Navy Looks to Big Data to Improve Readiness, Sailors’ Lives
By SARA FUENTES, Seapower Correspondent
NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. — Arguing we are in an “informationalized environment,” the director of the Navy Digital Warfare Office said many industrial companies, like Boeing and General Electric, are active in digital — it’s no longer just Apple and Google dominating the digital market.
The future of digitization in the Navy is focused on big data and the internet of things, Margaret Palimieri told an audience in the Information Warfare Pavilion April 5 at Sea-Air-Space. She observed that the third wave of innovation combines the first two waves of the last 200 years, joining the advances of the Industrial Revolution and the Internet.
The interconnection of these different waves, Palimieri said, brings “the promise of scale, especially when your think about applying intelligent machines and analytics to helping people make better decisions, reducing operational costs, increasing reliability of our systems, increasing productivity of our people and increasing user experience.” Despite the “big promise” of digital as it applies to our industrial systems, though three-quarters of companies have made progress in this area, only 7 percent have an actual strategy for taking advantage.
And where is the Navy, which Palimieri described as being an industrial organization? She puts the Navy in that 75 percent, saying, “We want to join that 7 percent. We want to be part of that group of organizations that has a deliberate approach, strategy for how to go digital because of the incredible promise that it brings to our ability to improve outcomes,” she said, “from operations to business practices.” Some areas the Navy is focusing on to get to better use of digital included predictive data analysis and utilizing big data to improve the lives of Sailors.
Using analytics for predictive solutions, the Navy has been able to improve aviation readiness. The enormous amounts of data on the lifecycle of various parts of an aircraft are analyzed for trends. By knowing when certain parts need to be replaced based on big data analytics, the Navy can predict and anticipate when a part will need to be replaced instead of merely reacting to a broken piece.
Another area is manpower, training and education. The Navy recently completed a consolidation of its own big data. The Navy had over 60 different websites for sailors and their families, with different log-ins, for everything from fitness reports to training history to accessing services for Navy families. The Navy has collapsed all of this information into one giant database and one website for sailors, my.navy.mil, to improve the Sailor experience.