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My Coast Guard
Commentary | Jan. 23, 2024

Data Team One improves officer assignments management through automation

By Juan Jovel, CG-ODA Strategic Communications Support

Mundane tasks — tedious, repetitive, and error-prone — are a thing of the past for the U.S. Coast Guard's Officer Assignments Branch (OPM-2) thanks to the Office of Data and Analytics’ (CG-ODA) Data Team One’s innovative solution. Tasked with the precise role of managing assignments for officers, OPM-2 faced a tough challenge: reconciling assignment year (AY) shopping lists across the board with impeccable accuracy. It is critical to complete this reconciliation annually, and the window for doing so is strictly limited to only 45 days. 

Enter Data Team One’s Robotics Process Automation (RPA) service, a fleet of bots equipped to tackle these types of data-intensive tasks. By deploying these automated helpers, Data Team One has revolutionized how the Coast Guard handles this crucial information. Bots can be programmed to perform data entry, extract information from documents, and automate responses. 

RPA is game changing 

The process prior to automation was challenging: OPM-2 had to manage spreadsheets from 255 units for assignment year 2024 (AY24), each outlining updates in required skills and job profiles. Manually merging these into a single master spreadsheet, which included around 2,600 entries, was not only a lengthy task but also prone to human error. Such errors were critical, considering these lists form the basis for meeting unit needs and service requirements.  

With the introduction of the automated bot, this task has seen significant improvement. While the bot efficiently updates the master spreadsheet, it goes a step further by flagging all changes it makes. This feature is crucial as it allows OPM-2 personnel to thoroughly review and approve these amendments before they are finalized. This process ensures accuracy, maintains transparency, and keeps human oversight integral to the operation, combining the best of automation with essential human judgment. 

“This UiPath capability will be game changing for our team this summer and in assignments season moving forward, saving us more than 60 hours of manually entering unit command concerns to get the initial shopping list, eliminating errors, and enabling us to more efficiently incorporate unit needs into the officer assignment process,” said Lt. Cmdr. Mary Kate N. Wheeler, Assignment Officer with OPM-2.  

Coast Guard-wide impact 

The impact of Data Team One’s RPA solutions extends beyond just time and error reduction. It represents a broader transformation within the Coast Guard—promoting efficiency, accuracy, and mission readiness. This strategic advantage ensures that the Coast Guard can focus on its core mission while utilizing cutting-edge technology to help manage its internal operations. 

The implications of Data Team One's work are profound, setting a precedent for how automation can be leveraged across the Coast Guard to enhance operational efficiency, reduce costs, and ensure accuracy in critical mission operations. 

For more information and to learn more about how the Office of Data Analytics and Data Team One can help your unit, email us at 


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