NIEMNTE – Vivek Kundra, US CIO on Data Sharing and Quality Issues

October 2, 2009
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Vance Hitch, Department of Justice CIO is introducing Vivek Kundra, US Federal Chief Information Officer.

Vivek was named Federal CIO in March of this year by President Barrack Obama. In his role as CIO, he oversees the Enterprise Architectures for federal government agencies as well as the new Administration’s web initiatives such as Data.gov and Recovery.gov.

Kundra started his keynote talking about emergency response information systems during 9/11, relating how disparate systems were not able to communicate with each other during critical times. He pointed out that NIEM has facilitated faster and more reliable integration since them.

After introducing astounding budget amounts of IT across the US government, he related issues related to specific data elements such as addresses – how painful and expensive data quality issues can be caused by having something as innocuous as redundant addresses stored across hundreds of databases across the country. So adding a single identifier for addresses could save a great deal of time and money. 

Karen: Wouldn’t it be great if our corporate CIOs could explain how data quality problems, with specific examples, waste money and



Vance Hitch, Department of Justice CIO is introducing Vivek Kundra, US Federal Chief Information Officer.

Vivek was named Federal CIO in March of this year by President Barrack Obama. In his role as CIO, he oversees the Enterprise Architectures for federal government agencies as well as the new Administration’s web initiatives such as Data.gov and Recovery.gov.

Kundra started his keynote talking about emergency response information systems during 9/11, relating how disparate systems were not able to communicate with each other during critical times. He pointed out that NIEM has facilitated faster and more reliable integration since them.

After introducing astounding budget amounts of IT across the US government, he related issues related to specific data elements such as addresses – how painful and expensive data quality issues can be caused by having something as innocuous as redundant addresses stored across hundreds of databases across the country. So adding a single identifier for addresses could save a great deal of time and money. 

Karen: Wouldn’t it be great if our corporate CIOs could explain how data quality problems, with specific examples, waste money and time that should be spent on real business operations – that we shouldn’t be spending money to patch up data after it has been collected and reported?

Kundra and Hitch both took questions from the audience primarily about budget issues and federal policy issues, but also about enterprise and data architectures.

Karen: I was amazed by the depth and breadth of understanding of these federal CIOs about enterprise and data architectures. I don’t think most corporate CIOs could speak to these questions in such a reliable fashion. I think I heard almost every answer begin with “Starting with the architecture.” Is it the fact that government CIOs don’t have to worry about profits and shareholder value? Why do they not see the value of architecture? I’m pretty sure the fault is ours, but how do we fix that?