Federal CDO Survey Indicates Resources Key to Continued Impact

New survey from the Data Foundation and Guidehouse shows 83% of Chief Data Officers (CDOs) do not have adequate resources to fulfill core responsibilities

WASHINGTON, Nov. 1, 2022 -- According to the 2022 survey of Federal Chief Data Officers (CDO) released today from the Data Foundation and Guidehouse, while CDOs are making commendable progress implementing the Evidence Act and the Federal Data Strategy, there are understandable challenges to achieving the CDO mission that can be addressed with more support. The report, The Growth and Challenges of the CDO Role and Agencies' Data Maturity: A 2022 Survey of Federal CDOsoffers key observations about the roles, successes, and challenges of the federal CDO community.

The 2022 survey collected data from federal agency, bureau, and operating division CDOs and statistical officials about the role, mission, Federal Data Strategy successes, and relevant OMB guidance.

Survey Findings:

  • 83% of CDOs do not have adequate resources to fulfill their statutory responsibilities and support agency missions.
  • 63% of responding CDOs report they started or completed implementation of at least 5 of the 6 priority Agency Action Items that were detailed in the 2021 Action Plan for CDOs.
  • A majority (70%) very much or completely view their role as CDO as being someone who influences their organization's data culture.
  • A majority collaborate with their CIO (77%) and officials in other organizations (85%).


  1. Congress should increase CDO funding flexibilities and provide more direct resources to CDOs.
  2. OMB should issue required guidance to CDOs to clarify responsibilities and enable full implementation of the OPEN Government Data Act.
  3. Congress should create a Federal CDO at OMB as a Senior Executive-Level Position.
  4. Congress should remove the statutory sunset for the CDO Council.

"Federal CDOs across government are clearly maturing rapidly, allowing agencies' data capabilities to improve evidence-based decision-making as envisioned with great success and impact," said Nick Hart, President of the Data Foundation. "The 2022 CDO Survey shows just how critical long-term sustained funding for CDOs will be for the future success and impact of CDOs in the Executive Branch – and that in order for CDOs to continue maturing, they need additional guidance, support, and resources."

"Overall, it is encouraging that many of the CDOs surveyed said they had taken steps to set policies for data sharing, setting data standards, creating a data warehouse, or creating an agency-wide analytics platform," said Paul Seckar, Partner at Guidehouse and Data Foundation Board Member. "As CDO offices become more established, it is imperative that CDOs clearly understand their mission as it relates to data governance and data literacy. These are activities that partners across the public and private sector can support through collaborative efforts for achieving these mission critical functions."

Learn more about the report findings during a webinar today, November 1, at 11am ET. You can RSVP by clicking here. To download the full report please visit: https://www.datafoundation.org/2022-survey-of-federal-chief-data-officers.

Survey Methodology:
The findings presented in the Data Foundation's third survey of Federal CDOs are derived from an inventory of known Federal Chief Data Officers – including at the bureau level – and designated statistical officials under the Evidence Act. Participants were invited by email to complete a web-based survey in June and July 2022, with multiple rounds of non-response follow-up.

About the Data Foundation: The Data Foundation is a national non-profit organization that champions the use of open data and evidence-informed public policy to make society better for everyone. We are the trusted authority on the use of open, accessible data to fuel a more efficient, effective, and accountable government; spark innovation; and provide insights to the country's most pressing challenges. As a nonpartisan think tank, we conduct research, collaborative thought leadership, and advocacy programs that advance practical policies for the creation and use of accessible, trustworthy data.

About Guidehouse: Guidehouse is a leading global provider of consulting services to the public sector and commercial markets, with broad capabilities in management, technology, and risk consulting. By combining our public and private sector expertise, we help clients address their most complex challenges and navigate significant regulatory pressures focusing on transformational change, business resiliency, and technology-driven innovation. Across a range of advisory, consulting, outsourcing, and digital services, we create scalable, innovative solutions that help our clients outwit complexity and position them for future growth and success. The company has over 15,000 professionals in over 55 locations globally. Guidehouse is a Veritas Capital portfolio company, led by seasoned professionals with proven and diverse expertise in traditional and emerging technologies, markets, and agenda-setting issues driving national and global economies. For more information, please visit www.guidehouse.com.

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