Maintaining Situational Awareness in Large, Complex Organizations
SPACE AND NAVAL WARFARE SYSTEMS COMMAND SAN DIEGO CA
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Maintaining situational and strategic awareness requires constant monitoring of information. Leaders often employ analysts to translate data into information. Today, with a plethora of sources of information, analysts must deal with information overload, a topic of much current discussion. Data mining, using technology to extrapolate patterns from data to direct an analyst to conduct more focused research, constitutes one solution. Another solution, gaining popularity in the business sector, is environmental scanning. Environmental scanning identifies, collects, translates and applies information about external events that influence an organizations strategic landscape. Moreover, relying on technology to analyze data is not always an option so for effective solutions, human analysts must remain paramount. As such, to comprehend its external environment an organization should establish and maintains a collaborative group tasked to provide situational awareness to its leadership. This paper describes how to design such a dedicated collaborative team by focusing on the role that the Decision Support Group DSG plays at the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center in San Diego SSC San Diego. The DSG developed a customized process to transform data to information to knowledge and ultimately to understanding - through monthly environmental scans. Specific categories in the environmental scan facilitate this process this paper will explore in greater detail the category of technology to describe how data is collected and information communicated. Analyzing the DSGs process provides insight into how information is disseminated in a military facility focused in science and engineering research, and demonstrate its wide-scale applications beyond the military, including other science and technology entities, industry and academia.
- Information Science
- Operations Research
- Computer Systems