CARY, N.C., 7 March 2008. According to a recent report, the U.S. Department of Defense has a new ally in the fight against improvised explosive devices (IEDs): An advanced data analysis solution from SAS and Detica. The Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization (JIEDDO) is using the solution to uncover and target the operational, financial, and social networks involved in IED deployment.
JIEDDO's mission is to lead, advocate, and coordinate efforts to defeat IEDs as weapons of strategic influence; provide field commanders intelligence; and reduce casualties among both military forces and civilian populations. To help achieve those goals, the organization needed powerful analytics to gain critical, data-driven insight into the structure, character, interactions, and methods associated with the operational networks involved in the deployment of IEDs.
The solution from SAS and Detica analyzes data from myriad sources to identify and analyze the linkages between individuals and groups that may indicate a support network. Similar technology is used to fight fraud in government agencies and commercial businesses in the U.K. and the U.S.
Before the solution could be deployed, JIEDDO had to address various data challenges. It received data from multiple sources in theater and from DOD and other US government agencies. Much of the data was not integrated or coordinated with data developed by other units or agencies, and much of it remained unstructured or lacked a common format or vocabulary.
Data quality was problematic because of the amount that is manually keyed or handwritten, the lack of standard formats and templates, and the variety of sources.
Detica and SAS combined to provide an analytical solution that addresses the challenges of data access, integration, quality, and management. JIEDDO is able to integrate existing data from all relevant sources, and with advanced analytics and reporting capabilities, provide exploitable information to field commanders.
The JIEDDO solution uses several tools, including data and text analysis, predictive modeling, and optimization. Analysts and other end users receive detailed intelligence developed using data-driven investigative techniques.