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Immediate Release

DOD Issues New Data Strategy

The Department of Defense has published a new Data Strategy focused on accelerating the Department’s transition to a data-centric organization that uses data at speed and scale for operational advantage and increased efficiency. The Strategy emphasizes managing data as a strategic resource, highlighting the criticality of data to build and maintain battlefield advantage, and the need to treat information systems on par with the priority given to weapon systems.  

DOD Chief Information Officer Dana Deasy stated, “Data is the ammunition in the Digital Modernization Strategy and is increasingly central to warfighter advantage on and off the battlefield. The National Defense Strategy directed us to be more lethal, efficient, and interoperable with partners. This strategy is our first step to making that ammo persistently available to the men and women of the DOD regardless of echelon or geographic location.” 

When Spirk was appointed as the Chief Data Officer for DOD, he noted how the Data Strategy will support operational data needs. “The Honorable Mr. Deasy gave me clear guidance to focus early efforts on data for joint warfighting. The Strategy’s emphasis will allow us to concentrate on that. It reinforces DOD’s priority focus areas of joint warfighting, senior leader decision support, and data analytics”

Implementing the Data Strategy will require an automated orchestration of numerous data pipelines (e.g., discovery, ingestion, preparation, storage, processing, exposure / dissemination) in order to facilitate trusted and reproducible machine-to-machine data exchanges. In close partnership with the Military Department and Joint Staff CDOs, Spirk will map and build an even larger community of data leaders, via a deliberately expanded DOD Data Council that brings in the Combatant Commands and Department Agencies and Field Activities.  This empowered enterprise-wide team of DOD data leaders will work together to operationalize the objectives under the Data Strategy’s seven goals of making data visible, accessible, understandable, linked, trustworthy, interoperable, and secure.

Deasy added, “The principal challenge in the Data Strategy isn’t getting data; the Department has access to vast data reserves, but we need to build the engine to turn this resource into insight for our service members at the speed of need. The Digital Modernization program is doing just that, via our investments in cloud, A.I., C3 modernization, and cyber.”  


DOD Data Strategy: Unleashing Data to Advance the National Defense Strategy

Summary: The DOD Data Strategy supports the National Defense and Digital Modernization Strategies by providing the overarching vision, focus areas, guiding principles, essential capabilities, and goals necessary to transform the Department into a data-centric enterprise.

Vision: DOD is a data-centric organization that uses data at speed and scale for operational advantage and increased efficiency.

Focus Areas: The strategy emphasizes the need to work closely with users in the operational community, particularly the warfighter. Initial areas of focus include:

Joint All Domain Operations – using data for advantage on the battlefield

Senior Leader Decision Support – using data to improve DOD management

Business Analytics – using data to drive informed decisions at all echelons

8 Guiding Principles

  1. Data is a Strategic Asset
  2. Collective Data Stewardship
  3. Data Ethics
  4. Data Collection
  5. Enterprise-Wide Data Access and Availability
  6. Data for Artificial Intelligence Training
  7. Data Fit for Purpose
  8. Design for Compliance

4 Essential Capabilities: Architecture; Standards; Governance; Talent & Culture

7-Goals (aka, VAULTIS) we must achieve to become a data-centric DOD:

  1. Make Data Visible – Consumers can locate the needed data.
  2. Make Data Accessible – Consumers can retrieve the data.
  3. Make Data Understandable – Consumers can recognize the content, context, and applicability.
  4. Make Data Linked – Consumers can exploit data elements through innate relationships.
  5. Make Data Trustworthy – Consumers can be confident in all aspects of data for decision-making.
  6. Make Data Interoperable – Consumers have a common representation/ comprehension of data.
  7. Make Data Secure – Consumer data is protected from unauthorized use/manipulation.