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My Coast Guard
Commentary | Sept. 8, 2021

Coast Guard piloting office of data and analytics to empower better decision making.

By Kathy Murray, MyCG Writer

The Coast Guard is establishing an Office of Data and Analytics (OD&A) next year and is actively recruiting military officers for assignment year 2022. A team of 13 military and civilian staff members will report to the Chief Data Officer. The new office will be charged with making data, from marine inspection and drug interdiction details to illegal fishing and ice operations statistics, more accessible across the organization to empower data-driven decision-making.  

Open military positions for the new OD&A are listed on the OPM-2 Portal page. Interested active duty and reserve officers should submit an e-resume in accordance with standard submission guidelines in the Assignment Year 2022 (AY22) Officer Assignments Kick Off Timelines, Communications, and Outreach ALCGOFF 049/21. Several positions list a desired, but not required, officer specialty management system (OSMS) code, which may present an opportunity for interested officers to earn additional specialty designators. Civilian positions will be posted to USAJOBS in September 2021. Future enlisted opportunities will be posted when available. 

Like most organizations, the Coast Guard collects a significant amount of data, such as current and historical vessel inspection data, which it has long used to improve mission outcomes. Data has been collected by separate directorates to meet their individual requirements – Coast Guard Human Resources (CG-1) collects personnel information, for example – the processes for recording, classifying and storing data may vary. This can make connecting and analyzing data across systems a challenge. 

The new OD&A will create consistent standards for data management so that it can be searched, shared, and analyzed more easily – no matter what system it is stored in. They’ll do this by developing rules for gathering data within a more efficient environment that safeguards it. This will enable mission leaders to ask specific questions and get the answers they need more quickly, instead of having to wait for intermittent or end of year reports to get the products they need. To ensure all data continues to be managed effectively over time, four Coast Guard data governance roles have been established: data owner, data steward, data supervisor, and data operator. These roles are just one step in establishing Coast Guard data governance to ensure data readiness for all mission operations.  

The OD&A will also oversee SURVEYOR, the Coast Guard’s first integrated data environment (IDE) to be launched in November 2021. IDEs provide for information management across systems to enable advanced analysis while reducing the burden of manual data entry. The Coast Guard got a taste of these capabilities firsthand during COVID- 19 vaccine distribution planning. An initial pilot of the IDE capability organized data to ensure effective planning, administration, and logistics of the vaccines, and analysis of related data. SURVEYOR, named after the famous U.S. Revenue Cutter Surveyor from the War of 1812, will launch as a technology demonstration that will inform detailed operational and functional requirements for the Coast Guard.