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Designing Data-Driven Solutions for Government Challenges

Thursday, December 3, 2015
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Katherine Pearlman’s career in federal government began with a two-year training stint at the General Services Administration (GSA). As a financial management specialist, Pearlman rotated through various offices within the agency, gaining valuable experience in federal budgeting and accounting, financial management, and governmental and congressional affairs. Pearlman credits the program with giving her an understanding of the business challenges faced by each office and the agency as a whole. 

Armed with this perspective, she eventually joined a team within GSA’s Office of Government-wide Policy (OGP) that uses the agency’s data to support decision making. Today, Pearlman is making good on data’s promise to guide the way to better decisions that benefit both employees and citizens. Her work extends beyond the GSA, where she works with other government agencies to help them unlock the value of their data and build a “data-to-decisions” environment across federal government. The Public Manager spoke with her about her career path and what she hopes to accomplish in her role as a data analyst.

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Pearlman told TPM that "every agency, office, division—big or small—can benefit from outreach and collaboration when it comes to data. Whether your agency is very mature in its ability to collect, process, and use data, or is just getting started, they can all benefit from a culture of sharing data, experiences, and best practices."

What's more, she reminds government employees that "data is everywhere, and understanding its potential can go a long way toward improving the impact it can have. When faced with a business problem, look for the data to help solve it—chances are it’s out there and will provide evidence that supports effective solutions."

Read the complete Spotlight Q&A from the November issue of The Public Manager.

About the Author
Stephanie Castellano is a former writer/editor for the Association for Talent Development (ATD).
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