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Army’s chief data officer outlines plan for new hierarchy of ‘data stewards’

April 16, 2024

Sydney J. Freedberg Jr.

Breaking Defense

U.S. Army Cpt. Daniel Reape, assigned to the 2nd Cavalry Regiment, communicates with headquarters using Tactical Mission Data Platform during Brave Partner exercise on Ramstein Air Base, Germany Nov. 30, 2023. (U.S. Army Reserve photo by Spc. William Kuang)

By Sydney J. Freedberg Jr, Breaking Defense / April 16, 2024

WASHINGTON — As modern militaries and the AI they’re wrestling with increasingly demand well-ordereddata, the US Army is creating a hierarchy of officials to say clearly, for the first time, “who’s doing what” for data management across the service, the Army’s chief data and analytics officer told Breaking Defense.

A central principle of the new policy, David Markowitz explained, is “establishing a better feedback loop between those that produce data and those that use Army data” — in other words, improving the connection between the supply side and data demand.

Markowitz’s boss, Army CIO Leonel Garciga, laid out the new policy in an April 2 memorandum [PDF] on “Army Data Stewardship Roles and Responsibilities.” Some of the memo, Markowitz explained, is simply “formalizing and institutionalizing” jobs that Army officers and officials have already been doing more or less “ad hoc,” like the chief data stewards the Army has been creating at many of its subordinate commands: “The roles and responsibilities memo codifies the who is doing what, so that we get speed.”

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