Don’t miss the boat on data analytics

Digital Navy

Peter Mallett 
Staff Writer

The Royal Canadian Navy wants to send you to Data Boot Camp.

There are no chin-ups, obstacle courses, or early morning inspection required in this digital Basic Military Qualification.

Instead, it’s a starting point on the road to building a digitally-ready future fleet and crew, and involves three introductory data analytics courses. They teach simple, basic data analysis skills that all sailors can use in their career.

Instruction is geared to all navy ranks and trades, regular force and reserve, says LCdr Fraser Gransden, Section Head of Ottawa-based Digital Solutions (DDN3). Canada’s navy began offering its Data Foundations, Data Analysis with Excel, and Data Visualizations with Power B1 courses in 2021.

The courses are part of an overall effort to help sailors fulfil their pathway to data analytics proficiency.

“The purpose is to build data literacy across the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) so there is greater awareness of how data analytics can be used in support of planning and operations, and to enable better engagement with sources of data,” says LCdr Gransden. “Training is aimed at providing members the core skills required to transform unprocessed data into insights that enable effective decision making.”

Participants can start the learning process online at their own pace or participate in more intensive instructor-led learning. All training can be accessed from a military member’s personal device or on the Defence Wide Area Network (DWAN) computer; instructor-led training uses MS Teams to link instructors to students.

WYWM Legends

The courses were custom-designed for the Canadian Armed Forces by Australian-based tech company With You With Me (WYWM).

Sean Naugle, an engagement manager with WYWM, says the goal is to provide participants with leading-edge analytics training through practical projects.

Some of the skill sets developed are how to structure, clean, and transform raw information into usable data and merging data records, as well as interpreting data to answer questions.

“Candidates will also learn how to visualize the information into dynamic and easily digestible dashboards that tell complex stories about what the data reveals,” says Naugle.

Having the ability to create these dashboards is important because military personnel can then relay vital statistical, factual information, and analysis to enhance communication in their units and departments and across the DND community.

The RCN has a total of 50 open seats available for the full year. When an individual completes their training, a seat becomes available for the next candidate, says LCdr Gransden.

For more information and to sign up visit

Digital Navy

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