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."

About the Author

Troy K. Schneider is editor-in-chief of FCW and GCN, as well as General Manager of Public Sector 360.

Prior to joining 1105 Media in 2012, Schneider was the New America Foundation’s Director of Media & Technology, and before that was Managing Director for Electronic Publishing at the Atlantic Media Company. The founding editor of, 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, National Journal, Governing, and many of the other titles listed above.

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

Click here for previous articles by Schneider, or connect with him on Twitter: @troyschneider.


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