By: Evan Sterling, Analyst Consultant; Praescient Analytics
The Institute for the Study of War (ISW) and the Critical Threats Project (CTP), two of Praescient Analytics’ partners, are releasing a series of reports entitled U.S. Grand Strategy: Destroying ISIS and Al Qaeda. These reports make up an “intensive multi-week planning exercise to frame, design, and evaluate potential courses of action that the United States could pursue to defeat the threat from the Islamic State in Iraq and al Sham (ISIS) and al Qaeda in Iraq and Syria.” The first three reports were published earlier this year, with several more to follow. The works demonstrate ISW and CTP’s unique strengths and capabilities in the realm of strategic analysis. Praescient provides support to this effort, and efforts like it, by helping ISW and CTP make the best use of their open source research by joining it with the advanced technologies and methodologies implemented by Praescient Analytics. As ISW’s President, Dr. Kimberly Kagan, put it, “Praescient’s leaders are thoughtful and forward-thinking about how they can help ISW and CTP.”
ISW and CTP are think tanks focused primarily on accurately following ongoing wars and developing threats in order to provide intelligence analysis and improve strategic discourse in the United States. ISW and CTP are also deeply committed to the education of the next generation of intelligence analysts. One vital part of that education is a young analyst’s ability to properly use the analytical software and tools at his or her disposal. Praescient Analytics supports ISW, CTP, and their analysts by providing essential, in-depth training on the Palantir analytical platform. In addition to the training services provided, Praescient Analytics help develop the organizations’ technique and taxonomy for storing data efficiently and effectively using the Palantir system, empowering them to turn ISW and CTP’s open source knowledge of tactical events into a common repository that can easily be used by analysts to turn data into insight.
Proper training and methodologies built in from the beginning are an essential part of maintaining the data quality necessary for the scale of work completed by these organizations. Dr. Kagan at the Institute for the Study of War stressed that “Praescient’s team members patiently learn our organization’s workflow and help us integrate new technologies into our existing practices. They also help us find efficiencies so that we can help maximize our analysts’ time providing insight rather than processing data.” In particular, ISW’s Syria and Counter Terrorism teams deal with huge amounts of data tracking quickly changing groups that often splinter and change allegiance – small errors in data can cause hours of work, and headaches, for analysts. Combining subject matter expertise with information management expertise to create proper data conventions, making them part of the educational experience, and reinforcing them as procedure everyday ensures the quality and availability of the data. Praescient’s advanced analytical methodologies together with ISW and CTP’s signature capacity to leverage tactical level knowledge into policy-relevant strategic analysis provides just such a combination.
ISW and CTP’s “U.S. Grand Strategy: Destroying ISIS and Al Qaeda” can be found at https://www.aei.org/feature/us-grand-strategy-series/.
To learn more about Praescient Analytics, their services, and how they can support your organization please visit http://praescientanalytics.com/.