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Transparency in Federal Government: Commerce Department Makes its Data Accessible to Citizens with New Interactive Tool

Guest blog by Christine Heflin, Director of Performance Excellence, Deputy Performance Improvement Officer

As America’s “Data Agency” and co-leader of the Data Goal in the President’s Management Agenda, the Department of Commerce is leading improvement in how federal agencies make data accessible and useful to the American public. With the launch of Commerce Performance Data Pro, seeing the Department’s impact data just got way easier. This new website provides citizens an interactive online tool to learn more about the Department’s strategic objectives and measures of progress.  It also puts the user a few clicks away from entire data sets on program performance.

By using the following innovative capabilities, taxpayers can monitor the Department’s efforts to strengthen the U.S. economy, and improve critical services:

  • Commerce Impact Stories about focus areas, new strategic initiatives, and programs that impact daily life;
  • Citizen’s View Dashboards summarize progress on the strategic plan and show each bureau’s performance;
  • 150 Key Performance Indicator (KPI) Insights Tiles measure program results;
  • Metadata crosswalks the Department’s KPIs with strategic objectives, program activities, and bureaus;
  • Application Programming Interface (API) connects directly to datasets.

Commerce Performance Data Pro is a major leap forward in how a cabinet-level federal agency communicates performance information to enable transparency and accountability. The website presents information in a visually appealing and interactive way. Its dashboards and charts reveal patterns and trends that make key insights obvious to viewers. Its innovative capabilities, interactive open data, and ease of use directly supports the Department’s approach to learning and using data in decision-making.

The Deputy Secretary of Commerce, Karen Dunn-Kelley unveiled the website to the President’s Management Council, the council of agency “Chief Operating Officers,” during their January meeting hosted at the Census Bureau. 

The launch of Commerce Performance Data Pro puts many of the ideas in the Foundations for Evidence-Based Policymaking Act, President’s Management Agenda, and new Federal Data Strategy Action Plan into practice.  It will serve as a model for other federal agencies. See for yourself: https://performance.commerce.gov/

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