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DOD Chief Data Officer David Spirk Discusses U.S. Data Strategy, Implementation & Innovation During GovCon Wire Events’ Data Innovation Forum

GovCon Wire Events hosted its Data Innovation Forum on Tuesday featuring David Spirk, chief data officer for the Department of Defense (DOD) and a 2021 Wash100 Award recipient, as the keynote speaker.

Tuesday’s Forum explored the federal government’s modernization data strategy, innovation in the artificial intelligence and machine learning data processing industry and how to better process and protect sensitive data. Sprik offered his first-hand perspective on DOD’s initiatives and the challenges at hand as innovation and implementation continue to influence the federal landscape.

If you missed the Data Innovation Forum on Tuesday, you can access the OnDemand footage by visiting GovCon Wire Events’ Archive.

The Data Innovation Forum began with an introduction from Gregg Melanson, executive vice president and general manager of Illuminate Mission Solutions. Melanson introduced David Spirk and detailed his efforts to strengthen DOD’s data management as well as his role to accelerate DOD’s transition into a data-centric culture, which includes overseeing the data governance process, data standards, policies and more.

Following Melanson’s introduction, Spirk opened his keynote speech by discussing the evolution of DOD’s data strategy and revealed that when he came into the department a year ago, there wasn’t an official data strategy, but there was one in the works.

Spirk detailed that former DOD CIO Dana Deasy afforded him and a small team the opportunity to develop and rewrite the department’s strategy. According to Spirk, the original strategy had a strong focus on business analytics and sounded like it was written by a data scientist.

After some review, the document was crafted to have joint all domain operations at the forefront and ensure that the focus would be on our nation’s warfighters to make it easier to recognize why DOD’s goals were to make data accessible, understandable, interoperable, trusted and secure.

“One of the things that we’ve been able to focus on since is how we turn to implementation and how we’ve partnered with LG Kroll on Joint All Domain Command and Control (JADC2) as well as BG Rob Parker to initiate that as we’re turning to implementation, we’re focusing on those areas that matter most to our warfighters and expand their capabilities,” Spirk explained.

To hear the rest of David Spirk’s comments and learn more about the development of DOD’s data strategy, visit GovCon Wire Events’ Archive to rewatch Tuesday’s Data Innovation Forum.

In addition to Spirk’s keynote address, the Forum featured Chris Borneman of Software AG Government Solutions, Thomas Sasala of the U.S. Navy, Ron Bewtra of the Department of Justice (DOJ), Eileen Vidrine of the U.S. Air Force and David Markowitz of the U.S. Army in an expert panel moderated by Randy Soper, lead data strategist at Illuminate Mission Solutions to continue the discussion of the government’s data innovation goals and priorities as well as the current challenges.

Also, don’t forget to mark your calendars on Sept. 14th and register for GovCon Wire Events’ upcoming Space Acquisition Forum featuring Shawn Barnes, acting assistant secretary Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Space Acquisition and Integration, as the keynote speaker.

He will address the value of an integrated space architecture and the importance of synchronization and integration for space capabilities. Join our event to learn more about how the commercial industry can assist the DOD in securing the nation’s future in outer space and beyond and register on GovCon Wire Events to secure your spot now for this can’t miss forum.

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