← Back to DefenseCast™
DefenseCast™ User Manual
© 2013 - 2020 Strategy Advocates LLC
Table of Contents
- Minimum System Requirements
- Getting Started
- Chart Type
- Program Details
- Data Selection
- Display / Analysis Selection
- Top Growth Line Items
- Exporting Data
- Bundles – Grouping Items
Stratvocate DefenseCast™ provides you with detailed and customizable forecasts of both U.S. Department of Defense and NASA spending within an easy to use graphical user interface. Key features of DefenseCast™ include,
- Complete forecast traceability to President’s DoD Budget / FYDP, with direct links to budget documents.
- Procurement – Five year forecast, plus current year and one year historical
- Research, Development, Test &Evaluation (RDT&E) – Five year forecast, plus current year and one year historical
- Operations & Maintenance (O&M) – One year forecast, plus current year and one year historical
- Military Construction – One year forecast, plus current year and one year historical
- Major Classified – One year forecast, plus current year and one year historical
- Military Personnel – One year forecast, plus current year and one year historical
- Complete forecast traceability to President's NASA Budget Request, also with direct links to budget documents
- Industry leading data display and data analysis capabilities.
- Intuitive graphical user interface, with drill-down to the budget line item.
- Forecasts and analysis for both dollar spend and number of units to be procured.
- Forecasts and analylsis for prior Fiscal Years and ability to view year over year changes.
- Links to major program Stratvocate Specs pages.
- Keyword search.
- Ability to group items into "Bundles" meaningful to you.
Stratvocate DefenseCast™ requires a modern browser which supports HTML5 and CSS3. Certain features of DefenseCast™ may not render properly with older browsers.
Users must have a valid subscription to access the full version of Stratvocate DefenseCast™. Once the subscription is in place it’s easy to get started.
- Log in to www.stratvocate.com using the username associated with your subscription.
- Click on the DefenseCast tab. The software will initialize for your session and display the top level forecast.
- Click on any shaded area of the chart to drill into that category. For example, to drill into Aircraft simply place your mouse on any of the blue forecast bars and click the left button on your mouse. Stratvocate DefenseCast™ will drill to the next level of detail. Navigation is also available by clicking on the chart legend, and by clicking on the item title in the Data Table.
- Continuing to click on the colored bars will allow you to drill deeper into the forecast. When you have reached the bottom level of the drill-down a new window will open showing the actual pages from the budget justification books providing detailed information about the budget line item you’ve drilled into. To return to DefenseCast™ simply close the new window.
- Each page of DefenseCast™ contains similar features. An overview of each feature is shown below, with additional detail provided throughout the remainder of this User Manual.
1. Navigation Bar:
Navigate back up from your drill-down.
2. Chart Legend:
Defines what each color represents in the graph.
3. Chart Body / Wedges :
Hover cursor over the chart body to see wedge details. Click left to drill into that portion of the forecast .
4. Data Table:
Provides a numerical representation of the chart.
5. Search Box:
Search the forecast line items for specific keywords.
6. Units Box:
Change the chart and table from value (in $USD) to quantity (number of units procured).
7. Display / Analyze Box :
Select which forecast or analysis to display: Forecast, Change from previous fiscal year, or Sources / Uses .
8. Funding Box:
Include or exclude specific budget sources.
9. Budget Marks Box :
Show table of Congressional Budget Marks.
10. Top Growth Box :
Show top growth line items (absolute growth or percent growth) within selected portion of the forecast.
Each forecast contains seven years of data. The data represent the following, as illustrated in the figure below.
- Year 1: Actual expenditures from the prior fiscal year
- Year 2: Actual budget of the current fiscal year
- Year 3: President's budget request for upcoming fiscal year
- Years 4-7: Future Years Defense Plan (FYDP), the DoD's planned budget expenditures for future years
Stratvocate DefenseCast™ has been designed for easy navigation across all levels of the market forecast. Users can navigate the tool in three ways.
