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The “New Math” of Data Innovation: Go Do Something Wonderful

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cdacintelOn July 30th, Intel hosted the second meeting of the US Department of Commerce Data Advisory Council at our headquarters in Santa Clara, California. The primary building of our headquarters, and where the meeting was located, is named after Robert Noyce.   Noyce co-founded Intel with Gordon Moore and was the first Intel Chief Executive Officer. It was fitting that the meeting was held in the heart of Silicon Valley in a building named after one of the foremost visionaries of the technology that now drives the data economy.

Kim Stevenson, Intel’s Vice President and Chief Information Officer, co-chairs the Council. Kim communicated at the meeting how Intel carries forward the Robert Noyce legacy by using data innovation inside Intel to utilize the power of Moore’s Law to bring smart, connected devices to every person on Earth. Noyce was famous for saying (and the quote is on the wall of the lobby of the building that bears his name) “Don’t be encumbered by history. Go off and do something wonderful.”

One of the best ways to empower people to do something wonderful is to put them in small teams, give them resources and then let them find opportunities to innovate.   Kim Stevenson’s organization takes just that approach with something she calls 5 + 6 = 10. While the love of traditional math is part of Intel’s DNA, we also love this “new math”. The equation stands for forming teams of 5 people, giving them 6 months, and then expecting a $10 million return on investment.

The Department of Commerce announced at the meeting an exciting plan that follows the same model. Ian Kalin, Commerce’s Chief Data Officer, used the meeting to formally launch the Commerce Data Corps.   Commerce will form small teams and send them out to help components of the agency get value from the data they collect and hold. Creating innovation in large organizations can be challenging, but empowering small teams is a good way to get results.

As Commerce changes the way it uses data, it also plans to innovate data economy public policy. Alan Davidson, a veteran of decades of internet policy innovation, has joined the Department of Commerce as the Director of Digital Economy and Senior Advisor to the Secretary. Alan laid out his strategy for building the next layer of the internet public policy structure. The four parts of the plan are: 1. Global free exchange of information, 2. Trust and security online, 3. Access and skills, and 4. Emerging technologies and innovation.   Intel welcomes Commerce’s focus on these areas of public policy. They align with the areas where progress is necessary to allow all organizations to practice the new math of the data economy and honor Robert Noyce by doing something wonderful.