By Melanee “Kate” Thomas, ODNI Office of Strategic Communications
ODNI’s Office of Strategic Communications sat down with IC’s Chief Data Officer, Lori Wade, to discuss her priorities in the role, her perspective, and where she’ll be heading for the community. The questions and answers below have been edited for clarity.
1. Tell us about your role as an IC CDO.
I come into this critical position at a pivotal moment. The Intelligence Community is engaged in a critical and complex multi-year endeavor to accelerate our digital and data transformation. In a hyper-connected, data-driven digital world with edge computing and cloud computing, the intelligence challenges we face are far more complex and interconnected than ever. They cross all of our organizational boundaries.
Because each agency and partner relies as much on each other’s data as it does on their own, we need to accelerate efforts to make data more discoverable and accessible across CI – as we haven’t done in the past. . As IC CDO and DNI Assistant for Data and Partnership Interoperability, I will define the strategy on how we as IC manage data and partnerships to bring the community to where it needs to be now and in the future.
In IC and the private sector, the CDO is the executive providing the primary oversight and strategic vision for building a data-driven business. It’s no longer just about data volume, we focus on end-to-end data lifecycle management, reducing the time from collection to actionable insights by ensuring data is ready for use. ‘AI and consumables by humans and machines. This requires a pivot from a historical system-centric paradigm, years of legacy practices and culture, and critical partnerships with my C-Suite digital colleagues, across disciplines and the private sector.
2. As an IC CDO, what are your main priorities for the Community in terms of data and information sharing?
First, the IC Data Director must lead IC to ensure our data interoperates quickly and at scale. We need to accelerate the adoption of enterprise data services that manage data throughout its lifecycle. And we must serve as the foundation for a data-centric ecosystem that promotes the use of modern, automated analytics. Partnerships with the private sector are essential in this regard. We need to engage with and learn from the private sector and academia, including looking at different industries; medical, financial, etc.