Meet DAVE, DOD’s acquisition reporting system

Meet DAVE, DOD’s acquisition reporting system

Advanced analytics and legacy systems often don't mix.  So the Department of Defense is well on its way to replacing its old acquisition reporting system with one that stresses APIs, accessibility and easily customized analytics.

The replacement system is called the Defense Acquisition Visibility Environment, or DAVE. Mark Krzysko, who as DOD's deputy director for acquisition resources and analysis, enterprise information oversees DAVE, said his superiors want “to move deeper into the data analytics.” With DAVE, he said, DOD can reform acquisition in three areas: data stewardship in terms of agreement, accountability and authority; data access in terms of having a single intuitive interface for all data; and data analysis to provide perspective on data use.

An API-driven design, he added, can allow DOD "to use other things that are outside of our ecosystem" to better understand and manage its acquisition efforts.

DAVE’s foundation is a framework that covers security, classification of data, business rules and use cases. In the middle layer, the platform combines data management, security, metrics, data storage with a strategy that leverages application programming interfaces. Then the top-layer with the DAVE portal serves as the provider of data for project managers and decision makers. “We believe if we have the bottom two, the top will work,” said Krzysko.

DAVE is by no means a brand-new effort; the system has evolved and expanded gradually, and continues to do so.  Completing the move to DAVE will enable greater flexibility in analytics, allowing DOD to develop new capabilities and ultimately streamline and improve reporting. Deltek analyst Alexander Rossino reported in October that DOD "is willing to carve out the $10 million in FY 2016-2017 that it needs to accomplish the task."

According to Krzysko, DOD continues to work with the different service branches on the storage of structured and unstructured data, the application layer of DAVE and figuring out how to handle extremely confidential and sensitive data.  That latter challenge, he said, for the moment effectively precludes what would otherwise be a compelling argument to put DAVE in the cloud.

“I’d love to be in cloud,” Krzysko said. “To get there, we need to know how to manage data all the way up to [security level] five.”

About the Author

Amanda Ziadeh is a former reporter/producer for GCN.


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