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CHIPS Articles: Navy Data Platform Aligns, Accelerates Supply-Chain Analytics

Navy Data Platform Aligns, Accelerates Supply-Chain Analytics
By James Foehl and Thomas Zimmerman, NAVSUP Business Systems Center - July-September 2020
MECHANICSBURG, Pa. – Data leaders at Naval Supply Systems Command (NAVSUP) Business Systems Center (BSC) completed a technical refresh of Navy Data Platform (NDP), a standardized business intelligence and data platform that supports Navy supply-chain data-analytic capabilities, August 9.

"The system's core hardware and software have been completely replaced and will allow our customers faster data processing, expanded storage capacity, and an option for a streamlined migration to the cloud," said Tom Wirfel, data strategy lead for NAVSUP BSC.

Navy Data Platform is designed to improve data-driven decision-making at strategic and tactical levels by establishing and optimizing business processes that increase readiness through access to data and self-service analytics.

"NDP allows us to take data from different sources and analyze billions of rows of supply and financial data to inform senior-level decision making," said Brian Laird, acting NAVSUP assistant commander for supply chain technology/systems integration.

Angel Rodriguez, director of project engagement for the Data Analytics department at NAVSUP BSC, pointed out key benefits of the refresh.

"While our last production appliance provided 800 terabytes, our new appliance boasts one petabyte of storage and has significantly more processing power," said Rodriguez. "This technology refresh incorporates cutting edge capabilities that will enable us to integrate other data warehouses, enrich existing data quality, implement enhanced data governance, and seamlessly integrate with cloud offerings. This not only furthers our ability to integrate InforM-21 into NDP, but it also lays the foundational framework for self-service analytics and advances the field of supply-chain management throughout the Navy."

Navy Data Platform harnesses data from different Navy systems, brings the data together, and makes it available to analyze quickly in various ways. It can provide reports, dashboards, and in-depth predictive analysis that can identify supply-chain issues preemptively.

"Being able to bring supply-chain data into one place and automate actions eliminates redundancies, reduces the risk for error, and can create significant cost savings," said Wirfel. "NAVSUP Weapons Systems Support, Office of Naval Research, and Navy Sea Systems Command were all able to eliminate redundant systems by utilizing NDP."

Additionally, consolidation of multiple systems presents the potential to create new capabilities that impact Navy readiness.

"Any savings that are created due to these consolidations may allow the Navy to buy readiness by expanding another capability or creating one that we didn't have before," said Laird. "This isn't strictly an IT cost savings or solution; it's enabling readiness."

The technical refresh also makes NDP cloud-ready.

"This system has the capability to transfer all of the data easily to a cloud environment when that decision is made in the future," said Wirfel.

NAVSUP BSC has established a cost model for NDP. Commands who utilize NDP pay a base cost for access with additional capabilities available for added costs.

"By sharing the NDP sustainment costs, it reduces our operating expenses and enables us to be more efficient," said Laird. "We can then re-allocate and invest funds in other supply-management programs to buy readiness elsewhere. It enables more flexibility in working capital funds management."

Another factor driving the cost model is the demand for NDP across the Navy.

"The amount of users has steadily increased. We didn't expect the demand for NDP to be as great as it was," said Laird. "The demand was outpacing the infrastructure. We are now able to invest and build more capabilities into NDP."

New users can request access to NDP through an identity management process. NAVSUP BSC's NDP support team facilitates access and data source requests, and vets approvals as required.

Interested users outside of the NAVSUP Enterprise can contact NAVSUP BSC for more information or visit https://www.navsup.navy.mil/public/navsup/ndp/.

NAVSUP BSC is one of 11 commands under Commander, NAVSUP, and provides information systems support through the design, development, and maintenance of information systems in the functional areas of logistics, supply chain management, transportation, finance, and accounting.

NAVSUP is headquartered in Mechanicsburg and employs a diverse, worldwide workforce of more than 22,500 military and civilian personnel. NAVSUP's mission is to provide supplies, services, and quality-of-life support to the Navy and joint warfighter.

MECHANICSBURG, Pa. (August 7, 2020) Naval Supply Systems Command (NAVSUP) Business Systems Center (BSC) completed a technical refresh of Navy Data Platform (NDP), a standardized business intelligence and data platform that supports Navy supply-chain data-analytic capabilities, August 9. The NDP is designed to improve data-driven decision-making at strategic and tactical levels by establishing and optimizing business processes that increase readiness through access to data and self-service analytics. Navy Data Platform harnesses data from different Navy systems, brings the data together, and makes it available to analyze quickly in various ways. It can provide reports, dashboards, and in-depth predictive analysis that can identify supply-chain issues preemptively. U.S. Navy illustration by Beth Rensch (Released)
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