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PALO ALTO, Calif, March 14, 2023 – According to a recent survey, conducted across IT decision-makers and influencers in the federal government, seven out of ten (71%) have heard of the U.S. Federal Data Strategy (FDS) that outlines a broad, ten-year agenda and vision for federal agencies to leverage data as a strategic asset. While confidence in their ability to deliver on the overall aspects of the strategy appears high, when it comes to governing, managing and protecting data, strong confidence only measured 43%, heavily trailing what 67% of respondents regarded as critically important. Underwritten by Denodo, the leader in data management, the GovExec survey found respondents concerned with their ability to make data easily available, provide real-time access, maintain security, and be future-ready.

The complimentary findings are available here.

The purpose of the Federal Data Strategy is to fully leverage the value of federal data for mission, service, and the public good. It guides the Federal Government through three core principles: practicing ethical governance, conscious design, and a learning culture. Of these key principles, building a culture that values data and promotes public use was the area agencies felt very confident they could achieve (44%), followed by governing, managing and protecting data (43%), and promoting efficient and appropriate data use (42%).

When it comes to delivering on elements of the FDS, integration of disparate data and sources was the biggest priority for participants followed by data security and data copies. A users’ ability to find what they need was also a challenge as nearly 9 out of 10 (88%) cited users’ ability to find what they need in a self-service manner as either a somewhat or critical priority.

To combat these challenges, IT decision makers and influencers felt data virtualization would be somewhat (58%) and/or very helpful (37%) in enabling them to deliver on the aspects of the Federal Data Strategy. The concept of data fabric, while less known among Civilian government respondents in comparison to DoD respondents, was also appealing, as respondents thought centralizing data, saving costs, and minimizing risk through limiting exposure were the most appealing benefits. Despite the potential benefits of employing a logical data fabric, powered by data virtualization., over half (53%) cited security concerns as the biggest barrier in their organization, even more than cost/budget concerns (34%), which are often the biggest perceived barriers to adoption of new technologies.

“Fundamentally, the Federal Data Strategy is calling on agencies to modernize their data infrastructures, yet many agencies will find that difficult to achieve as they struggle to contend with the sheer growth of data volumes that reside across a staggering range of disparate systems and locations,” said Bill Sullivan, VP Federal Practice at Denodo. “Having relied on traditional data centralization paradigms such as monolithic data warehouses, or even newer cloud data lake and lake houses, agencies are suffering from proliferating data sources and user requirements across already complex hybrid and multi cloud IT environments. The Denodo Platform helps the public sector deliver on the core principles of the FDS by enabling them to maximize data accessibility from any source, achieve unprecedented security, and deliver it in real time to any consumer.”


In the State of Federal Data Strategy Survey, GovExec surveyed 200 IT decision makers and influencers in the federal government to uncover the progress and challenges that federal leaders are facing as they roll out initiatives to support the Federal Data Strategy. Underwritten by Denodo, the blind online surveys were fielded in May of 2022 and results are available here.

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