Disruptive by Design: GAMECHANGER: There's a new game in town!

July 1, 2021
By Jennifer A. Miller

Have you heard of GAMECHANGER? It is not a game but a tool everyone associated with the U.S. Defense Department will likely find helpful. And the intriguing name matches the tool!

GAMECHANGER is built on the Advana platform. Advana gets its name from the phrase “advanced analytics.” It is a massive underlying analytics tool that’s heavy in data, recurring feeds, data visualization options, etc. GAMECHANGER recently became available on the Non-classified Internet Protocol Router Network, more commonly known as the NIPRNET. It is accessible with Common Access Card (CAC) only. That means no other account, such as an Advana account, is required. Further, it’s my pleasure to share that there is no wait, no approvals and no extra steps required! Don’t believe me? Try it today: https://gamechanger.advana.data.mil.

A few months ago, I started to see the publicity for GAMECHANGER. All reviews I’ve seen to date are positive—very positive. Most of what I offer below comes from the GAMECHANGER email blasts and website and a series of demos conducted over the past few months.

Defense Department documents describe GAMECHANGER as the department’s trusted solution for evidence-based, data-driven decision making across the universe of requirements. The GAMECHANGER platform is an authoritative collection of requirements that are identified and ingested by natural language processing and artificial intelligence-enabled technologies to ensure every document is up to date every time a CAC holder visits.

Users can conduct simple or complex queries to search the corpus of documents. Visitors also can use provided analytical tools to discover interdependencies, connection points, redundancies and/or inconsistencies between requirements, the documentation explains. As if that weren’t enough, GAMECHANGER includes abilities to: automate identification of policy and revisions, meaningfully connect strategy and requirements, mitigate conflicting policy and create exponentially better policy.

There isn’t space here to tout all the benefits, but be sure to check out the GAMECHANGER site, office hours, live demos, slick sheets and latest documentation available to gain a hands-on idea of the tool. While extraordinarily useful, the system is as fun as any game for nerds (I prefer the term “education advocate”) like myself!

Friendly warning and invite: GAMECHANGER is an evolving platform under constant improvement. Each visit may result in finding changes to features and capabilities based on user feedback—so don’t be shy!

I know you’re eager to try GAMECHANGER, so I’ll briefly describe my own thoughts and experience. The GAMECHANGER vision statement is to fundamentally change the way in which the Defense Department navigates its universe of requirements and makes decisions. It’s a bold statement but also true because it’s dandy for legal, financial management, medical personnel, logistics, engineering and many other career fields.

I’ve explored and tinkered with the tool to test it, and it’s been a tremendous time saver—super fast! The machine learning part acts much like a Google search. Even if my search term or phrase isn’t exactly right, the tool gives me an educated assist and suggested search ideas.

Additionally, the page shows the trending searches for those interested in staying ahead of what’s coming down the pike, working on the same topic as others, or knowing what’s popular. Last I heard, more than 10,000 documents were housed in the tool, and the count is growing. No more worrying if I have the latest version of an instruction, directive, policy or regulation—I am now relieved of that anxiety.

Search results seem flat or limited? Then move from the “card view” to the “graph view” or “document explorer” to discover nodes, edges and options related to a search or to search within the selected document. Yes, you can search a specific document without even opening it. The user dashboard allows for three types of favorites to reduce the rehash of search work you frequently do.

OK, OK ... I’ll stop here so you can go and change up your search game with GAMECHANGER, too.

Jennifer Miller is a financial manager for the Defense Health Agency. She is a certified government financial manager, a certified defense financial manager with acquisition specialty and a member of the American Society of Military Comptroller’s Washington Chapter.

Opinions, conclusions, and recommendations expressed or implied within are solely those of the author. They do not necessarily represent the views of the United States Army, the Department of Defense or any other U.S. government agency.

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