Tyler Kleykamp, Chief Data Officer, Connecticut
If big data is the future of government IT, Connecticut’s Chief Data Officer Tyler Kleykamp is at the forefront. Kleykamp was one of a handful data experts who tried to launch the State CDO Network in 2016, then revisited the idea the following year with colleagues who could see how important data was going to be, and what they all stood to gain by communicating with each other.
“Most of us are the first person to do this job in our state, and the only place you can go to get advice is another state CDO,” he said. “For us, the big thing is sharing both our successes but also the things we’re struggling with, and maybe how another state was able to deal with it.”
Today, 21 states and the District of Columbia have CDOs. The State CDO Network is chaired by Kleykamp, who works in the Connecticut Office of Policy and Management. He said the network is just getting started, having organized a half-day virtual summit last fall and hosting monthly video conference calls. Kleykamp described his own role as using data to grow strategic assets across all governments. “The asset management idea is three components: The asset is maintained, accounted for and put to its highest and best use,” he said.
The treatment of data as a strategic asset is predicated upon the idea that it has value beyond the initial reason it was collected, and extrapolating that value is where the State CDO Network comes in. Kleykamp said the network can assess the quality of data, understanding biases or gaps in it, for example. They can advise how to integrate data across different agencies, and therefore understand in greater detail how effective or efficient specific programs are; and likewise influence public policy.
Kleykamp sees 2019 as a pivotal year for the network. Having weighed in on a federal data strategy, which is currently in draft form, the next priority will be finding philanthropic or institutional support, whether to help with research or event coordination.