Raytheon is in talks with U.S. intelligence agencies about the possibility of incorporating government analysts in the internal war games the company launched this year to improve the analytical tools it develops for the intelligence community.
Raytheon plans to use the User-centric Analytics Grand Challenge to ensure it is developing the kinds of tools analysts will require in an era of big data sets, the community’s term for vast stores of video, open-source social media and signals intelligence.
The challenge will “stimulate innovation,” particularly in the area of automated tools, and strengthen “collaboration between the users of the system and the developers of the system,” said Karen Ebling, director of business strategy for Raytheon Intelligence and Information Systems in Garland, Texas.
“It’s the first year of what we consider a multi-year investment,” Ebling added.
So far, only retired government analysts and military reservists employed by Raytheon have participated in the challenge, whose real-world scenarios include analyzing publicly available social media, such as Twitter feeds.
Raytheon said it is in discussions with unnamed U.S. agencies and combatant commands about the possibility of involving some of their analysts in the challenge.
“Those [agreements] are still in [the works] with those government agencies right now,” said Brooke Griffith, director of international business development at Raytheon IIS, which is weighing prospects for exporting some of the analytical tools.
The challenge provides Raytheon’s developers with feedback and ensures that the tools they make mesh with how analysts do their jobs.
“We’re creating an environment to exercise both the processes and the systems,” Ebling said.
In some cases, analysts will come to a Raytheon facility to participate. In other scenarios, they will participate online.
Universities the company declined to name are supplying open-source data for the analytical scenarios, which touch on both tactical and strategic intelligence, Griffith said.