>Why Isn’t There a Chief Data Architect in the Federal Government?

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In the federal government, there is a Chief Enterprise Architect in the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) — this is a good thing.

But the question that I have is why there isn’t a Chief Data Architect as well?

We all know that one of the essentials to good architecture is having strong data architecture that provides for data descriptions (or metadata) to uniformly describe data, data context (or taxonomies) for discovery, and that supports data sharing (or exchange).

In the Federal Enterprise Architecture (FEA), there is a Data Reference Model (DRM). Moreover, in the FEA, data is the crucial touch point between on one hand, the business functions toward achieving desired performance outcomes, and on other hand, the services and technologies that serve up the data in order to perform the functions and activities of the enterprise.

Furthermore, in developing technology solutions of the enterprise, one very important question for the business is what their information and data requirements are. The answer to this helps drive the technology solution.

For the federal government, the benefits of maturing its data architecture could be significant, especially in being able to share vital information, and thereby fill gaps and reduce redundancy across the federal enterprise. Given the size and important scope of the federal government missions, the imperative is great!

The Chief Data Architect would focus on data issues and drive such things as data standardization, common lexicon, metadata development, exchange standards and directories, service oriented architecture, and overall information sharing.

What do you think–would a Federal Chief Data Architect be a good idea to help progress this?

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