Want proof that US officials are taking data seriously? Just look at the Commerce Department. It's following in the White House's footsteps by hiring its first ever Chief Data Scientist, Jeff Chen. He'll make sure that the department is making the most of data across the many, many fields it covers: he could improve predictions for severe weather, for example, or help modernize the US' creaky patent system. Chen certainly has the experience to back it up, having worked with everyone from NASA to the White House's own Office of Science and Technology Policy. There's only so much he can do in the new role, but it won't be surprising if he gets the wheels of government turning considerably faster.
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