California Employment Development Department’s ‘data brain’ lauded for information mastery

CARY, NC (Dec. 21, 2015) – For five years, SAS has honored the “moderately sung hero” who is the data steward. This year, Cheryl Swope, Systems Software Specialist for the California Employment Development Department (EDD), takes the 2015 Data Steward of the Year honor.

The data steward doesn’t merely manage data, which has only gotten more complex with the rise of streaming information and the Internet of Things. She also serves as a critical connector between business and IT.

Swope is known by her co-workers as the “data brain within EDD.” One of the largest departments in the state of California, EDD has many functions, including administering unemployment and disability benefit claims, collecting payroll taxes from employers, and connecting job seekers with employers – all in an effort to build the economy of the Golden State.

Swope was instrumental in developing a Business Intelligence Competency Center, which promoted enterprise data integration across program areas, and also guided the department’s critical business intelligence strategy. Within the center Swope wears many hats: SAS® administrator, programmer and data information architect. Her efforts increased efficiencies and cost savings while helping to better identify fraud in unemployment and disability insurance benefits claims.

Swope perfectly embodies the theme of this year’s Data Stewards Day, “tame the data monster.” She does it with ingenuity, multitasking and a strong understanding of the latest in data management and big data technologies.

Each year, previous winners join members of the Data Roundtable, SAS’ cadre of data management experts who serve as judges in selecting the next Data Steward of the Year.

“Data stewards serve a critical role as masters of an organization’s key asset – its information – and as the liaisons between technology and business. Swope has shown all of the qualities required to tame the increasingly challenging ‘data monster’ within California’s Employment Development Department,” said Gretchen Inglis, SAS Customer Advocate, State of CA government customers with SAS. “Swope’s ability to embrace new technology, spearhead key initiatives and, as her nomination stated, be the ‘data brain’ of California’s Employment Development Department, make her an ideal honoree.”

Read more about the submission and Swope’s ongoing role within California’s Employment Development Department on SAS’ Data Roundtable blog here.