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DoD Office Focuses on Harnessing Data for Smarter Acquisitions

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Defense Department acquisition is a huge endeavor, with teams of agency officials and bureaucrats tasked with helping the department get the best deal on purchased goods and services.

But a recent American Forces Press Service report draws attention to a small, unknown office harnessing the massive influx of data that could help make for better procurement.

Enterprise Information and Office of the Secretary of Defense Studies, which began as a DoD pilot study, collects and organizes information on major acquisition programs and developing standard methods of sharing that information between government and industry.

“It’s work that doesn’t seem that sexy, but it is fundamental to the foundation of the department,” said Mark E. Krzysko, deputy director of EI and OSD Studies.

As in so many other corners of the increasingly digitized globe, the Pentagon has been hit by a deluge of data, Krzysko said. The key for the EI is to find ways to organize and analyze that data.

“If we create an organization that can tackle these problems, we are in a better position to help those who serve,” he said. “You could confound yourself with more information, but it’s about getting the right information quickly.”

Leveraging smart applications of data in acquisition couldn’t be timelier. The Pentagon embarked on a round of cost-savings, known as efficiencies, last year that first put the focus on saving money in acquisition.

The EI office primarily focuses on the development and demonstration phases, Krzysko told AFPS, and provides monthly review of major weapons systems totaling about $1.7 trillion.

“The end-game for us is about getting the decision-makers the best information they can have,” he said. “Information is never really perfect. But if you have that authoritative information, you are better able to make those decisions.”

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