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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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