Cragg: Defeat stovepipes through common data

Related Links

"Grim prognosis"

Stovepipes are a fact of life. Making data flow between them is what’s important, said Scott Cragg, chief architect of the Department of Veterans Affairs.

“The stovepipes don’t need to go away,” Cragg said yesterday, speaking at a Washington, D.C., lunch sponsored by the Industry Advisory Council. The challenge for enterprise architects is getting the stovepipes to communicate, he said.

In the VA, the challenge is particularly difficult because the department has three major semi-autonomous components and must manage data compatibility with the Defense Department.

But during the past two weeks, the VA and DOD have been testing a common repository for demographic data as active-duty personnel become veterans. The effort will eliminate duplicative data collection efforts and consolidate many data feeds from the Pentagon into a single line, Cragg said.

On average, it takes about $5,000 to get and keep a veteran’s information onto VA rolls, Cragg added. Every dollar saved there frees another dollar to be spent on medical care.

“There’s no brilliance in this though,” Cragg added. “It’s just basic physics: Data drives everything we do.”

About the Author

David Perera is a special contributor to Defense Systems.

Featured

  • Comment
    Pilot Class. The author and Barbie Flowers are first row third and second from right, respectively.

    How VA is disrupting tech delivery

    A former Digital Service specialist at the Department of Veterans Affairs explains efforts to transition government from a legacy "project" approach to a more user-centered "product" method.

  • Cloud
    cloud migration

    DHS cloud push comes with complications

    A pressing data center closure schedule and an ensuing scramble to move applications means that some Homeland Security components might need more than one hop to get to the cloud.

  • Comment
    Blue Signage and logo of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

    Doing digital differently at VA

    The Department of Veterans Affairs CIO explains why digital transformation is not optional.

Stay Connected

FCW INSIDER

Sign up for our newsletter.

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.