Mature and Strengthen Homeland Security

The U.S. government's creation of DHS was the largest organizational merger of federal agencies since the formation of the Department of Defense. HSSEDI is helping DHS to become a high-performing organization that can respond to an array of challenges.
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Enormously complex, DHS represents a broad set of missions, from confronting and preventing physical and digital threats, to administering our immigration laws, to preparing for and preventing disasters. In addition, many of its administrative functions—such as procurement, human resources, financial management, and security—are decentralized, with varying processes, requirements, and procedures.

We are working with DHS to evolve a strong set of enterprise governance and management capabilities, with particular focus on investment planning and execution. We're helping DHS balance each operational component's unique needs with the department's overall commitment to develop solutions that are scalable, sustainable, efficient, and interoperable. We also support DHS's initiative to consolidate and modernize its organization-wide computing infrastructure. Additionally, MITRE’s experience in acquisition offers well-honed insights into the change in mindset and culture needed for successful agile implementation.

Drawing on expertise in acquisition, systems engineering, and advancement of organizational capabilities, HSSEDI is helping the department:

  • Improve cross-departmental management, policy, and functional integration
  • Improve IT systems integration
  • Increase analytic capability and capacity
  • Strengthen acquisition oversight
  • Understand decision factors for Agile acquisition methods on federal IT projects

Our sponsors include:

Geocoding: Supporting DHS in Deploying a Vital Capability

A prime example of MITRE's support to the DHS enterprise is our work related to Geographic Information Systems, or GIS. These systems benefit from geocoding—the capability to determine the latitude and longitude coordinates for a physical address location. Geocoding is steadily becoming integral to the operations of federal agencies, as more datasets contain physical addresses and afford spatial analysis. For example, first responders use latitude and longitude coordinates to locate possible survivors after tornadoes, when high winds knock the numbers off houses that have been previously geocoded. Additionally, emergency management staff can determine how many of these affected houses are within a specific radius of a shelter and/or emergency supply location.

While geocoding itself sounds like a simple activity, it is fraught with significant complexity. As systems move toward big data architectures and data inputs are less and less structured, the demand for geocoding capabilities has grown substantially. As demand expands, however, the geocoding marketplace is undergoing constant change. Corporate mergers and acquisitions, new start-ups, expansion of reference data coverage, and vendor partnerships all affect the type and quality of geocoding systems available.

Geospatial analytics, technologies, and solutions are a core area of MITRE expertise. As part of our support to DHS, staff from HSSEDI have performed an independent assessment of geocoding software tools. Our team evaluated different geocoding solutions to see if they met the requirements and mission needs of DHS and its individual Components.

By applying deep analytics to nearly 40 systems—some currently used by DHS or other federal agencies, some not—we were able to develop a framework for system selection that supports the acquisition of this vital capability. Additionally, the team presented its assessment methodology at a national conference as part of MITRE's overall knowledge-sharing mission.

Do you have questions about how geocoding, spatial analysis, or other enterprise capabilities for your organization?  Contact us at hssedi_info@mitre.org

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