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EEOC Holds Data Dialogue Sessions with Agency Stakeholders

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Equal Employment  Opportunity Commission (EEOC)  held a series of "Data Dialogues" this week to introduce  stakeholders to the  agency's new Office of Enterprise Data and Analytics  (OEDA).  Advocacy groups, employer representatives,  academics, and researchers, including from  non-profit organizations, participated in meetings at EEOC  headquarters in Washington, D.C., to interact with OEDA's  leadership and hear about the new structure within the agency. 

The EEOC made a significant update  over the past year to develop a 21st century data analytics office.  This began in November 2017 with the hiring  of the EEOC's  first-ever Chief Data Officer, Dr. Chris Haffer, and was followed by the  reorganization and upgrade of the agency's 21-year-old  Office of Research, Information & Planning into the new OEDA. 

OEDA was created in May 2018 to develop an  enterprise-wide data analytics system, utilizing state of the art data and  information science tools to enhance mission effectiveness and make  the EEOC's data  readily available to both internal and external users. 

"It was clear to me the agency had to make some  dramatic change to bring our capacity into the 21st century," said EEOC Acting  Chair Victoria A. Lipnic.  "We also had  to address important issues about data protection, access, and  internal data governance.  The new OEDA  allowed us to do all of that."  

"Equally important," Lipnic  added, "the EEOC sits on a treasure trove of data.  We will now be able to make better use of  that data, with consistency, to better serve our customers and the mission of  the agency in a more efficient and effective manner." 

At the meetings, stakeholders discussed  employer and industry coding of EEOC charge data, the potential for bias in "big  data," and the need for useful data and information products that can help  identify trends in employment opportunity.  Among the most important exchanges was  information about the EEOC's  new "Data Enclave," which is currently in development to allow  researchers secure access to EEOC data. 

Chief Data Officer Haffer said, "The  information exchanged this week with stakeholders was an essential step in the  development of the EEOC's data analytics strategies.  Going forward, the information exchanged  during these sessions will help us in our goal of expanding the use of data and  technology to support agency programs and improve customer service."

OEDA is comprised of the Business Operations  and Organizational Performance Division, Data Development and Information  Product Division, Information and Data Access Division, and Data Analytics  Division.  In addition to other  functions, the OEDA team manages the EEOC's EEO surveys, which collect  workforce data from employers, unions and labor organizations,  state and local governments, and public and secondary school systems and  includes the team of economists and statisticians who advise on large  investigations.

The creation of OEDA has also resulted in the  agency's participation in the development of the Federal Data Strategy.  In July 2018, Kimberly Essary, the Deputy  Director and Senior Counsel of OEDA, was selected to serve as a Federal Data  Fellow as part of the Administration's Federal Data Strategy Team.  This core group of cross-discipline federal data  experts will help develop practices and action steps for the Federal Data  Strategy as part of the President's Management Agenda (PMA) and the  Cross-Agency Priority (CAP) Goal of Leveraging Data as a Strategic Asset.  "I am both honored and excited that the EEOC  is contributing to the development of this Federal Data Strategy given the  importance of the agency's work concerning employment practices," said Deputy  Director Essary.  "With the creation of  OEDA, the EEOC is well-positioned to support the transformative role data can  have to make the federal government more efficient and transparent, and to  better serve the American people."  

The EEOC advances opportunity in the workplace  by enforcing federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination.  More information is available  at www.eeoc.gov.  Stay connected with the latest EEOC news by  subscribing to our email updates.