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Week 3 Update

In the past two weeks, we have interviewed 20 beneficiaires which include a mix of primary and secondary data users, as well as higher ups(generals and commanders). Besides, we had the very precious opportunity to meet with general Dempsey, the 18th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the 37th Chief of Staff of the Army, and general McChrystal, the joint Special Operations Command in the mid-2000s. We have gained a broader view of how military adopt technology from these two prestigious military leaders. Moreover, we have visited Fort Bragg on 1/29, which we gained hands-on experience on current in-placed tracking devices and data analytics tools.





We organized our beneficiaries in three main groups listed below:


Primary Data Users

  1. Cognitive Performance Coaches
  2. Data Analysts
  3. Research Psychologists

Secondary Data Users

  1. Physical Therapists
  2. Spiritual Advisors
  3. Cognitive Performance Coaches
  4. Interpersonal Coaches
  5. Strength Trainers
  6. Dietitians
  7. Other Sports Medicine Specialists


Higher Ups (General and Support Staff at SWCS)

  1. General Santiago
  2. Support Staff/ Board that drives downstream policy changes.





Name Title Email Takeaway Interviewer
Hector Agayuo SWEG Command Sergeant Major aguayoh@socom.mil Lack of bandwidth of personnel to collect data
He looks outliers or errors (compare that with the actual situation)
Which means he need to know each soldiers quite well, how would he be able to do that?
He goes through 6 months of CCC data in 2-3 hours (110 surveys)

Greg Santiago Operations Specialist, SWEG gregorio.santiago@socom.mil Logistic & operation planning does not involve a lot of data related to our project

Same biometrics data may means different things as each individual is unique. How to assess data can be much more difficult than how to collect them  

MAJ Chuck Schemacher; Operations Officer, SWEG charles.schumacher@socom.mil Is SWIC measuring the right stuff? Why do many students who pass Assessment and Selection drop out later on?

Brass want more graduates, cadre want better quality graduates.

New generation of soldiers are different to train, causes friction.

Bob Jones Communications Language School Director HDP operates here to evaluate the trainees effectiveness at negotiation NC+BX
James Arp HDP Director james.arp@socom.mil Funding comes from:


We have to justify the value of the training programs to the 2,3, and 4 star general commands

General McChyrstal  (x2) he joint Special Operations Command in the mid-2000s Must change the culture as well as the technology within the military All
Mike Taylor HHC 1st Sergeant michael.s.taylo More robust data collection/analyis would help determine what training interventions work and what does not.

cooperation/information sharing is generally facilitated by relationships, if they aren’t there, then generally different units won’t communicate.

General Dempsey the 18th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the 37th Chief of Staff of the Army Need to focus on what problem we can solve

Technology is changing the landscape of the federal gov and DoD

Focus on the cultural aspect of getting military

COL Bill Rice SWEG Commander william.rice@socom.mil Higher-ups at SWEG don’t have much contact with the committees.

SWEG doesn’t have a committee that makes data-driven decisions.

Peer feedback, instructor feedback, and some data informs human performance results.

30 day ideal innovation turnover for new devices. He would like to be able to test new hardware/software without jumping through the regulation/ permission hoops.

Use case:

Immediate feedback mechanism as the top use case priority from Commander Rice point of view. Have expert as a reference point for novices

using big data/database to make key decision such as selection process/recruiting. Track each trainee’s performance/data throughout the training process

Major Chuck Is SWIC measuring the right stuff? Why do many students who pass Assessment and Selection drop out later on?

Brass want more graduates, cadre want better quality graduates.

New generation of soldiers are different to train, causes friction.

Stephen M. Mannino, Edd Human performance program coordinator stephen.m.mannind@socom.mil Showed the database that strength and conditioning coaches use to advise

Strength and conditioning coaches have to download to share the database with other data users (physical therapists, CPC’s, data analysts, research psychologists)

Justin Jones Strengthen conditioning coach justin,jones@socom.mil Names are declassified – only coaches have access to the names

Database’s real time feedback has been helpful in readjusting physical training

Taylor McKinney Physical therapist Accessing the medical database always leads to problems

No protocol for how physical therapists make data-informed decisions

Sara Butler Physical therapist Would really like a database that they can get to without taking up so much time

Did not interact much with CPC’s, data analysts, and research psychologist

Alexandra Hanson Data Analyst alexandra.hanson.ctr@socom.mil Getting buy-in from higher ups is necessary to help increase funding and implementation

Acquisition for different accounts at SWEG is siloed which means that different solutions will not arrive at the same time.

Constance Garcia Data Manager constance.garcia.ctr@socom.mil Government shutdowns affects contractors.
Daniel Gajewski Performance Integrator Daniel.gajewski@socom.mil The Toby eye tracking device just arrived and they are still working on calibrating it

The current output of that eye tracking

device is just a video

Has another software platform for further analysis but they haven’t start yet

Dawne Edmonds Process Improvement and Project Management

US Army Special Operations Command

Dawne.edmonds@socom.mil There’s no authoritative data source. It means that there is not a single data source that the analysts rely and trust upon.


They tend to type all the data all over again. This is a constant problem. Army are multi-service.

Oscar Gonzalez Research Psychologist oscar.gonzalez@usuhs.edu Is in the process of holding CPC’s more accountable for inputting and collecting data

Working on concerns from data analysts about the large amount of time spent toward data input







  • Data utilization is actually quite low. The decision making at the committee level are mostly based on intuition and past experience
    • Many data (both biometrics and cognitive) are not collected due to lack of tracking devices
    • Even for those collected data, most of them are not being utilized
  • Most data are self-reported in the form of survey or self-assessment, which involves basis
  • Most database are not shared internally, many secondary data users work in silo and do not have access to each other’s database.






  1. Secondary users have three or four different data systems for one function
  2. Secondary users have to get data manually
  3. There is no central database for the data from biometric devices
  4. Secondary data users work in silo
  • Hard for secondary data users to collaborate with each other
  • Hard for secondary data users to collaborate with primary data users
  1. Lack of a systematic workflow among primary data users
  • Some CPC collect and scrub data, some don’t
  • CPC does not have a standard process or expectation on data-related work
  1. Errors in data collection (ex: bear incident)
  2. No plan for biometric devices and what outcomes they should have
  3. Training feedback
  • Soldiers do not receive real-time feedback
  • Soldiers do not receive specific feedback on training performance
  1. Who gets access to which data
  2. The regular maintenance of the system & platform and periodic update






  1. We need to define the scope of the problem and narrow down the problems
  2. Define the key pain point and focus on the corresponding problem
  3. Re-identify key beneficiaries based on the problem
  4. Identify use cases for the re-identified key beneficiaries
  5. Prioritize use case
  6. Start brainstorming potential solution for each use case


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