- Navigating via the Interactive Chart – To drill deeper into the forecast simply place your mouse over any of the colored wedges in the chart body and click the left mouse button. Likewise, clicking on any of the legend names or colors above the main chart will also drill into that portion of the forecast.
- Navigating via the Data Table – To drill deeper into the forecast using the data table place your mouse over any of the Item names in the table (leftmost column) and click the left mouse button.
- Navigating via Navigation Bar – To navigate to a higher level in the forecast from a previous drill-down, click on any of the higher levels identified in the black Navigation Bar above the main chart.
Project Level Data
For RDT&E line items, project level data (information below the budget line item) is also available. Any time one drills to an RDT&E budget line item blue Project Drill icons will appear in the resultant data table, as illustrated below.
Clicking on any of the Project Drill icons will create an additional table providing all project level details for that budget line item. That is, each project title and its associated budget is listed, along with all the Accomplishments / Planned Programs (A/PP) and Congressional Adds (CA) for each project. An example set of data is shown in the following table.
Stratvocate DefenseCast™ allows users to view chart data with any of three chart types, (1) stacked bar chart, (2) area chart, or (3) line chart. By default Stratvocate DefenseCast™ shows charts as stacked bar charts, but the user may change to any of the three types of charts by selecting the desired chart type in the Chart Type drop-down menu just above and to the left of the Chart Legend. Examples of each chart type are shown below.
Stacked Bar chart:
DefenseCast™ provides two ways to gain deep insight into the products and programs in the forecast. Stratvocate Specs links are provided to give a detailed description of the product or program being developed and/or procured. President’s Budget Justification Book documents provide programmatic details of the cost, schedule, and technical details of the work to be performed in the future for the product or program.
Major Program Links to Stratvocate Specs
In order to help users learn about major elements in the forecast, DefenseCast™ maintains links to Stratvocate Specs pages associated with major products and programs. In order to access the Specs pages, drill-down, using the Navigation techniques described previously, to the major program level of a forecast area (e.g. Procurement/RDT&E ? Aircraft ? Unmanned). At this level the Data Table will contain icons for any product or program which has a Stratvocate Specs page. Simply click on the information icon for that line item to link to the Specs page containing an overview, detailed descriptions, photos, variants, etc. for that product or program. Click the DefenseCast menu bar item to return to DefenseCast™.
President’s Budget Justification Book Documents
In order to provide users with programmatic details of future work expected to be performed, DefenseCast™ allows users to drill into the relevant pages of the President’s Budget Justification Book (PBJB) describing the specific budget line item. An example PBJB page has been provided on Page 2 of this User’s Manual.
In order to drill into the PBJB, continue navigating deeper into the forecast, either through the Interactive Chart navigation or the Data Table navigation described previously, until a new tab opens up displaying the relevant PBJB pages. Close the new tab or click on the DefenseCast™ tab to return to DefenseCast™. Note that Procurement and RDTE PBJB documents from prior years are also available allowing users to track programmatic changes over time. Simply select a previous focus year as described in the following section and DefenseCast™ will open PBJB documents from that budget cycle.
Stratvocate DefenseCast™ provides numerous ways to tailor the forecast data. Each method described below works in conjunction with the others, i.e. if a user tailors the data with one method and then further tailors the data with a second method the data results returned will include both tailorings. For example, if a user switches units from $ amount to # units and subsequently selects only Air Force as a funding source, the results will show # units the Air Force is expected to procure.
Selecting Focus Year
DefenseCast™ provides forecasts associated with each budget cycle back to 2014. By default the most recent forecast is provided but a user may change the focus year to review data from previous budget cycles.
Immediately below the Navigation bar and above the Chart Body is a drop-down menu with the current focus year listed. To change to a different budget cycle click the drop-down menu and select a different fiscal year. All data displayed will now be for the selected focus year. To return to the most recent forecast simply select the most recent year from the drop-down menu.
DefenseCast™ forecasts dollar amounts to be expended on specific line items in U.S. Dollars, as well as the number of units that will be procured with those funds. By default, the data results show dollars to be expended. A user may change this setting to view number of units to be procured by selecting the “Qty (#)” radio button in the Units Box.
