Seize the Data: Using Evidence to Transform How Federal Agencies Do Business

Report by the Partnership for Public Service: “The use of data analysis, rigorous evaluation and a range of other credible strategies to inform decision-making is becoming more common across government. Even so, the movement is nascent, with leading practices implemented at some agencies, but not yet widely adopted. Much more progress is necessary. In fact, the recently enacted Foundations for Evidence-Based Policymaking Act, as well as the recently released draft Federal Data Strategy Action Plan, both prioritize broader adoption of leading practices.

To support that effort, this report highlights practical steps that agencies can take to become more data-driven and evidence-based. The findings emerged from a series of workshops and interviews conducted between April 2018 and May 2019 by the Partnership for Public Service and Grant Thornton. From these sessions, we learned that the most forward-thinking agencies rely on multiple approaches, including:
• Using top-down and bottom-up approaches to build evidence-based organizations.
• Driving longer-term and shorter-term learning.
• Using existing data and new data.
• Strengthening internal capacity and creating external research practitioner partnerships.
This report describes what these strategies look like in practice, and shares real-world and replicable examples of how leading agencies have become more data-driven and evidence-based….(More)”.