Analysis and Analytics

Hand holding a smartphone.

Today, big data is the new oil, a national asset of great strategic and economic value. Knowledge hidden and untapped in the zettabytes of digital files generated across the globe is estimated to be worth over $1 trillion per year. Unlike oil and gas, this resource is growing exponentially every year, and there's no end to the supply.

Already, it's had a huge impact on industry—from marketing to manufacturing. But there are equal opportunities to apply big data to national challenges as well. That's why we've worked for more than a decade to show how masses of information, combined with sophisticated analytics, can provide our sponsors with powerful decision-making tools.

MITRE tackles this from all sides. We use our systems engineering expertise to develop technical and analytical approaches to collect, manage, and parse massive amounts of data for our sponsors' missions. We're also making inroads on keeping personal data private—a growing concern.

The Watchword Is Trust

Perhaps most important, we pair technical know-how with our role as a trusted third party. That lets us build public-private partnerships for information sharing that puts data to work where it’s needed most. Activity-based intelligence, discussed on page 6, works by using a similar model.

One of the clearest examples of this is a groundbreaking collaboration between the FAA and the aviation industry called ASIAS. It stands for Aviation Safety Information Analysis and Sharing; it was first launched in 2007.

Before ASIAS, aggregate data from across the aviation industry from sources such as aircraft “black boxes” did not exist. With ASIAS, we can fuse internal FAA data, airline proprietary safety data, manufacturers’ data, publicly available data, and more. Once analyzed, the aggregated data helps identify safety trends and assess the impact of process changes.

ASIAS began with a handful of stakeholders. It now boasts a membership of more than 100 organizations and counting. This only happens because government and industry trust us to handle and secure data they normally wouldn’t share with each other.

From Data Comes Understanding

We continue to expand our analytics capabilities into other realms. Take our Social Radar tools, which originated in our research program in 2011. They use public social media feeds, such as Twitter, to develop situational awareness for sponsor missions. In 2015, the non-profit AtrocityWatch licensed our technology. It's providing peacekeepers and others with a better picture of their surroundings based on real-time local social media reports.

For the Internal Revenue Service, we've supplied analytics for an array of tax compliance programs, including the Joint Operations Center for Fuel Tax Compliance (also discussed on page 22). Our work for the Department of Homeland Security's Border Enforcement Analytics Program garnered us the DHS Under Secretary’s Award for Building Partnerships in 2014. As part of the Healthcare Fraud Prevention Partnership, we've helped identify over a billions dollars of fraud within the healthcare system over the last two years.

And to support a wider variety of initiatives, especially small-to-midsize ones, we've developed an innovative big data platform. This secure, location-agnostic platform brings the analytics to the data. It helps sponsors and other partners cut project startup time by months and saves money.

As big data continues to grow in influence and value, MITRE will help influence the government policies that shape it going forward. In keeping with our public-interest role, we will continue to help our sponsors sort hype from truth, making sure the promises of big data analytics yield practical, high impact results.

Analysis Tool Shed Laboratory Provides Wide-Ranging Test Bed

One example of how we make it easier to connect our workforce with their sponsors' biggest analytics challenges is through our Analysis Tool Shed (ATS) Lab, MITRE's largest research and development lab. The ATS Lab provides a corporate R&D environment that hosts more than 100 tools for evaluation and testing. It allows MITRE staff and dozens of analytic technology industry partners to support various government sponsors, helping to better their analytic posture and analysis missions.

The ATS Lab provides users with analytic resources and capability and contains a mix of government-off-the- shelf (GOTS), commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS), and MITRE R&D tools. The unclassified ATS Lab provides an opportunity for analysts, technologists, linguists, and developers to gain hands-on access to tools and processing components for integration, testing, and evaluation, using problems and data of interest.

As an added feature, the ATS Lab is virtual, which makes it easily accessible. Users can remotely access the lab via their computers—anywhere with a connection to MITRE’s network and with ATS Lab permissions. Additionally, the lab maintains a knowledge repository and wiki to collect, store, and share information on analysis tools and methodologies.