To go back to dollars to be expended simply select the “Value ($)” radio button from the Units Box.
Both DoD and NASA budget data sets are resident within DefenseCast™. In order to switch between the two budget data sets simply select the desired radio button at the top of the Funding Box. As the DoD is a larger and more complex budget area, further funding sub-categories are available for DoD data as described below.
By default, DefenseCast™ includes Base budget data and Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) budget data across all elements of the Department of Defense including:
- Department of the Air Force (“Air Force”)
- Department of the Army (“Army”)
- Department of the Navy (“Navy”)
- Office of the Secretary of Defense (“OSD”)
- Special Operations Command (“SOCOM”)
- Missile Defense Agency (“MDA”)
- Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency “(DARPA”)
- All other Department of Defense (“Other DoD”)
Note – Other DoD includes organizations such as Chemical and Biological Defense ProgrM (CBDP), Defense Health Program (DHP), Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA), Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA), Defense Logistics Agency (DLA), National Security Agency (NSA), Defense Technical Information Center (DTIC), Defense Human Resources Agency (DHRA), Washington Headquarters Services (WHS), Defense Contract Management Agency (DCMA), Defense Security Service (DSS), Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA), Defense Contract Audit Agency (DCAA), Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA), Inspector General, Defense Technology Security Administration (DTSA), DoD Enterprise Portal Service (DEPS), Defense Acquisition University (DAU), Contractors Authorized to Accompany the Forces (CAAF), Civil Military Programs (CMP), National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA), Office of Economic Adjustment (OEA), Defense Prisoner of War/Missing Personnel Office (DPMO), National Defense University (DFU), Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS), Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), TRICARE Management Activity (TMA), among others.
Users may customize their forecasts by specifically including or excluding each of these organizations.
In order to include an organization check the corresponding item in the Funding Box. In order to exclude an organization un-check the corresponding item in the Funding Box. When you have included and excluded the organizations you desire left click the blue button entitled, “Change Budget Organizations.”
Additionally, users may elect to view only the DoD base budget or only the DoD OCO budget by checking and un-checking the corresponding items in the Funding Box.
Finally, while a user has drilled into the Procurement/RDTE account an option also exists to view only Procurement budget line items or only RDT&E budget line items by checking and un-checking the corresponding items in the Funding Box. Note that this option only appears when the user has drilled into Procurement/RDTE, as the option has no relevance within Operations & Maintenance, Military Construction, and Military Personnel accounts.
DefenseCast™ provides full visibility into the Congressional Budgeting process preceding the annual National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), allowing the user to display the budget marks placed by the House Armed Services Committee (HASC), Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC), House Appropriations Committee (HAC), Senate Appropriations Committee (SAC), the Authorization Conference, and the Appropriations Conference.
In order to view a table of the various Congressional Marks, the user may simply press the "Show Marks" button in the Budget Marks box. A second table will display on the screen, below the normal Data Table. This second table includes all of the current marks associated with the current data selection. These marks can be shown in the form of dollars marked up or down by selecting the Value radio button in the Units box, or in the form of additional (or fewer) units to be procured by selecting the Quantity radio button in the Units box.
Some specific details associated with the Congressional Budget Marks:
- At the line item level users can see specific Congressional comments associated with the mark by hovering the mouse over the associated mark. A dialogue box appears showing all comments made with the specific mark.
- The column headers provide links to the actual Congressional documents, providing further details into the marks. Simply click the column header and a new window will open with the text of the actual bill.
- As with the rest of DefenseCast™, the user may drill up or down throughout the forecast and the marks or updated accordingly.
- The Congressional Marks data can be downloaded into Excel by clicking the blue download arrow .
Stratvocate DefenseCast™ provides for searching through line-item documents for keywords using the Search Box. To search, enter your keyword or phrase in the dialogue box and click the search icon . DefenseCast™ will search through all PBJB line items that make up the forecast for the keyword or phrase and filter the data to include only those line items that include the search term in the result.
