CERL Team develops new decision support tool

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Published July 25, 2022
A graphic with information about the Facility Investment Analytics (FIA24).

A graphic with information about the Facility Investment Analytics (FIA24).

A U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center Construction Engineer Research Laboratory (CERL) team has been working to develop a tool called Facility Investment Analytics, or FIA. FIA is a decision support tool for the Installation Program Evaluation Group Program Objective Memorandum planning that generates prioritized Facility Investment Plan data based on critical infrastructure requirements from Army senior leaders and risk prioritization analysis.

Several Army components reached out to the CERL team in 2019 and pitched the idea of a decision support tool as they are the facility investment experts for the Army. Project lead and CERL research civil engineer Buddy Bartels says that nothing like FIA has existed before.

“It’s a big deal, because until FIA was developed, the Army did not have a data-driven process for doing this kind of analysis and integration of various datasets,” Bartels said. “We helped them move from a subjective process of analyzing and developing their investment plans to an objective data-driven — and defendable — process.

Bartels added that FIA will continue to improve, evolve and bridge that gap of investment planning until the Enterprise Sustainment Management System, or ESMS, comes fully online and is fully implemented for the Army.

“The major impact of FIA is enabling the Army to make optimal decisions for facility investments based on the budgets they have and hopefully provide the data to justify additional facility funds in the critical shortfalls,” he said.

This new technology is already making a huge impact. Army senior leaders, such as Gen. Edward M. Daly, Commanding General of the U.S. Army Materiel Command, are utilizing outputs from FIA to show before and after states of targeted lines of effort in their facility investment planning.

“FIA is really more of a separate Sustainment Management System module that sits outside in order to integrate other datasets and custom senior leader priorities,” said Bartels. “Therefore, the Sustainment Management System Center of Expertise as a whole affects the FIA project and should be applauded.”