Now managed by the Office of the Chief Digital and Artificial Intelligence Officer, Advana serves as the Department of Defense’s cloud-based business performance metrics platform. It is growing in reach, and since CDAO assumed responsibility for the platform in 2022, its user base has grown from 40,000 to over 72,000.
While the platform serves as a dashboard for individual users, it also includes an integration layer, aligning with its broader purpose to connect officials across all segments of the DOD. According to Nicholas Lanham, deputy program manager for CDAO’s Advana program, the office has big plans for Advana’s future as it looks to expand its data-driven decision making support capabilities to encompass more use cases than ever before.
“The goal there is to make sure that as we bring data in, we make sure that senior leaders know what is scalable, what they can bring into an application and more importantly, making it into an automated data decision making product,” he said during a keynote address at the Potomac Officers Club’s Integrating for Mission Success Forum on Thursday.
One aspect of this plan, Lanham shared, is making Advana-hosted data readily available and more dynamic so senior leaders can avoid using static briefing material, view changes as the conversation is happening and reduce the time spent on creating visuals beforehand.
Lanham said that what leaders want to see is not just the data itself, but data connection. His vision for the platform is to create a space where users are “sitting on top of data” so they can “seamlessly start to discover what new integrations are there and what new decisions or information” is needed for leadership.
“They want to see it in an environment where we can all share that value without moving rooms,” he emphasized.
CDAO is applying that methodology across departments, and in doing so, Lanham said that Advana has already been applied to major use cases.
Lanham noted that Advana is a partner environment, a characteristic that led CDAO to consider including an application programming interface layer within the platform.
Being able to widen Advana’s reservoir of applications and capabilities more easily will help create applications that directly support leaders, inform decision makers and harness data to establish a specific set of metrics that can be used to assess performance across information-based functions, said Lanham.
Also a part of Lanham’s Advana vision is artificial intelligence.
“As we go forward, we need that data, the ability to see it in all classifications and move it to the right classifications to be able to support AI,” he said.
In the future, Lanham intends for Advana users to utilize more of its enterprise connections and capabilities to build, develop, track, analyze and monitor AI at scale.
“Think about being a data scientist in a world where you actually have the ability to log into all logistics systems in the department. We’re not quite there yet, but we’re getting closer with those connections,” he said.
The Potomac Officers Club will host its next event – the Preparing for the Contested Logistics Era Forum – on September 14. During the event, experts will come together to consider contested logistics, its implications and how the DOD can tackle potential logistics challenges. To learn more and register to attend, click here.