Example 1: A user wants to find a specific program
A user is interested in finding the forecast for the Mid-Tier Networking Vehicular Radio and knows the program commonly goes by the acronym MNVR. The user searches for MNVR and finds two funding line items, Army RDT&E line item 6506B51001 and Army Procurement line item 0604290A as well as two other programs that are associated with MNVR. The Chart Body displays only the data associated with these four programs.
Example 2: A user wants to find everything associated with unmanned systems.
The user is interested not just in the unmanned airplanes the DoD is forecast to procure, but all activities that are associated with unmanned including the vehicles, facility improvements such as runways and hangers for unmanned aerial vehicles, electronic payloads to be carried on unmanned vehicles, basic research & development being conducted on unmanned technologies, etc.
The user searches DefenseCast™ for “unmanned” and finds approximately 300 budget line items that include the word unmanned.
Specific line items which include the search keyword or phrase are listed below the Data Table. The PBJBs associated with each line item may be accessed by clicking on the link associated with the line item.
Until the search term is removed, all additional activities within DefenseCast™ will be performed only on those items that meet the search criteria. In order to remove a search criteria click the red delete button in the Search Box next to the search term.
Please be aware that the Search function is associated with the current focus year, searching through budget documentation from that year. If one changes the focus year the Search function re-runs the search against budget documentation from the updated focus year.
Multiple Search Criteria
DefenseCast™ normally treats the text entered into the search box as a single word or phrase and searches each line item for that exact text. DefenseCast™ also allows the user to search for multiple distinct keywords or phrases using the && operator. For example, if a user wants to find all line items that include both the phrase "precision approach" as well as the phrase "active marine" the user would enter into the search box: precision approach && active marine . Likewise, if a user wants to find line items that include both the words "bomber" and "AEHF" as well as the phrase "Global Positioning System" the user would enter into the search box: bomber && AEHF && Global Positioning System .
DefenseCast™ includes industry leading automated display and analysis features. By default DefenseCast™ shows the forecast in either dollars or number of units to be procured for the selected focus year. Users may change this setting to view other displays or analyses, including (a) the change from the previous forecast, (b) trend analysis (last 4 budgets), (c) portfolio assessment, and (d) sources and uses analysis.
Users may view the changes from the previous forecast (referred to by some as a "Winners and Losers" analysis) by selecting the "Change from [previous year] Forecast" radio button in the Display / Analyze Box. When selecting the Change from [previous year] Forecast option, DefenseCast™ automatically computes and graphs both positive and negative changes to each budget category or budget item as compared to the previous year budget forecast for the dollars to be spent or the number of units to be procured, as indicated by the user (see description in previous sections).
Specifically, DefenseCast™ makes the computations shown in the following table -- using the Fiscal Year 2016 forecast as the focus year for this particular illustration.
The FY 2016 forecast contains budget data for fiscal years 2014 through 2020 labeled above as data points a1 through a7. The previous year forecast, 2015, contains budget data for fiscal years 2013 through 2019 labeled above as data points b1 through b7. The Change from [previous year] Forecast option subtracts the data in the 2015 forecast from the data in the 2016 forecast for each forecast year (by way of example, by subtracting data point b7 from data point a6 in the case of the changes to the 2019 forecast).
An example chart showing this feature is displayed below. Bars plotted above the origin indicate budget areas that have increased since the previous budget cycle. Bars plotted below the origin indicate budget areas that have decreased since the previous budget cycle. Note that these Budget Change charts can be made for dollar funding or units to be ordered. Also, any of the three chart types (stacked bar chart, area chart, or line chart) are available for this feature. To the developers of DefenseCast™ the area chart doesn't appear to provide any real utility since the chart is dependent upon the order in which the individual items are plotted so please be cautious of this option. We have left it in the product in case there are analysts more insightful than ourselves and able to view data in 5 or more dimensions who may find a use for it.
Longer term budget trends are displayed by the selection of the "Trend (last 4 budgets)" radio button in the Display / Analyze Box. This selection causes DefenseCast to compile and chart the last four budget forecasts (either dollars budgeted or number of units to be performed, as selected by the User) for the market or program area currently selected. Once selected, users may navigate through the standard methods described above. An example trend analysis is shown in the following image and described in detail below.
