United States Coast Guard operational information systems : improving functionality and cross-functionality.
Marsh, Peter S.
Emery, James C.
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The effective use of information can enable a public agency to better serve the taxpayers, or provide a crucial strategic advantage for a private sector firm. Present U. S. Coast Guard information systems do not provide information to all potential users as effectively as they could. They suffer from several shortcomings: (1) Poor connectivity, resulting in an awkward, torturous information flow which frequently does not provide information to people who need it; (2) Significant overlap in content, resulting in increased workload and frustration for field personnel who enter data and data inconsistencies between applications; and (3) poor user interface designs, resulting in a situation where although information may be accessible to a user, it is difficult to retrieve and therefore not gotten. Cross-functional systems, based on a robust information architecture, offer the potential to dramatically improve information flow and availability within an organization. In the Coast Guard, the flow of operational information can be greatly improved by developing a cross-functional Operations Information System (OIS). Developing such a system is critical to continued effectives service to the public, but may require changes in the ways in which systems are developed and funded.
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