The Department of Defence will release a dedicated data strategy in the first half of next year to help all areas of the organisation to become more “data-informed”.
The enterprise-wide data strategy is a key deliverable under phase one of Defence’s new two-year transformation strategy, released on Friday.
“In developing the Defence transformation strategy, senior leaders emphasised that our Defence culture must recognise the criticality of data to everything that we do,” the strategy reads.
The transformation strategy recognises the need to “adopt a far more disciplined and deliberate approach to how information is collected, stored, analysed in decision making processes”.
“Organisations that most effectively harness data to support effective decision making have strategic and operational advantage over their competitors,” the strategy states.
“Defence must optimise the strategic, operational and tactical uses of its information resources.
“The foundation of this is high-quality data providing the right information on the right things at the right time to support decision-makers throughout Defence so they can undertake their work with confidence and assurance.
“We must therefore become a more data-informed Defence organisation.”
The data strategy is expected to “direct and guide” the department on how data is to be managed across all facets of Defence, including intelligence, mission data and operational assessments.
Other areas include corporate, HR and enabling services; business intelligence; strategy and policy; capability development and management; and project, program and portfolio management.
“Defence must be able to provide government and Defence decision-makers with a clear, traceable evidence base to support the decision required, particularly in terms of significant changes to policy, resourcing or funding,” the transformation strategy states
Defence has been working to improve its information management capabilities since the 2015 first principles review, which called for a “trusted single source of secure enterprise-wide data”.
Projects like the massive enterprise resource planning modernisation program, which is rationalising around 500 systems across the department, have been central to this.
The single SAP ERP system hosted on Azure is expected to give Defence a near real-time view of critical information across Defence to improve decision making.
The data strategy is also expected to prioritise “building strong data literacy and analytic skillsets”, in part to “gain maximum early benefit from the enhanced information views that will be obtained through the introduction of the enterprise resource planning and enterprise information management capabilities”.