The chart above shows the trend (last 4 budgets) for the B-2 bomber program. The data span all budget items from the 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017 budgets. As each budget spans two years backward, the current fiscal year, and four years forward, the budgets displayed above cover the following years.
- 2014 Budget includes fiscal years — 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
- 2015 Budget includes fiscal years — 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019
- 2016 Budget includes fiscal years — 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020
- 2017 Budget includes fiscal years — 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021
These data are plotted alongside each other such that for any fiscal year one can see how the budget for that year has changed over the last four budget cycles. Specifically, the data are aligned as depicted in the following annotated chart.
Finally, the trend (last 4 budget) chart contains a slider immediately below the graphic which allows the user to change the fiscal year date range. To reduce the year range from the default simply grab one of the two blocks on the slider with your mouse and move them to the desired year. The block on the left controls the start year and the block on the right controls the end year. An example of the slider functionality is shown in the annotated chart below.
Stratvocate DefenseCast™ generates and charts a custom Portfolio Assessment for the markets and programs selected by the user through selection of the "Portfolio Assessment" radio button in the Display / Analyze Box. When selecting this analysis DefenseCast automatically calculates and graphs an assessment of the markets and/or programs along two dimensions. An example assessment is shown in the following image and described in detail below.
The example above shows the Portfolio Assessment for Weapons for the FY 2016 Budget Request. The x-axis on the chart depicts the compounded annual growth rate of each weapon type over the Future Years Defense Program (FYDP) as compared to 2016. Weapon types that have growing budget resources allocated to them have a positive growth rate and weapon types that are losing funding over the FYDP have negative growth rates. The y-axis on the chart depicts the growth or decline of the current budget request as compared to the budget request from the prior fiscal year (sometimes referred to as "winners / losers"). The y-axis performs the same computation as the Changes from Previous Forecast described on the last section, providing a measure of whether each market area / program is gaining funds or losing funds as compared to what had been anticipated in the previous budget request. Those market areas and programs that are gaining funds as compared to previously planned show a positive growth rate while those that rae losing funds as compared to previously planned show a negative growth rate. Finally, the size of each bubble on the graph is proportional to the size of the market area or program it represents. The detailed data associated with the x-axis, y-axis and bubble size can be seen in a hover box by placing the cursor over each bubble.
The computations which map the data points in the x- and y-axes result in a 2x2 grid which allows for the strategic characterization of each market area or program plotted, depending on which quadrant the bubble lies. Each quadrant represents a specific assessment of the bubbles which lie in it.
- Upper right (first quadrant): An attractive market area / program on each dimension. The market area / program is growing over the duration of the FYDP and also growing from what had previously been requested in the last Fiscal Year budget submission. In the example above, cruise missiles and ballistic missiles are clear winners along both dimensions, receiving increased near-term funding and sustained long-term growth.
- Upper left (second quadrant): An attractive market area / program in the near-term, but fading over time. The market area / program has gained recent funding as compared to the prior fiscal year request, but in the long term it is in decline. Bubbles in this quadrant typically exhibit a significant near-term need for the product, but decreasing demand in the future. In the example above, conventional missiles, small arms, and ammunition fall in this quadrant, reflecting the near-term need for such items to support current warfighting efforts, but reduced demand over time as operational needs diminish.
- Lower left (third quadrant): An unattractive market area / program on each dimension. The market area / program is declining over the duration of the FYDP and also declining from what had previously been requested. In the example above, support efforts are the only item falling in this quadrant, indicating that perhaps supporting efforts is both a near term and long term bill payer for other efforts.
- Lower right (fourth quadrant): An attractive market area / program in the long term, but decreased funding as compared to prior plans in the near term. Items in this quadrant are often associated with program slips and delayed efforts. In the example above torpedos fall in this quadrant, perhaps indicating the long term strategic importance of torpedos yet lack of near term urgency given that current warfighting efforts tend to emphasize air and land operations rather than sea operations.
