White House gives DJ Patil new job (but what a mouthful)

[No, not that sort of DJ. You're fired -Ed.]

dj patil us cds
Credit: VerTijs (public domain)

What's a CDSaDCTODT? Dhanurjay 'DJ' Patil is now the U.S. (deep breath) Chief Data Scientist and Deputy Chief Technology Officer for Data Policy. How about CDS, for short?

He reports to the U.S. CTO in a role that's as wide-ranging as the job-title is long.

In IT Blogwatch, bloggers say it four times fast. Not to mention: Googly eyes

curated these bloggy bits for your entertainment.


Jessi Hempel reports:

It’s finally official. ... Patil—who has worked inside several big-name[s]...including LinkedIn, eBay, PayPal, Skype, and...Greylock Partners—will now act as an evangelist for...big data across all areas of government. [He] is often credited with coining the term...data science.

He joins a growing number of technology executives defecting to Washington to apply their tech smarts to government. Earlier this month...former VMWare executive Tony Scott [became CIO], responsible for modernizing and improving the country’s tech tools.  MORE


As Jason Miller notes, other parts of the govmint have been hiring CDOs, too:

The government's fondness to add chief data officers to the cadre of CXOs over the last six months has found its way to the White House.

The White House's decision...is part of a growing trend among agencies. The Department of Transportation named Dan Morgan as its chief data officer in July. The Federal Communications Commission was one of the first agencies to hire a CDO. The Department of Energy recently hired its first CDO, and the Agriculture Department named Bobby Jones as its acting CDO. ... Meanwhile, the Department of Commerce is in the final stages of hiring a CDO.  MORE


So what will he do? Matt O'Brien makes it less murky:

And what will the White House’s chief data scientist do? A 2012 Harvard Business Review article co-written by Patil described the role of data scientist as a “hybrid of data hacker, analyst, communicator, and trusted adviser” and the “sexiest job of the 21th century.” Not everyone is a fan of the term, notably...Nate Silver, who has said “data scientist is a sexed-up term for a statistician.”

Among Patil’s...tasks will be working on the Precision Medicine Initiative to accelerate biomedical discoveries that Obama revealed in his State of the Union speech last month.  MORE


Patil's new boss, U.S. CTO Megan Smith, runs on with more:

President Obama has prioritized bringing top technical talent like DJ into the federal government to harness the power of technology and innovation to help government better serve the American people. ... DJ’s work will help ensure government remains effective and innovative...in our increasingly digital world.

As Chief Data Scientist, DJ will help shape policies and practices to help the U.S. remain a leader in technology and innovation, foster partnerships to help responsibly maximize the nation’s return on its investment in data, and help to recruit and retain the best minds in data science to join us in serving the public.  MORE


Rachel King ponders Ms. Smith going to Washington:

Smith herself moved to Washington last fall, resigning from her previous role as vice president of [the] Google X research lab.

Smith has been tasked with guiding President Obama's information technology policy initiatives, which at the time was defined to include accelerating "attainment of the benefits of advanced information and communications technologies across every sector of the economy and aspect of human well-being."

[She] stands in the unique position of being a national policy leader as well as an operational executive overseeing an IT budget nearing $80 million.  MORE


And Timothy J. Seppala reads Patil's resume:

He's incredibly qualified to hold [the] position as the country's first-ever CDS.

​Patil's hiring shouldn't exactly come as a surprise, either: one of President Obama's biggest directives...has been to utilize public data and make it usable by everyone.  MORE


Meanwhile, Patil himself weighs in on his mildly-comedic job title:

If there's one thing I could ask, it would be to consider helping out. The country needs your help.

PS: Anyone know how to fit CDSaDCTODT on a business card?  MORE


And Finally…
Add googly eyes to photos -- weirdest Google Chrome extension ever?
[hat tip: Andy Baio]


You have been reading IT Blogwatch by , who curates the best bloggy bits, finest forums, and weirdest websites… so you don't have to. Catch the key commentary from around the Web every morning. Hatemail may be directed to @RiCHi or itbw@richi.uk. Opinions expressed may not represent those of Computerworld. Ask your doctor before reading. Your mileage may vary. E&OE.

To express your thoughts on Computerworld content, visit Computerworld's Facebook page, LinkedIn page and Twitter stream.
From CIO: 8 Free Online Courses to Grow Your Tech Skills
Shop Tech Products at Amazon
Notice to our Readers
We're now using social media to take your comments and feedback. Learn more about this here.