State Data Maturity Assessment

Helping data leaders track and evaluate the progress of data strategies in states.

Take Assessment

​​Why It Matters

There has been a noticeable lack of a comprehensive self-assessment tool for government agencies, specifically one that incorporates a deep understanding of the complexities involved in data-sharing agreements, siloed grant funding, and legislative barriers to data sharing, including a century-old law governing public records.

A data maturity assessment tool tailored for governments can equip Chief Data Officers (CDOs) and other data leaders with essential information to evaluate their state or organization’s strengths and weaknesses. Additionally, it identifies key areas requiring investment and enhancement. This tool is an extension of the Beeck Center for Social Impact + Innovation’s ongoing efforts within the State Chief Data Officers Network, including defining the CDO role. It has been rigorously reviewed by current CDOs, representing three-quarters of U.S. states.

We invite state data leaders to engage with this assessment to refine their strategic and tactical plans. This is not a state ranking tool; it is the pathway up a mountain. And as you climb the first summit, you will see there are more mountains to climb.

What You Need to Know

A data-maturity assessment is a tool that empowers states to identify strengths and weak- nesses in harnessing data insights for informed policymaking and service delivery. By conducting this assessment, your state can:

  • Gain valuable insights into its data culture and practices;
  • Pinpoint areas for improvement; and
  • Prioritize investments in data-related initiatives.

This model examines five areas that all U.S. states commonly encounter—commitment, data talent pipeline, data action planning, sharing, and analysis —and benchmarked measures of state governments as they grow their data maturity.

This assessment does not produce a single score and is not intended to disparage states; rather, the purpose is for each state to gain a nuanced and comprehensive overview of their maturity level and determine what areas can grow further.

This model is intended to be used primarily by state level CDOs, or other data leaders seeking to:

  • Advance the use of data in their state;
  • Guide conversations with less technical leaders such as governors, policy directors, budget directors, legislators, or others in decision-making roles; or
  • Track year-over-year improvements in statewide data strategy.

The first iteration of the assessment model is designed to capture statewide data maturity, not that of individual departments or agencies, although departments or agencies are welcome to use the tool. This assessment also focuses on qualitative assessments of data maturity, unlike other technical data-management maturity assessments.

How to Take This Assessment

Review the whole document, including the self-assessment questions and options for answers. There are five categories and a total of 17 questions. We encourage states to select a team knowledgeable about the data policies and pro- cesses in your state to review the questions, discuss answer options for each question, and start collecting relevant documentation supporting your state’s answers.

(Optional) Share your state’s responses with the Beeck Center. The Beeck Center may use you reponses for research puprose in the future. You can also email additional notes about your state’s assessment to digitalservicenetwork@georgetown.edu.

Scale: Levels of Maturity

Below is an overall framework for the maturity measures and benchmarks for each level. States usually start their data journeys from initial awareness and emerging practices. The highest maturity level is an ambitious benchmark, challenging states to stretch their goals and become nationally recognized data leaders.

Self Assessment

Below is the state data-maturity assessment framework listing the main categories, questions, and the specific benchmarks to meet one of five maturity levels for each question. The five components of the framework are:
A. Commitment
B. Data Talent Pipeline
C. Data Action Plan
D. Sharing
E. Analysis
Name(Required)
Location(Required)
Optional

A. Commitment: State has an ongoing commitment to establishing and empowering data leaders.

Advanced states have appropriated budgets allocated to support and sustain the CDO office. Three quarters of states have a formally established CDO role and a third of them have established a deputy CDO role. Six states allocate more than $6 million annually for their CDO offices.

A1. Does your state have a formally established CDO or equivalent role?

CDO is a defined role that leads a comprehensive statewide data strategy and has a cross-cutting influence in state data-management and initiatives.
INITIAL AWARENESS
EMERGING PRACTICE
LEARNING
MANAGING
MASTERING

A2. What funding does your state provide for the CDO office and data initiatives?

INITIAL AWARENESS
EMERGING PRACTICE
LEARNING
MANAGING
MASTERING

A3. How actively is your state involved in data initiatives, collaborations, and partnerships?

INITIAL AWARENESS
EMERGING PRACTICE
LEARNING
MANAGING
MASTERING

B. Data Talent Pipeline: State is increasing capacity of public-service workforce to use data for decision making and operational excellence.

Advanced states are making changes to civil service classifications and job descriptions to include skills such as data engineering and data science, and have ongoing, statewide data-literacy programs.

B1. Is your state prepared to fund dedicated staff to implement a statewide data strategy?

INITIAL AWARENESS
EMERGING PRACTICE
LEARNING
MANAGING
MASTERING

B2. Does your state have an ongoing, statewide data-skills training program and learning opportunities for staff?

INITIAL AWARENESS
EMERGING PRACTICE
LEARNING
MANAGING
MASTERING

C. Data Action Plan: State actively manages its data, knows what data is available, and has a data strategy and a transparent data-governance process.

Advanced states have a written data strategy, are involved in creating and updating statewide data inventories, catalogs, and individual agency data strategies, fund data quality programs, and implement data-architecture standards.

C1. Does your state have a statewide data strategy?

INITIAL AWARENESS
EMERGING PRACTICE
LEARNING
MANAGING
MASTERING

C2. How much is your state improving data-management programs and data-integration initiatives?

INITIAL AWARENESS
EMERGING PRACTICE
LEARNING
MANAGING
MASTERING

C3. How comprehensive are your state’s defined and adopted data-governance processes?

INITIAL AWARENESS
EMERGING PRACTICE
LEARNING
MANAGING
MASTERING

D. Sharing: State has an established, clear, and predictable process for data sharing.

Advanced states have umbrella data-sharing agreements or data trusts to simplify and expedite data sharing across the agencies and with external stakeholders

D1. Does your state have either a standard data-sharing agreement or an “umbrella” agreement?

INITIAL AWARENESS
EMERGING PRACTICE
LEARNING
MANAGING
MASTERING

D2. How comprehensive is your state’s open-data program?

INITIAL AWARENESS
EMERGING PRACTICE
LEARNING
MANAGING
MASTERING

D3. At what level does your state make data available and understandable for different users (for example, community members interested in a map vs. university data scientists asking for an API)?

INITIAL AWARENESS
EMERGING PRACTICE
LEARNING
MANAGING
MASTERING

E. Analysis: State provides skills, knowledge, and tools to enable data analysis.

Advanced states invest in data tools and data-integration efforts to encourage use of data in solving problems and making decisions..

E1. How much does your state invest in providing data analytical tools to state staff at various agencies?

INITIAL AWARENESS
EMERGING PRACTICE
LEARNING
MANAGING
MASTERING

E2. How much does your state invest in research, evaluation and data-driven decision making practices?

INITIAL AWARENESS
EMERGING PRACTICE
LEARNING
MANAGING
MASTERING

Thank you for completing the data maturity assessment. We recommend saving (print as PDF) your responses for the record.

You can add additional details or evidence about your state or agency such as links to relevant legislation, executive orders, or reports to share with the Beeck Center.

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