A comment on outliers – there are times when growth rates become very large due to a small strating point, dividing by zero in the extreme case. Such outliers can make the remainder of the bubbles difficult to see and analyze. DefenseCast provides a solution for this situation with the "Chart Option" drop-down box above the chart. By default the drop-down box is set to "All," indicating all bubbles will be shown. If there are outliers in the data view which cause difficulty seeing the remaining bubbles, simply change the drop-down to "No Outliers" and the outliers (i.e. any bubble with a growth rate greater than 500%) will be removed from the view.
Chart controls – the following controls are provided for Portfolio Assessment charts.
- Drill: Click on any bubble to drill to the next level of detail
- Zoom in: Roll the scroller on your mouse toward you to zoom in.
- Zoom out: Roll the scroller on your mouse away from you to zoom out.
- Pan: Drag with your mouse to pan around the chart vertically and horizontally.
- View bubble details: Hover the cursor over a bubble to view the detailed data associated with the bubble.
- View downloadable chart: Click on "Show downloadable image." Right mouse click to save or view the image
- View interactive chart: Click on "Show interactive chart."
Sources and Uses Analysis
Users may view a graphical depiction of the Sources of funds and Uses of funds for each budget category or budget item by selecting the "Sources & Uses" radio button in the Display / Analyze Box, or by selecting a particular Sources & Uses year from the accompanying dropdown menu. When selecting this analysis, DefenseCast™ automatically computes and graphs the Source organization (e.g. Army, Navy, Air Force) for selected budget forecast year and maps the amount to each relevant budget category or line item in the forecast. An example Sources and Uses chart for Aircraft is shown and discussed in further detail below.
As illustrated in the chart above, a pictorial mapping of where Funds are coming from, i.e. Source, and what the Funds are being expended upon, i.e. Use, can quickly be computed and displayed with DefenseCast. Users may also change the analysis from funding amounts ($) to units to be procured (# units). As with all charts, a corresponding data table which is downloadable to a spreadsheet is included beneath the chart.
As indicated in the parenthetical of the chart title ("FY2016 $ forecast of FY2016"), there are two distinct years which must be specified for a Sources and Uses Analysis. The first year indicates which Fiscal Year budget forecast is being focused upon, in this case the FY2016 budget forecast. The second year indicates which forecast year of that budget is being mapped in the Sources and Uses Analysis, in this case the FY2016 forecast year of the FY2016 budget forecast is being graphed. Since each budget forecast projects back two years and into the future five years, there are a total of seven forecast years which can be charted for any given Fiscal Year budget forecast. By way of example, when selecting the FY2016 budget forecast as the focus, users may then produce Sources and Uses data for any of the years which make up the FY2016 budget forecast, i.e. any year from 2014 through 2020, by selecting the appropriate year in the dropdown menu within the Display / Analyze Box. This allows users to map the flow of funds (or units procured) over a seven year time horizon for each Fiscal Year budget forecast.
To aid in the usability and interpretation of Sources and Uses Analysis charts, several additional graphical features have been incorporated in the tool.
(1) Placing your pointer on top of any of the Source / Use connections will cause a hover box to appear on the chart showing the Source Organization, the Use item, and the amount going from the Source to the Use.
(2) Clicking on a Source node (the vertical bar to the left of the Source name) will cause the connections associated with that Source to remain emphasized while de-emphasizing the colors on the connections from the other Source nodes.
(3) Clicking on a Use node (the vertical bar to the right of the Use name) will cause the connections associated with that Use to remain emphasized while de-emphasizing the colors on the connections to all other Use nodes.
(4) The Source and Use Analysis chart can be re-colored by selecting either "Gradient," "Source," or "Use" from the Chart Color drop-down box to the upper left of the graphical display to provide visual focus on the Source portion of the chart, the Use portion of the chart, or equally between both portions of the chart.
Examples of each of these graphical features are shown below.
