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How Data Helps DOD, USPTO Target Customer Needs

AI capabilities and data are providing DOD and USPTO with a clearer vision of what the customer needs in order to provide the best solutions.

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image of augmented reality, computer-generated or real-world sensory content is placed on top of a Soldier’s view of the real-world environment.
augmented reality, computer-generated or real-world sensory content is placed on top of a Soldier’s view of the real-world environment. Photo Credit: U.S. Army Acquisition Support Center/DVIDS

Data plays a critical role in helping agencies target the needs of their customers. User-centered design principles can help visualize data to improve customer experience, according to federal data leaders at GovCIO Media & Research’s AI Gov: Data event Thursday.

Erika Bauer, Lead Product Designer at the Defense Department’s Chief Digital and AI Office (CDAO), said just because you have a lot of data doesn’t mean you know how your users are using it or what they need to get out of it.

“The first thing I do is some investigation on who my users are and what their needs are,” Bauer said during GovCIO Media & Research’s AI Gov: Data event. “Don’t create the solution or requirements and hand off requirements before you understand the user’s problems. Take the time to do the sizing, scoping and discovery, especially if you have a lot of data.”

Scott Beliveau, Chief of Enterprise Advanced Analytics at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, said the data visualization process should be based on three fundamental concepts: awareness, attitude and action.

“What do people want to know? How should they feel about this and what do I want them to do with this insight?  Adopting those good user centered design principles. You want to build trust and loyalty within the product when it comes to visualization regardless of the audience,” Beliveau said.

Working with varied levels of data access can be challenging, especially when dealing with classified data.

“If you can, always start with the lowest level of classification of data,” Bauer said. “With classified data make sure you pair with security folks and people with authority to access it.  Make sure you go to those secured spaces to see what the limitations are. Having that representative who’s close to the data and has regular access to it, that paired with you and your team will really guarantee more success.”

Good strategies for disseminating data findings for AI technologies include early testing of digital services via a DevSecOps framework, Bauer added.

Beliveau also discussed USPTO’s journey to scale AI for operational mission support.

“Technology should focus on enabling business goals and to get to scale what can IT do or not do,” Beliveau said. “Work with the people on the ground, get them involved, be transparent and work on AI solutions at scale.”

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