The U.S. Army is planning to deploy Chief Data Officers (CDOs) across various commands to act as a point of contact (POC) for mission-critical data management, according to Breaking Defense.
Their roles will revolve around overseeing and managing data within their respective commands and making critical decisions on data sharing, curation, and retention.
“We’re trying to better institutionalize our data community where we’ll have both commands who understand what commands want and senior leaders want and can request data from the Army, as well as what we spent the last two years doing, which is making sure we produce the data that’s needed,” David Markowitz, the Army's Chief Data Officer and Analytics Officer, said in an interview.
So far, the Army has already deployed CDOs at Army Materiel Command, 18th Airborne Corps, Army Cyber Command, Army Corps of Engineers, and Army National Guard.
Markowitz also revealed that a new policy memo is in the works which will define the roles and responsibilities of these CDOs. The memo is expected to be completed by the end of this year.
The process to create designated CDOs for commands was initiated two years ago. Markowitz was appointed to the CDO position by the U.S. Army in 2020, underscoring the growing significance of data in contemporary military operations.
During the time of Markowitz’s appointment, the Department of Justice (DOJ) also published its first data strategy and called data the ‘ammo of the future.’
Recent media reports also suggest that the US Army’s efforts to implement its Unified Data Reference Architecture (UDRA) are already underway.
The Army has accomplished various initial tasks associated with the implementation plan of UDRA, according to Jen Swanson, Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army for Data, Engineering, and Software.
The implementation process is now well beyond the halfway point and a 100-day plan is in progress to pinpoint the specific programs that will initiate the implementation of the architecture.