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Defence Data Realities

Roland McTeague
RUSI Defence Systems, 29 April 2020
Information
There is more to successful data exploitation than buying tools and expertise. It requires hard thinking and basic management. An analytics specialist offers some guidelines for data analytics success in Defence

Recently published strategic guidance for Defence, notably the strategic priorities and goals of the MoD’s Chief Information Officer expressed in the Enabling Warfare in the Information Age strategy, alongside the recently published guidance on Defence Transformation, implores Defence to become more data-driven and to treat data as a strategic asset. The media, the technology industry and defence consultancies have been in overdrive as a result of the hot topic of ‘big data’. An abundance of similar terms is also found in Defence concept papers – namely ‘artificial intelligence’ (AI), ‘analytics’, ‘machine learning’ and so on.

This article argues that the benefits of data analytics have been overhyped, and that data exploitation investments often fail due to a lack of realism.

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