AI & Analytics

DOD data strategy nearing release

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.

About the Author

Troy K. Schneider is the Editor-in-Chief of both FCW and GCN, two of the oldest and most influential publications in public-sector IT. Both publications (originally known as Federal Computer Week and Government Computer News, respectively) are owned by GovExec. Mr. Schneider also serves GovExec's General Manager for Government Technology Brands.

Mr. Schneider previously served as New America Foundation’s Director of Media & Technology, and before that was Managing Director for Electronic Publishing at the Atlantic Media Company, where he oversaw the online operations of The Atlantic Monthly, National Journal, The Hotline and The Almanac of American Politics, among other publications. The founding editor of, Mr. Schneider also helped launch the political site in the mid-1990s, and worked on the earliest online efforts of the Los Angeles Times and Newsday. He began his career in print journalism, and has written for a wide range of publications, including The New York Times,, Slate, Politico, Governing, and many of the other titles listed above.

Mr. Schneider is a graduate of Indiana University, where his emphases were journalism, business and religious studies.

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