DIO begins to collect data from suppliers

Data team builds on business intelligence function by extending the scope of its sources and beginning to look at predictive analytics

The data team in the Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) of the Ministry of Defence is beginning to work with its suppliers to extend its data resources, and looking towards using predictive analytics.

Tony GoslingTony Gosling (pictured), director of data analytics and insights at the DIO, outlined the plans at the Big Data World 2017 conference yesterday as part of a presentation on the efforts to harness the organisation’s data assets.

The new moves follow two and a half years of increasing the focus on data to improve the management of the MoD estate.

“We’ve got our internal data sorted and starting to work with our suppliers to catalogue their data,” Gosling said. “Most of our services are not actually delivered by civil servants, they are outsourced, so we’re starting to pull together a wider picture of all the call outs – such as to fix boilers – and working with our customers.

“We’re opening up our business intelligence to our Army, Navy and Air Force customers, and in return getting them to provide data about where their people are, what’s used and what’s not used. It’s extending from our internal stuff to the entire enterprise.”

He added that he is beginning to look at a business case for using predictive analytics, but that it requires migrating a significant amount of data that is still on paper, and to bring remaining pockets out of information out of team silos to make it available for all of the organisation.

Careful use

Gosling also emphasised that the DIO has a default view of regarding any personal data on its personnel as confidential and using it carefully.

“We have on our systems the home addresses of all service personnel,” he said. “In some ways it is important, in some ways not, but we protect it very carefully. Fundamentally it’s their data and we need to look after it carefully.”

He said that over the past two years the team has succeeded in building a central data function in the DIO, making project managers accountable for the quality of data with a series of key performance indicators and building dashboards for business intelligence.

This has begun to support the management of various areas of the DIO’s business. Gosling said the one where there has been the greatest return has been in managing utilities, where it identified the scope for savings amounting to five times the cost of the data warehouse.