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DWP creates Chief Data Office

01/11/21

Mark Say Managing Editor

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The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has set up a Chief Data Office (CDO) to support the strategic use of data by different teams.

DWP sign

It is led by the department’s chief data officer Paul Lodge, and reflects various elements of its data strategy.

Writing in a blogpost, DWP’s head of data strategy and enablement Katharine Purser, who led the setting up of the CDO, said its first priority is to ensure the use of data in a secure, ethical and legal way.

“The data that we manage is in an increasingly complex variety of formats, so it’s important that we handle it accordingly,” she said.

“We already have pockets of excellence in data custodianship and data management across the organisation, but the CDO will look to make sure that all teams across the department who use data take the best of what we know and apply it in a consistent way.”

She said that it is starting small with a first-year focus on improving quality, compliance and consistency in data sharing, and aims to build other data management polices from there.

Purser added that three principles have to underpin the DWP’s work on data: that it has to follow business needs; it needs to recognise that data is the business of all of its staff; and that it describes real people, places and things and should be valued accordingly.

Image from GOV.UK, Open Government Licence v3.0

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