ARLINGTON, Va. -- The Air and Space Forces Chief Data Office introduced a new training and certification program for data officers last fall, bringing forth a new Public Sector Data Governance Professional designation within the Department of the Air Force. The three-day training course will tackle an emerging need for data governance. The training, set to be offered monthly, already has would-be participants vying for a spot in upcoming sessions. The first training session included members of the Air National Guard and the Navy, including the Navy’s deputy chief data officer.
“This is certainly an exciting time for data, and the launch of this robust training and certification program is taking us several steps in the right direction,” said Eileen Vidrine, Air and Space Forces chief data officer. “Workforce readiness and data governance are key factors in a larger vision for data management, digital technology, and the future of (artificial intelligence) within the Air Force and other branches. I feel privileged to be part of this first-ever effort within a military branch,” Vidrine continued. “The future of the Air Force is data and it is staring us right in the face. How we approach and adapt to that data will mean everything.”
Vidrine went on to say that there is only one constant in data – that it will continue to increase. A 2018 Forbes article noted that 90% of the world’s data was generated in just two short years. And the Association for Intelligent Information Management has cited that there is an increasing connection between information governance and strategy, with more than “70% of organizations considering information governance as ‘important’ or ‘critical’ to their business strategy.”
“We can and will excel in efficient, automated governance with the right structures and the best-trained personnel at the helm,” Vidrine said. “We are focused on upscaling our data resources by leveraging our most significant asset … our people.”
The course covers Public Sector Data Governance Mission Drivers and Deliverables, Data Governance Roles and Responsibilities, and the Legal and Regulatory Environment in which public sector officials and service providers must operate. The course was developed and is delivered under strict instructional systems design methodologies and a Registered Education Provider for the Project Management Institute. Upon completion of the course, the certification requires passage of the PSDG test, administered by ICCP-approved exam proctors.
“This is just the beginning, but what a great start,” Vidrine said. “We have mountains of data to climb, and we must have the right people and a succession plan for the right people in place to be competitive and proactive on the world’s stage.”
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