The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) has released its 2021 Data Strategy in which the agency outlines plans to transform and improve the way data is created, managed, and shared to maintain dominance in the delivery of geospatial intelligence (GEOINT).

The 2021 Data Strategy – a 28-page public document published on October 6 – includes strategic goals and courses of action for the agency as it continues to chart a secure and innovative path forward while dealing with increasing amounts of data, risk, and competition.

“It is essential that we take all necessary [action] to sustain our advantage in GEOINT, including managing our data as a key strategic asset,’’ said NGA Director Vice Adm. Robert Sharp in a press release. “With the holistic enterprise approach mapped out within this new data strategy, NGA sets forth a path [to] stay ahead of our competitors.’’

The data strategy, combined with NGA’s established collaborative data governance programs, pushes the agency to close the gap between current and future capabilities by accelerating developments in four significant focus areas:

  • Making data easily accessible;
  • Improving data reusability;
  • Improving cross-domain efficiencies; and
  • Enabling next-generation GEOINT

NGA agency listed four key goals it is pursuing to meet mission needs.

First, the agency plans to manage data as a strategic asset by deploying a federated enterprise data governance framework that ensures data is proactively, strategically and consistently managed while enabling agility, flexibility, and innovation. The agency’s second goal is to deliver data as a shared service. And to do this, it plans to provide services that offer data – both consumed and created – directly to users efficiently and intuitively.

NGA also wants to scale data and analytics capabilities. The agency intends to champion data-informed innovations that transform how it operates, and set the example for data and analytics excellence and leading practices within the intelligence community, Defense Department, and the overall geospatial community. Finally, NGA plans to bolster data literacy by promoting a data culture and increasing data acumen within its workforce.

Adm. Sharp introduced the strategy at the 2021 GEOINT symposium along with four other documents the agency released during the pandemic: Director’s Intent (Moonshot Strategy), 2021 Tech Focus Areas, National System for GEOINT Strategy, and the 2021 Technology Strategy.

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Lisbeth Perez
Lisbeth Perez
Lisbeth Perez is a MeriTalk Senior Technology Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.