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DISA Drafts New Data Deal

Latest document marks road toward modern data strategy for defense and new capabilities for warfighters.
Leaders cut the ribbon officially opening a new Defense Information Systems Agency compound at Scott Air Force Base, Illinois, on August 11, 2016. Photo By Staff Sgt. Clayton Lenhardt, 375th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs.

Leaders cut the ribbon, officially opening a new Defense Information Systems Agency compound at Scott Air Force Base, Illinois, in August 2016. Photo By Staff Sgt. Clayton Lenhardt, 375th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs.

 

 

 

 

Four lines of effort guide the Defense Information Systems Agency's (DISA's) new Data Strategy Implementation Plan (IPlan) for improved data architecture.

 

“The IPlan will guide how DISA will manage and exploit data as a critical asset to deliver agile digital capabilities to the nation’s warfighter,” said Caroline Kuharske, acting DISA chief data officer.

 

The four lines include Data Architecture & Governance, Advanced Analytics, Data Culture and Knowledge Management.

 

Data Architecture covers the actual management of information to successfully complete missions and manage assets, as stated in a release and a document published by the agency.

 

Among the key attributes, DISA expects to simplify how it currently acquires and stores data. With this information considered a strategic asset, data should be reusable and shared among different big data, analytics, artificial intelligence and machine learning as they grow in maturity and adoption for defense purposes.

 

“Data assets require a similar level of life-cycle support as we refine DISA's systems architecture and develop new governance standards," Kuharske remarked in the press release. “As a combat support agency, we must continue to engage with industry experts, large and small businesses, academic experts, and other data-centric organizations to improve future data capabilities.”

 

DISA expects to have its own data management model and self-assessment framework adapted from the industry’s best practices by mid-2024, according to its plan.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Advanced Analytics will inform decision-making and this should be available across DISA. The key, as defined by the agency, is connecting analytics insights with decision-makers in a timely manner.

"Advanced analytics can predict patterns and potentially determine the outcome of future events,” Kuharske said. The expected completion of this effort is late 2023.

Data Culture is defined as a behavior that centers around data and is especially observant of humans.

“Data-driven organizations are ones in which data assets are consistently and reliably leveraged to translate business strategy into positive, measurable mission outcomes,” states the planning document.

“We need everyone to do their part to ensure the quality and fidelity of our data as we integrate it into our business processes," Kuharske remarked.

 

We need everyone to do their part to ensure the quality and fidelity of our data as we integrate it into our business processes
Caroline Kuharske
Acting DISA Chief Data Officer

 

Late 2023 should find the Knowledge Management line implemented. It focuses on DISA’s ability to develop, capture, organize and share organizational information.

Information should flow to help improve the organization and give the armed forces an information edge in all scenarios. At this point, the knowledge available for defense should be linked, trustworthy, interoperable, secure and visible and accessible to those who need it.

"These skills will help DISA provide the nation's warfighters with the best service possible," Kuharske added.

The plan comes as a direct response to the Department of Defense Data Strategy and its call for drafting a plan unique to each organization under the department.