In a May 5 memo, the Department of Defense stated it needs to improve the DoD Data Strategy’s focus areas by applying five “DoD Data Decrees.”

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Signed by Deputy Defense Secretary Kathleen Hicks, the five data decrees work to transform DoD into a data-centric organization to improve performance and create decision advantage from battlespace to board room and ensure U.S. competitive advantage.

“To accelerate the Department’s efforts, leaders must ensure all DoD data is visible, accessible, understandable, linked, trustworthy, interoperable, and secure,” the memo states.

For the department “to generate the transformative proficiency and efficiency gains across the DoD Data Strategy’s focus areas of Joint All Domain Operations, Senior Leader Decision Support, and Executive Analytics,” the five data decrees to be applied include:

  1. “Maximizing data sharing and rights for data use: all DoD data is an enterprise resource;
  2. Publish data assets in the DoD federated data catalog along with common interface specifications;
  3. Use automated data interfaces that are externally accessible and machine-readable, ensure interfaces use industry-standard, non-proprietary, preferably open-source, technologies, protocols, and payloads;
  4. Store data in a manner that is platform and environment-agnostic, uncoupled from hardware or software dependencies; and
  5. Implement industry best practices for secure authentication access management, encryption, monitoring, and protection of data at rest, in transit, and in use.”

In addition, the memo directs actions to accelerate DoD’s enterprise data edge and by June 15, 2021, the DoD CDO will provide a status report on the following efforts:

  • An assessment detailing the DoD CDO being separate from the DoD CIO and will serve as the Principal Staff Assistant for enterprise data management and data analytic issues;
  • Identify near-term options to accelerate the adoption of enterprise data management and data analytics capability consistent with the memo guidance;
  • A review of current and developing DoD data management and data analytic platforms to identify opportunities for better integration, consolidation, and replacement of those not comporting to an open standard architecture consistent with the guidance;
  • “Delivery of a Plan of Action & Milestones to resolve identified gaps informed by scaling of capabilities that have proven themselves in real-world operations, simulations, experiments, and demonstrations related to data storage, access, security and management;” and
  • An analysis of DoD data talent to identify data fluency across DoD, critical skill gaps within the digital workforce, current approaches to resourcing and training data experts, and simultaneously exploring creating additional public and private partnerships to overcome the perceived deficit.

“Data is essential to preserving military advantage, supporting our people, and serving the public,” the memo states. “Leaders at all levels have a responsibility to manage, understand, and responsibly share and protect data in support of our shared mission.”

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Jordan Smith
Jordan Smith
Jordan Smith is a MeriTalk Senior Technology Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.