The Naval Information Warfare Systems Command (NAVWAR) data science training program has reached over 900 employees across the NAVWAR enterprise, and almost 300 personnel from other Navy organizations during fiscal year 2021. Known as “Digital Transformation Learning Continuum,” these courses incorporate an innovative, theory-to-practice approach to developing the advanced analytical skills of the NAVWAR workforce.

The first version of this workshop debuted in 2019, as a two-day course where experts in the field trained members of the workforce in the basic concepts of data science. Since then, the workshop has grown to include a comprehensive five-course data science-training program that is designed to walk participants through an introduction of data science and into more advanced courses where they can use their training for practical applications using NAVWAR data.

“This training is fundamental to developing our ability to recognize opportunities for applying advanced analytics techniques in support of faster, smarter decision-making,” said David Byres, Logistics and Fleet Support program manager for the data science training initiative.

Program training courses include a three-part progression of a data science fundamentals class, a hands-on data science laboratory and a theory-to-practice incubator course for those who want to apply their training to real world projects and problem sets.

The introductory course “Foundations for Data Citizens” is mandatory for all employees, promoting the appropriate and responsible use of data and technology to perform work, collaborate with others, and address new challenges. A companion course, “Foundations of Data Analytics,” is required for all supervisor-level professionals with the goal of ensuring that supervisors and those performing data analyses are armed with the skills needed to improve decision-making and drive successful operations in a data-driven organization.

As a result of the pandemic, and in order to better accommodate the wide variety of schedules among the workforce, online and on-demand versions of the courses were created on the NAVWAR Udemy for Business Enterprise learning platform that NAVWAR employees can access for free. There are also plans to introduce new courses this year, including Python programming for Data Science and an in-depth introduction to artificial intelligence.

Last year, six projects were completed through the laboratory and incubator courses. The laboratory provides case study-based training that takes participants through the full lifecycle of an analytics project, from problem definition through presentation of findings. The incubator then pairs participants with data scientists and subject matter experts to apply advanced analytics techniques to address business challenges.

Employees from across the enterprise participated in the laboratory and incubator courses including Comptroller, Contracts, Logistics and Fleet Support, Engineering, Corporate Operations and Naval Information Warfare Center (NIWC) Atlantic. These projects …….


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