Data Strategy: A Foundation for Improved Public Services in Canada
The COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the importance of high-quality and accessible data in ensuring effective service delivery to Canadians. With the shift towards online work, learning, and government engagement, there has been a growing need for a robust data foundation to improve public service efficiency and responsiveness. The government’s renewed commitment to a clear, results-driven data strategy highlights the significance of data management, security, and transparent practices for building and maintaining public trust.
In 2018, the Data Strategy Roadmap for the Federal Public Service laid the groundwork for creating value from government-held data. Fast forward five years, the 2023-2026 Data Strategy for the Federal Public Service (the Strategy) sets new priorities, goals, and expectations. The Strategy outlines the current policy landscape, describes a long-term strategic vision, identifies actions for the next three years, and highlights real-world case studies demonstrating the value of better data usage.
The Strategy is organized into four mission areas:
- Proactively considering data by design in government initiatives
- Effectively stewarding data for decision-making
- Improving user experience and maintaining trust through secure data-driven services
- Empowering public service with the necessary talent and tools
Implementation of the Strategy necessitates a coordinated approach among federal organizations, policy and service providers, and senior leaders responsible for data management. Senior leaders, including deputy ministers, must take immediate action to embed data activities and needs in initiatives, inform decisions using disaggregated data, and assess data skills required for managers and teams.
The publication of the Strategy is just the beginning. Continued collaboration and engagement within the public service are crucial to its success. Over the next three years, progress will be measured to ensure the public service remains focused on advancing the data landscape, adapting to changes, and building greater knowledge from data, ultimately providing benefits to Canadians and supporting public good.