A revision to California’s proposed budget calls for the merger of the state’s data analytics bureau and digital service agency creating a new office that would facilitate more efficient state operations and support one-time projects.


The merger of CalData, the state’s data analytics bureau, and the Office of Digital Innovation (ODI), the digital services agency, that would create a new Office of Data and Innovation (ODI) was included in Gov. Gavin Newsom’s latest proposed budget revision for the fiscal year beginning July 1. The budget is due to be voted on by next month.


Newsom’s budget revision proposed giving the agency a $4.8 million ongoing general fund and six full-time employees, plus a one-time fund of $20 million to complete the merger and stand up the new programs.


Additionally, the proposed merger will work to improve Californians’ experience of their government through championing human-centered design, empowering the use of data and evidence, and demonstrating modern and agile use of technology and prototyping.


The new ODI will also create a curriculum via the proposed Cal Academy. The goal will be to train and update the workforce’s skills in modern practices in innovation and data.


“This proposed merger will allow each program to leverage the expertise of each group. The team will focus on both the public experience of government and internal management and operations (whether digital or not),” California Chief Data Officer Joy Bonaguro wrote in a blog post.


According to Bonaguro, the new agency would create centers of excellence, focusing on user research, service innovation, and data analytics, and would be responsible for helping agencies execute IT pilot projects.

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Lisbeth Perez
Lisbeth Perez
Lisbeth Perez is a MeriTalk State and Local Staff Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.