NCOLCoE Teaches the Data Foundations Seminar in Response to the Army’s Recent Push to Improve Data Literacy

By Ginette BocanegraMay 3, 2024

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For the first time on Feb. 8, 2024, web application developers from the Division of Curriculum Development (DCD), instructed a two-day Data Foundations Seminar at the Noncomissioned Officer Leadership Center of Excellence (NCOLCoE). The seminar assisted the Army’s push for data literacy across the Force and included 21 Soldiers and Army Civilian Professionals (ACP) members in attendance.

The attendees now have a working knowledge of Data Analysis, Synthesis, Evaluation (DASE) and how to apply it to a multitude of problem sets using Excel. They can now conduct four types of data analytics for NCOLCoE based on leadership requirements. This seminar allows attendees who have already served in a data career like Operations Research System Analysis (ORSA), computer programming, database administration, accounting, financial officer, statistical analysis, to train others.

In August of 2023, Command Sgt. Maj. Patrick D. Thomas, NCOLCoE Deputy Commandant directed DCD to ask the Army Management Staff College (AMSC) if NCOLCoE could teach the Data Foundations Seminar inhouse as an alternative to the current Blackboard Distance Learning delivery. DCD leaders contacted Rob Arp, Ph.D., AMSC researcher and analyst who worked on data ontologies for the National Institute of Health and U.S. Air Force. Arp granted permission to teach the course using their materials and reiterated it is a professional development event giving people the “top waves” of Excel and data analytics.

George Guzman, Jason Henderson, and Jerry Hernandez, computer programmers and database administrators working various roles within DCD completed the AMSC Data Foundations Seminar in August and October following the “train the trainer” certification method of preparation used in NCOLCoE staff and faculty development. Since AMSC did not have any lesson plans, the three had to transcribe word-for-word more than 13 hours of video recordings, build lesson plans, and write all technical steps for Excel demonstrations for the NCOLCoE delivery of the Seminar.

The Seminar’s hands-on experiential learning topics included: Data Analysis, Synthesis, Evaluation (DASE); Data Analytics as Sensemaking; Why the Army Needs DASE; Descriptive Analytics Theory and Application using Excel; Diagnostic Analytics Theory and Application using Excel; Predictive Analytics Theory and Application using Excel; Prescriptive Analytics Theory and Application using Excel; and Other Forms of Analytics.

Moving forward NCOLCoE will host the same in person seminar annually in order to continue educating its faculty and staff on the power of data in the hands of today’s senior military and ACP leaders.