US NGA releases new data strategy

By on 10 November, 2021

Image courtesy NGA

The US National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency has published a new data strategy, outlining its plans to transform and improve the way data is created, managed and shared in order to maintain dominance in the delivery of geospatial intelligence.

“It is essential that we take all actions necessary to sustain our advantage in GEOINT — and that includes managing our data as a key strategic asset,’’ stated NGA Director Vice Adm. Robert Sharp in the data strategy.

“With the holistic enterprise approach mapped out within this new data strategy, NGA sets forth a path for leading the way and staying ahead of our competitors.’’

The NGA Data Strategy 2021, a 28-page public document, includes both strategic goals and courses of action for the agency as it continues to chart a secure and innovative path forward while facing increasing amounts of data, risk and competition.

Aligned to the agency’s Moonshot effort to “deliver trusted GEOINT with the speed, accuracy and precision required,’’ the strategy calls for the accelerated, shared and trusted use of data to help NGA better deliver on its mandates and show the way.

The plan, created as a companion document to the NGA Technology Strategy published in 2020, already has played an integral role in the agency’s recent adoption of a new data governance structure to provide a coordinated framework for data policies and stewardship.

The data strategy, combined with the established collaborative data governance program, guides the agency’s push to close the gap between current and future capabilities by accelerating developments in four significant focus areas: making data easily accessible, improving data reusability, improving cross-domain efficiencies and enabling next-generation GEOINT.

The strategy describes four key goals being pursued by NGA to meet its mission and business needs. To achieve its desired results, the agency seeks to:

  • Manage data as a strategic asset: Deploy a federated enterprise data governance framework that ensures data is proactively, strategically and consistently managed while enabling agility, flexibility and innovation.
  • Deliver data as a shared service: Provide services that deliver data — both consumed and created — directly to consumers in an efficient and intuitive way.
  • Scale data and analytics capabilities: Champion data-informed innovations that transform how NGA operates; set the example for data and analytics excellence and leading practices within the IC, DOD and geospatial community.
  • Bolster data literacy in the workforce: Promote a data culture and increase the workforce’s data acumen.

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