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Katy Börner, Distinguished Professor of Information Science at the School of Informatics and Computing, was part of the most recent Commerce Data Advisory Council meeting in Washington, D.C., in late October. U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker delivered the opening remarks.

Börner was part of a lightning talk discussing the new Bureau of Economic Analysis’ beaR system, which allows data scientists to search, sort, and analyze data about such things as the growth of the components in the United States’ gross domestic product or the growth of regional economies to dive into the statistics available using the R open source programming language. As part of the same session, the eu.us.opendata R library was demonstrated as a novel means to provide access to comparable datasets from the EU and the US.  

Börner was a discussant on a presentation about the Commerce Data Academy, which is offered through the Commerce Data Service and aims to help educate and empower employees within the Department of Commerce to make data-driven decisions.

“In the Information Age, being able to read and make data visualizations is as important as being able to read and write text,” Börner says. “I am pleased to see that the CDAC team is now offering high quality training for modern data products. I am truly delighted that there is a large demand by government employees and others to participate in the training and embrace data-driven decision making.”

Other recent CDAC accomplishments include the NIST Net-Zero Facility that makes advanced home efficiency research possible and the eu.us.opendata R library developed to provide access to comparable datasets from the EU and the US.

Börner was appointed to a two-year term on the CDAC in 2015. The CDAC, which meets up to four times a year, was formed to provide advice and recommendations to the Secretary of the Department of Commerce on ways to make Commerce data easier to find, access, use, combine, and disseminate. To see the Council in action, follow the archived stream of the meeting.

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