Emphasize specific Source by clicking on a Source node:
Emphasize specific Use by clicking on a Use node:
Recolor connections by selecting Source chart color:
Recolor connections by selecting Use chart color:
For RDT&E and Procurement forecasts, Stratvocate DefenseCast™ automatically calculates the top growth line items in the current view. The user may select the number of top growth line items to display, and the algorithm used by DefenseCast™ to quantify growth.
To view the list of top growth opportunities select the number to display from the Top Growth Box and click on the "Change Top Growth Options Button." A list of top growth items will appear under the tabular list of forecast data.
As you navigate within DefenseCast™ by drilling into and out of data the top growth list will change to identify the top growth programs for the level you are currently at. For example, if you are at the top level Procurement/RDTE forecast the list will show the top growth items across the entire Procurement and RDT&E budgets. If you drill into the Aircraft segment the list will show the top growth items within Aircraft.
To turn off the top growth list simply change the number to show in the Top Growth Box to zero.
Quantifying "Top Growth"
DefenseCast™ can calculate "top growth" in four different ways, with each method returning a different list of items. The four methods include:
- Absolute change in dollars -- select Amt in Top Growth Box and Value ($) in Units Box.
- Percentage change in dollars -- select % in Top Growth Box and Value ($) in Units Box.
- Absolute change in number of units procured -- select Amt in Top Growth Box and Quantity (#) in Units Box.
- Percentage change in number of units procured -- select % in Top Growth Box and Quantity (#) in Units Box.
Data from Stratvocate DefenseCast™ can be exported both in graphical form and in tabular form.
Exporting Graphical Data
DefenseCast™ allows you to download the image in the main Chart Body for incorporation into other tools such as presentation software, word processing software, and/or spreadsheet software.
In order to copy the image users must first click the “Show Downloadable Image” link immediately below the Navigation Bar in order to convert the chart from an interactive navigation chart into a static image. Users may then copy and paste the image into other software or save it on their computer as a .png file. Typically the copy and save functions are available by placing the mouse over the image and clicking the right mouse button. Specific copy and save protocols are browser dependent. Please refer to the help for the browser you are using if you require further detail.
Exporting Tabular Data
DefenseCast™ allows you to download the Data Table and Budget Marks Table (if currently being viewed) directly to your spreadsheet software. Simply click the download icon in the title bar of the Data Table or the Budget Marks Table to create an .xlsx file containing the data currently in the table. The specific protocol to open the resultant file is browser dependent. Please refer to the help for the browser you are using if you require further detail.
Bundles allow you to customize foreasts by aggregating budget items into meaningful groups and applying the bundle to DefenseCast. Bundles can be used to enhance your DefenseCast forecasts by grouping items in various and perhaps non-standard ways. For example,
- Company bundles
- Mission bundles
- Product bundles
- Program bundles
- Technology bundles
- Unawarded program bundles
- New business pursuit bundles
Collaboration features allow you to share your bundles with other subscribers. Or you can keep them private and secure if you'd prefer.
Accessing and Creating Bundles
In order to access existing bundles or create new ones click the "Bundles" tab under the DefenseCast menu. Your browser will go to your Bundles page as shown below. The first time you access your bundles page you are already provided with several Example Bundles which you can use immediately, although the true power of Bundles comes when you create your own groupings based on categories meaningful to you.
To create a new Bundle simply click on the "create a new bundle" link on the main Bundles page. You will be taken to the Bundle Builder, as shown below.
The Bundle Builder allows you to select items from throughout the DefenseCast taxonomy. First select which category of items you'd like to start with by selecting a category from the list on the right. In the example above Aircraft has been selected. Within that top level category you can drill up and down to select categories (e.g. Aircraft), types (e.g. Bomber), products (e.g. B-1), and/or line items (e.g. AF Procurement B01B00). Drill-down to deeper levels is performed by clicking on the grey down arrows adjacent to the selection boxes. You don't need to stay at the same level for all items in your bundle, you can mix and match as you see fit. If you'd like to select items from another category simply click on the corresponding category on the right and you will have access to those line items. The ones you selected from the previous category are remembered and the total bundle as it's currently built is shown at the bottom of the page. When you have selected all items you want in your Bundle simply click the button under "Submit Bundle" and you'll be taken to a confirmation page where you can review all items in the bundle. You'll be asked to provide a name for the Bundle and a description of the Bundle before committing the bundle with the "Commit Bundle" button. If you wish to change the Bundle before committing it simply click the "Back to Bundle Builder" link and you'll be taken back to the Bundle Builder page where you can modify the Bundle before committing it.
