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Make Data Work
Oct 15–17, 2014 • New York, NY

Government Statistics in the Era of Big Data

Mark Doms (United States Department of Commerce), Jen van der Meer (Reason Street)
9:25am–9:50am Wednesday, 10/15/2014
Data-Driven Business Day
Location: E 20/ E 21
Average rating: ***..
(3.33, 3 ratings)

The US Department of Commerce has long been the powerhouse of government data, trailblazing the use of government statistics and analysis for all of us to make more informed decisions. Now that the era of big data is upon us, with large volumes of data collected and analyzed by the private sector, by citizens themselves, and sensors, how is the agency adapting to this new data environment? During this conversation with Dr. Mark Doms, the Under Secretary of Commerce for Economic Affairs for the Department of Commerce, we will discuss the value of data in the economy at a macro level and how data collection, aggregation and analysis methods are adapting in response to technological change. What does this mean for you and your company? Come to this fireside chat at Data Driven Business Day to learn more.

Photo of Mark Doms

Mark Doms

United States Department of Commerce

Dr. Mark E. Doms was sworn in as the 11th Under Secretary of Commerce for Economic Affairs on January 3, 2013.

Doms succeeds Dr. Rebecca M. Blank who served as the Acting Secretary of Commerce before assuming the position of Chancellor at the University of Wisconsin.

Under Secretary Mark Doms serves as a top economic advisor to the United States Department of Commerce (DOC) and the Obama Administration. In this capacity, he contributes to policies and discussions on a wide range of issues including data, trade, manufacturing, taxation, innovation, competitiveness, retirement security, immigration, and education. Dr. Doms also leads the Economics and Statistics Administration (ESA), which includes two of our nation’s preeminent information agencies: the Census Bureau and the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA). These agencies collect and produce information on the United States’ dynamic population and economy, providing vital data to our nation’s citizens, businesses, and leaders. The Census Bureau and BEA have a combined staff of over 10,000 and a budget exceeding $1 billion.

Dr. Doms leads the Commerce Department’s Strategic Plan for data transformation; he is committed to ensuring federal data are optimized to benefit American businesses, policymakers and the public. Dr. Doms also serves as the Secretary’s appointed Board Representative to the Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation.

Prior to becoming Under Secretary, Dr. Doms served as the Chief Economist at the DOC from 2009. As Chief Economist, Dr. Doms frequently met with business leaders from across the country, listening to their concerns and insights and providing overviews of the U.S. economy. Dr. Doms and his staff produced reports on the middle class, intellectual property, broadband adoption, STEM education, and U.S. competitiveness, among other subjects. Prior to joining DOC, Dr. Doms spent most of his career in the Federal Reserve system, helping guide monetary policy. He is a leading researcher and expert in the areas of innovation, productivity, wages, manufacturing, and price measurement.

Dr. Doms received a B.A. in Mathematics and Economics from the University of Maryland Baltimore County and a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Photo of Jen van der Meer

Jen van der Meer

Reason Street

Jen van der Meer is the founder and CEO of Reason Street, where she creates business models for social impact. A former Wall Street analyst and economist, Jen is a data doyen who masters the emerging edge of technological change. Throughout her career, Jen has practiced an approach that is equal parts data-driven and creative to understand and apply the opportunities for technology to transform the economy, society, and culture. Jen has held executive management roles at Organic, Frog Design, Dachis Group, and Luminary Labs. She was previously a partner at Drillteam where she developed innovation crowdsourcing programs for companies such as Target, Toyota, Nestle, and Neiman Marcus, earning the first social media programs in the industry. Jen organized the acquisition of Drillteam to Powered, Inc. in 2010, which was then merged into Dachis Group in 2011. She is actively engaged in the local startup community in New York City and is a vocal supporter of the open data movement. She is also an adjunct professor at NYU ITP and SVA’s Products of Design. Jen has a BA in comparative religion from Trinity College and an MBA from HEC in Paris. You can reach Jen at