The workshops trained 30 members of the NAVWAR workforce, from a variety of professional backgrounds, in the basic concepts of data science and worked with them to initiate and progress their own data-science projects. The training was designed to build skills in analyzing and use existing information to increase competitive intelligence and improve decisionmaking.
“The pace and amount of information being collected and stored is accelerating at an unprecedented rate, and although information is good, it has no value unless we are able to digest and apply it to today’s modern battlefield,” said NAVWAR Executive Director Pat Sullivan. “This data science workshop is training our workforce from across the organization on how to extract knowledge and insights from large amounts of information and apply it to increase the quality of technology development and speed of technology delivery to the fleet.”
Conducted by NAVWAR’s Logistics and Fleet Readiness Competency, using material developed by Integrits, Booz Allen Hamilton and reviewed by faculty at the University of California San Diego’s Halcolu Data Science Institute, the training demonstrates the value of collaboration among government, industry and academia.
The workshop was divided into two parts. Part one, held Dec. 9-13, provided introductory data science training, teaching the foundational concepts of using scientific methods, processes, algorithms and systems to analyze existing information.
Part Two, held Feb. 5-6, started with a subset of students from the December workshops, and will enable and support NAVWAR workers as they initiate their own, domain-specific data science projects. For example, one of the data science projects focused on using machine learning to find trends in human resource data.
“These two courses were designed to provide the workforce with an understanding of how and when to apply data science in areas including finance, contracts, legal, logistics, program management, engineering, science and technology and more,” said David Byres, NAVWAR information technology specialist and project manager for the data science team. “They were designed with our industry and academia partners to help the workforce make smarter decisions faster in the delivery of information warfare capabilities to the fleet.”
Following the conclusion of the workshops, the NAVWAR Training System Program Office surveyed participants and discovered that most found the material to be at the right level of detail, more than half were interested in pursuing their own data science projects, and all of the participants would recommend the training to their colleagues.
As the demand for data science in defense continues to grow, NAVWAR will continue to conduct these foundational data science trainings to bring better understanding and analysis of information and to help the Navy gain greater advantage today and in the coming decades.