"One-click" Bundle Creation
There is a second way to create new Bundles specifically associated with DefenseCast search results. Whenever you run a search on the current Fiscal Year data a button will appear in the Search Box allowing you to save the search results as a Bundle (see below).
Click on the "Create Bundle from search results" button and you will be taken to the Bundle review page where you can commit the Bundle as described above. The Bundle will include every line item that matched your search criteria. If you would like to modify the Bundle before committing it, either to remove line items or add further line items, click on the "Back to Bundle Builder" link at the top of the page and you will be taken to the Bundle Builder. The line items associated with the search criteria will already be selected for you. Modify the selections as you desire and save the Bundle as described in the sections above.
Working with Bundles
There are numerous things you can do with Bundles from the main Bundles page.
- Apply a Bundle – to apply a Bundle to DefenseCast simply select the Bundle you'd like to apply and click the "Apply Bundle" button on the right. You will be taken to the main DefenseCast page and the Bundle will automatically be applied to the data set. Specifically, the DefenseCast data will include all data associated with items contained within the Bundle and no data associated with items not contained within the Bundle. This allows you to view subsets of the total DefenseCast data set and apply all actions you can otherwise perform within DefenseCast (including Searching, switching between $ and #, selecting Customer organizations, showing Congressional Marks, etc). The contents of the applied Bundle(s) may be viewed at the bottom of the page by clicking "Show Definitions of Applied Bundles," and the Bundles may be removed by clicking the red delete symbol next to the bundle or by clicking the "Remove All" button. Note that more than one Bundle can be applied at a time by going back to the Bundles page and applying a second, third, fourth, etc, Bundle.
- View a Bundle Definition – To view the definition of a Bundle, select its radio button on the Bundles page and click the button "View Bundle Definition." You will be shown the list of items contained within the Bundle. After viewing the definition simply return to the main Bundles page.
- Edit a Bundle – Select the Bundle you'd like to edit and click the "Edit Bundle Definition" button. You'll be taken back to the Bundle Builder so you can modify the Bundle you selected. To ensure you never lose data unintentionally, DefenseCast does not overwrite the previous version of the Bundle. If you'd like to remove the old version of the Bundle delete it from the main Bundle screen as described below.
- Rename a Bundle – Select the Bundle you'd like to rename and click the "Rename Bundle" button. Simply provide the new Bundle name in the dialogue box that appears and the Bundle will be renamed.
- Share a Bundle – DefenseCast allows you to collaborate by sharing Bundles with other Subscribers. To share a Bundle with another subscriber select the radio button for the Bundle you'd like to share and click the "Share Bundle" button. You will be taken to a new page where you can enter the userid of the subscriber you'd like to share the Bundle with. Once you share the Bundle a private message will automatically be generated and sent to the subscriber you specified indicating they now have access to the Bundle you shared. Simply press the Unshare button associated with that subscriber to stop sharing the Bundle with them. If you have reason to communicate with the other subscriber you've shared the Bundle with you can do so by clicking on their username. A private message form will appear where you can enter your message and send it to the other subscriber. The other subscriber will receive notification that you've sent a private message. The shared Bundle will appear in the other subscriber's main Bundles page and they will be able to apply the Bundle to DefenseCast data similar to any other Bundle they've created.
- Delete a Bundle – Select the Bundle you'd like to delete from your library of Bundles and click the "Delete Bundle" button. A confirmation box will appear allowing you to confirm you'd like to delete the Bundle. Upon confirming the Bundle will be deleted. Please be mindful that once deleted a Bundle cannot be restored. If you delete a Bundle and want to recover it you must re-build it from scratch as described above.