Features13 Sept 2023
Speed, accuracy, and action: how Adarga Vantage helps organisations respond to threats faster than ever before
Written by Sam Olsen, Former Intelligence Officer
As a former First Intelligence Officer, I’ve seen and experienced the challenges faced by analysts when confronted with mountains of information and disparate data from thousands of sources. Operating in Southern Iraq, my team and I had to work hard and fast to glean relevant, reliable insights that would drive better decision making. Tired but time-bound, we were up against a threat landscape that could turn on a dime. We did well to make do with what was available – usually a handful of pens and hundreds of pieces of paper. We’d write down names, pin them up on a wall, then connect them with pieces of string.
Technology’s come a long way since then. AI is no longer an unfamiliar concept, and it’s this that powers Adarga Vantage. It’s an information intelligence capability that, had we had it back in Iraq, just might have made a big difference. No more late nights struggling to make sense of a mass of unstructured information. Fewer of those Rumsfeldian riddles rich with unknowns and unknown unknowns. Less niggling uncertainty that we’d left some key insights in the dark, and less chance of the impending sense of dread that comes from making a wrong choice when you’ve only got one chance to make the right one.
Revolutionising analysis and research
Vantage accelerates and augments research and reporting by showing users where to dig for insight – and then it helps them dig. It liberates analysts from the constraints of time-consuming manual research so they can dedicate their time, skill, and expertise to the heart of their workflow: analysis and reporting. They can get a broad, objective understanding of a topic in minutes and then deliver higher-quality, more up-to-date, in-depth reports faster than ever before.
That final point is key. Because analysts have always worked against the clock, and so they’ve always been forced to make a trade-off between speed and quality.
Yet an analyst, armed with a capability like Vantage, can produce better work, faster. Which means leaders can in turn make better-informed decisions more quickly, and organisations can capitalise on a crucial information advantage in order to maintain their competitive edge.
This is as true for multinational enterprises as it is for defence organisations. As global tensions rise, political friction heats up, and supply chains are put under pressure, geopolitical risk naturally extends to large-scale commercial organisations and businesses. In order to secure their future success, these organisations must pinpoint and address threats to their operations, performance, and people as quickly as they appear. Market assessments are one way for businesses to mitigate risk and identify opportunities, but done manually and with huge amounts of qualitative data, this process soon starts to feel like wading through treacle.
But by using Vantage, commercial analysts can replace hundreds of tabs with one and dig deeper into qualitative data from a huge range of sources – data that’s been neatly presented and summarised for rapid analysis.
Fusing past and present with a view to the future
What I find so brilliant about Vantage is its ability to combine open-source data – news reports, academic studies, videos and the like – with internal information. Unsurprisingly, there’s a lot of the latter with older organisations. Decades-old organisations are likely sitting on a trove of disparate, deeply buried institutional knowledge – documents, emails, recordings, slides – with little understanding of what exactly exists, how it’s helpful, or how to access it.
But internal information – and the organisational knowledge that stems from it – is of course every bit as valuable as open-source data. How can I check that I’m not wasting precious time, resource and cost carrying out detailed analysis into a market entry opportunity – analysis that’s already been done thoroughly many years ago? How do we know that the decision we made way back when to invest in far-off mining corporations has actually led to direct consequences on the environmental deterioration of local rainforests?
That ability to correlate between your knowledge and the external world – to capitalise on good thinking in the past to augment current thinking today – is invaluable for organisations operating in time-poor, high-consequence environments. And, for me, that’s where Vantage really shines. There’s precious little out there that fuses organisational knowledge with open-source data to provide decision makers with a comprehensive, contextualised view of the world.
Without this sort of technology, and with the sheer breadth and data present in the information domain, you’ll forgive an analyst for getting overwhelmed. Snowed under, they can’t do their best work. Decision makers can’t derive the highest quality insights, and the organisations they serve start to fall behind.
But armed with something like Vantage – and with a deeper, more credible understanding of the situation in hand – organisations can observe, orient, decide and act far quicker. Their actions are founded in high quality, diverse insight that could never be achieved in such a short span of time using traditional methods. This information advantage comes from giving analysts the technology they need to focus on what they do best.