data governance, open data initiatives, and data analytics to improve the agency’s ability to leverage data as strategic asset.
The CDO serves as chair of the Data Governance Board, co-chair of the Department’s Data Strategy Team, sits on the federal CDO Council, represents ED on the Federal Advisory Committee for Data and Evidence Building, and is the Department’s Strategic Goal 3 Leader.
The CDO is charged with carrying out the responsibilities listed in 44 U.S.C. § 3520, including, but not limited to, lifecycle data management and developing and enforcing the Department’s data strategy and governance policies. The CDO:
- Chairs the Department Data Governance Board (DGB), gathering input from across the Department to inform policy and process decisions about the development and use of the Department’s data assets;
- Serves as the Department liaison to other agencies and OMB on the best way to use existing agency data for statistical purposes;
- Coordinates with the Department’s Chief Information Officer (CIO) to improve infrastructure and reduce barriers that inhibit data asset accessibility and on implementing and enforcing applicable policies and procedures with respect to records management;
- Engages agency employees, the public, and contractors in using public data assets and encouraging collaborative approaches on improving data use;
- Supports the Department’s Performance Improvement Officer and Evaluation Officer in obtaining and using data to carry out their respective missions; and
- Submits annual reports to Congress on agency compliance with the OPEN Government Data Act.
Meet the Deputy Chief Data Officer
Sharon Boivin, PhD
Deputy Chief Data Officer for Analytics and Support
Dr. Sharon A. Boivin, Deputy Chief Data Officer for Analytics and Support at the U.S. Department of Education, has worked in the fields of education data, research, and statistics for over 30 years. In her role as DCDO, Dr. Boivin leads ED efforts to improve data access and use by developing improved data pipelines and supporting enterprise analytics to ensure that data has a seat at the table in discussions about policy, program, and operations. She spent most of her career at the National Center for Education Statistics working on surveys covering K12, postsecondary, and adult and career education. From 2016 to 2019 she played a major role in the development of Federal data policy, first on the staff of the Commission on Evidence-Based Policymaking and later, on detail to the Office of Management and Budget where she recruited and led a team of Federal Data Fellows from 18 agencies helping to develop a comprehensive Federal Data Strategy. Dr. Boivin was excited to join the Office of the Chief Data Officer in late 2019 to help implement new policies to improve access, use, and dissemination of ED data to support evidence-based decisions. Dr. Boivin earned her Ph.D. in Education Research from the University of Virginia.
Department of Education Data Strategy
The Department, through its Data Governance Board, established the inaugural Department of Education Data Strategy [PDF, 1.23MB] in December 2020. Putting in place a data strategy is a key milestone under Action 2 ("Institutionalize Agency Data Governance") of the 2020 Federal Data Strategy Action Plan. The Department of Education Data Strategy describes the Department's vision for accelerating progress toward becoming a data-driven organization and fully leveraging the power of data to advance the Department's mission of ensuring equal access and fostering educational excellence for our nation's learners.
U.S. Department of Education Data Strategy
Vision: To realize the full potential of data to improve education outcomes and lead the nation in a new era of evidence-based policy insights and data-driven operations.
Mission: Optimize the Department's ability to provide trusted data and insights to internal and external stakeholders.
Guiding Principles: Ethical Governance, Conscious Design, Learning Culture
Goal 1: Strengthen Agency-Wide Data Governance
- Implement new data governance program,
- Develop data policy framework around data lifecycle,
- Implement data investment management process,
- Formalize principal office data management functions,
- Implement enterprise data quality approach,
Goal 2: Build Human Capacity to Leverage Data
- Develop a data workforce plan,
- Develop and implement data literacy program,
- Establish career paths/training for data professionals,
- Implement short-term data workforce staffing plan,
Goal 3: Advance the Strategic Use of Data
- Identify and deliver learning agenda data needs,
- Initiate an enterprise analytics platform,
- Integrate data visualization and storytelling in communications,
- Improve program performance and accountability measures,
- Ensure grant management system supports strategic data use,
Goal 4: Improve Data Access, Transparency, and Privacy
- Implement Open Data Plan,
- Operationalize comprehensive data inventory,
- Establish access for researchers to non-public data,
- Enhance information collection data governance,
- Develop a privacy playbook,
Timeline: 18-24 months
Find the right fit!
College Scorecard provides data that help prospective students and their advocates find the right fit for postsecondary education. College Scorecard’s consumer site allows users to search and compare colleges based on a highlighted set of data elements such as graduation rates, average annual cost, loan repayment rates, post-completion earnings for specific fields of study, and more. Researchers and developers also have access to over 2,000 downloadable data elements enabled through an application programming interface.
Open Data Platform
Search and access all publicly available data profiles published by the U.S. Department of Education from one location.
Education Stabilization Fund Portal
Covid-Relief-Data.ed.gov is dedicated to collecting and disseminating data and information about the three primary Education Stabilization Fund (ESF) programs managed by the Department of Education and authorized by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act and the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations (CRRSA) Act.
Education Stabilization Fund Public Transparency Portal from the U.S. Department of Education: https://covid-relief-data.ed.gov