Data Integration: The Sum is Greater Than All of its Parts?
“The Whole is Greater than the Sum of its Parts”. Aristotle said it first. But he was using a first generation intelligence center. And the bad guys were communicating with smoke signals and carrier pigeons.
In my last blog I discussed how with a modern fusion center you should not fear having “too much” data nor unexpected data changes. No matter what its origin, and no matter when you receive it, new data helps you see a bigger picture. Sounds simple? Maybe for Aristotle. But for the rest of us, not so much. So let’s get back to the fundamentals of your investigations: Data sources.
Data Sources to Intelligence Entities
You collect all types, structured & unstructured. From written reports to criminal records, border crossings, CDRs, and even financial transactions – everything gathered can be critical. And the data is gathered in the form of text, images & video.
For it to really help your investigation, you need to unify the data pieces around real-life “intelligence entities”; in other words, clustered pools of knowledge relating to persons, activities, groups, or events. You need to see the hidden knowledge behind the dispersed and apparently unconnected data.
Yesterday’s Data is Not Good Enough
Above all, the fusion center needs to be flexible so you can add or amend data sources at will. It must be ‘mission-elastic’ so you can easily integrate and update data to fit your evolving operational needs. Yesterday’s data is not going to be good enough.
OK, so we’ve established that a fusion center must create coherence out of the randomness and volatility of your data. In our line of business, however, it has to do more – it must also know how to zero in on crime and terror.
What’s My Next Move?
Let’s say you’re in the middle of an investigation and the clock is ticking. The analyst is searching for shortcuts. She’s following possible targets but vital information is missing: Who’s related to who, and how? Can we isolate people with suspicious behaviors or with similar patterns? Can we narrow-down a list of possible vehicles of interest? and: What’s my next step?
Her intelligence fusion center must therefore have built-in investigative logic so it can automatically surface predictive forensic insights: Who lives in Athens, owns a warehouse in Olympia and called Socrates from China last month. Who behaves like Plato, purchased hemlock online and works nowadays for Google. Now she’s really zooming in on the target. And now I’m sure she’ll agree with Aristotle: The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
In my next blog we will see a real fusion platform that actually does all of this, today, and we’ll take a close look at the system in action.
Author: Moranne Yaari
With Verint since 2008, Moranne Yaari is the Director of Strategic Product Marketing for Open Source Intelligence and Intelligence Fusion. Moranne has rich market knowledge and customer-facing experience. She was previously International Sales & Business Development Director and was responsible for greenfield markets. Moranne has eighteen years of experience in IT and in Government. She speaks English, French, Dutch and Hebrew fluently and holds a B.A in Architecture and an MBA in International Marketing.