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Frank Ponzio speaks at CISA

Frank Ponzio Jr., President and CEO of Symbolic Systems Inc., Summit, NJ presented a brief on June 12, 2003, about data quality and how Symbolic’s DATAMRI® data quality service would be used by the Department of Defense (DoD) for its DARS (Data Architecture Repository System) project. The presentation was given at the CISA Worldwide Conference held in Miami, FL June 9 – 12, 2003 to the Department of Defense, Military Joint Commands, and Military service members involved in developing architectures for weapons systems.

DATAMRI is a web-based data verification and validation system that also provides metrics for data quality management. It includes analysis capabilities, such as content, structure, contrast, correlation, and root cause, which allow cooperative organizations to measure the quality of data that they are exchanging. This type of service will be extremely valuable within DoD because it will ensure data interoperability between the systems (and their associated databases) being developed by different military branches, by different organizations within branches, and by our allies.

Mr. Ponzio’s briefing followed the introductory remarks of Truman Parmele, a Deputy CIO in DoD and Director of the DARS project, in which the project and DATAMRI’s value to the project were outlined. DARS will be a repository where all DoD, Joint Command, and services will store copies of their architectures so that others may access them. DATAMRI will be used, in part, to confirm that information being uploaded to DARS meets pre-set criteria for completeness and meets DoD-wide architecture framework requirements.

Symbolic Helps DoD Systems Architects

Throughout DoD, weapons systems are developed using the Department of Defense Architecture Framework (DoDAF). This framework helps ensure that systems developed by different organizations are interoperable in the battlefield by enforcing the use of a data model, the Core Architecture Data Model (CADM). Within the CADM, all entities that might be included in a system are defined.

Symbolic Systems has been active in this area, providing both the Army and DoD with a number of services. The company manages a portal, open to all data-based architects, that includes the following components:

  • The CADM Metadatabase: Users can access the metadatabase and perform online analysis of the data. Users can download parts or the entire database on their computers. It also allows users to analyze the Reference Tables and the Domain Tables.
  • A Document Repository: Users can view the most updated documents, including those relating to the most recent logical and physical models, and download them to their computers.
  • System Architecture Analyses: Comparisons between architecture products and the model, versions of the model, and other analyses performed using Symbolic’s DATAMRI® service are posted for viewing and downloading. Users can also request comparative services.
  • System Data Repository: Information related to the Army’s Signal Center Master Tables, including version comparisons, are provided to users.

Symbolic also offers call center support to portal users.

Symbolic Systems is active in the area of data quality. The company’s president, Frank Ponzio, has three data quality patents pending and reviews data quality articles for MIT’s Total Data Quality Management Program.

The company offers a number of data quality services to both the government and industry. In addition to consulting, the company provides data quality analysis and metrics reporting using its web-based DATAMRI® service suite.

Symbolic Tests Data Quality for Army

The U.S. Army has selected Symbolic Systems to perform a number of efforts related to data quality on behalf of its Central Technical Support Facility (CTSF) at Fort Hood, Texas. CTSF is responsible for the integration and deployment of the Army’s new digitized weapons systems that were often discussed by journalists during Operation Enduring Freedom. Symbolic is involved with CTSF’s data harmonization, data correlation, and security efforts.

Digitized weapons systems communicate with each other over a wireless tactical Internet. Before a system is deployed, all of the information about other systems with which it will be communicating must be loaded into the weapon’s internal computer systems. In addition, these systems receive data from many sources, including various GPS and satellite systems. The information from these sources is integrated into a common picture on the system’s monitor.

The efforts in which Symbolic is involved help ensure that weapons systems are fully interoperable and can communicate with each other on the battlefield. Data harmonization and correlation adjust inconsistencies across computer systems. In the simplest terms, the same person might be represented many different ways. For example the first and last name might be Smith in one system, First_Name=Joe, Last_Name=Smith in another, and First_Name=Joseph, Last_Name=Smith, Jr. in a third system. These same types of inconsistencies can occur and must be reconciled for full communication and interoperability in digitized battlefield systems.

In addition to participating in working groups to harmonize data prior to initialization, Symbolic has performed analyses comparing different versions of data supplied by authoritative data sources prior to data loads. These comparison reports---including quantitative differences, root cause analysis of differences, and content analysis---are used to confirm that only expected changes have been made.

Symbolic is involved in a number of data quality efforts throughout DoD and the Army. The company provides a web-based service, DATAMRI®, that checks data content of files/databases, does data comparisons between files/databases, and supports a variety of analyses including root cause, quantitative, content, and comparative.

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Did You Know?
  • 071910_symbolic_timeline_thumbs_0014_1991_01.jpg1991 - Linux operating systemThe Linux operating system is created by Linus Torvalds and distributed via Usenet newsgroups. Enthusiasts quickly begin developing and improving Linux, adding support for peripherals and improving its stability. Linux would become one of several open source Unix-like operating systems.

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