DOD data strategy nearing release

The Navy's chief data officer says the final draft should be out in November with service-specific implementation plans to follow.

The Defense Department's data strategy could be public in a matter of weeks.

Department of the Navy Chief Data Officer Tom Sasala said at FCW's Oct. 30 Emerging Tech Workshop that, "with any luck," the long-awaited document will be released "sometime next month -- November."

The final draft is just nine pages, Sasala said, and substantively has been finished for months. The drawn-out process is "a long story," but stems in part from all the things that were taken out of the document.

"We took all implementation details out of the strategy," he said. Instead, each service branch and the secretary's office is required to develop its own implementation plan.

The slimmed-down strategy is "not magical," he said, but it does provide a solid framework to guide each service's data efforts.

"So this is fascinating," Sasala said. "We have a tendency to [produce] strategy documents all the time and then they sit on a shelf and we admire how awesome we are about writing a strategy, right? In this case we actually have to do something with a strategy."

Implementation plans are due two months after the final strategy is released, Sasala said. "We're still writing our I plan … but we do have investments that we want to make in technologies that help make this better."

The Office of Management and Budget released a federal data strategy in June. DOD Chief Data Officer Michael Conlin has been leading the Pentagon's effort to develop a military-specific counterpart, and the other services are similarly at work on their implementation plans. Army CIO Bruce Crawford said in early October that "the Army is ready to publish its data strategy."

This article first appeared on FCW, a partner site of Defense Systems.