DOD struggles with incompatible data

Despite its efforts, the Defense Department is finding it difficult to share data. The multiagency Cross-Domain Semantic Interoperability Working Group concluded that DOD must address the problem with technologies that aren't yet available.

The group released a report stating that DOD's data strategy is inimical to achieving broad interoperability. The technologies necessary to reach that goal haven't sufficiently matured, according to the report.

DOD’s strategy is to establish communities of interest (COIs) that will develop standard data models. That approach is problematic, the report states, because it will result in a proliferation of COIs and competition among them. “The Army may end up with 100 or more data models, even with strong governance to limit the number," the report states.

The group concluded that mapping the various data models could require as many 9,900 interfaces. “Even if only 10 percent of the mappings were needed, it would still be too many, and this does not include interfaces with external systems," the report states.

The group warned that the proliferation of COIs and competition among them would lead to confusion. “If the Government Accountability  Office, DOD and the Army each create a COI for finance, which one does a given application adopt?”

A lack of interoperability is inherent in COIs, the group concluded. “A logistics system may fit well in a logistics domain, but [it] may also need to share data with a financial system,” the report states. “If [a logistics system] uses the logistics COI data model, it will not be interoperable with the financial COI data model."

The report's authors recommended that DOD focus on emerging technologies that directly address such issues to expand its ability to share data with internal and external partners.

Featured

  • Defense
    The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) reveal concept renderings for the Next NGA West (N2W) campus from the design-build team McCarthy HITT winning proposal. The entirety of the campus is anticipated to be operational in 2025.

    How NGA is tackling interoperability challenges

    Mark Munsell, the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency’s CTO, talks about talent shortages and how the agency is working to get more unclassified data.

  • Veterans Affairs
    Veterans Affairs CIO Jim Gfrerer speaks at an Oct. 10 FCW event (Photo credit: Troy K. Schneider)

    VA's pivot to agile

    With 10 months on the job, Veterans Affairs CIO Jim Gfrerer is pushing his organization toward a culture of constant delivery.

Stay Connected

FCW INSIDER

Sign up for our newsletter.

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.