Data Science and Analytics
Today, what's commonly called "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. Understanding how to handle this torrent of information requires specialists in data science and analytics.
Already, data science has had a huge impact on industry—from marketing to manufacturing. But there are equal opportunities to apply data science to national challenges as well. That's why MITRE has 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. And we're constantly expanding our skill base and overall capabilities, exploring new ways to apply data science, machine learning, and related fields to the big problems of our time.
Numerous technologies support data science and analytics, from developing data-analysis algorithms to fusing and visualizing complex data so it can be quickly understood and acted on. 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 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. A few examples include:
- Our health researchers have created predictive models that identify risk factors for child abuse, neglect, and fatalities. This work promises to help child welfare professionals with their daily decisions.
- Our health information team has developed a ground-breaking way of creating realistic "synthetic patients" that allow researchers to make new and better health IT tools without compromising patient privacy.
- Our researchers are tackling the opioid crisis through an innovative method for predicting and identifying the prescription drug fraud schemes that contribute to the growth of this national health emergency.
- We're helping the government use data-driven approaches for reducing the trillion-dollar problem of federal improper payments.
- Our Social Radar tools 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.
- We host the Analytic Technology Industry Roundtable, which brings together leaders of analysis and analytic technology companies to have open dialogue and achieve common goals.
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.
Are you a data scientist or studying to be one? Learn how you can combine your skills, education, and passion for serving the public interest. Visit MITRE's Job Openings portal and search under "Data Scientists."