Leveraging Information and Intelligence

David Linthicum

Fighting Terrorism with Data Governance

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I really enjoyed Jill Dyche's recent blog posting entitled "Could Data Governance Help the War on Terror?"   In essence, calling out the recently break down in intelligence that failed to take the "underwear bomber" off the plane before attempting to blow the thing up over Detroit.

"Instead, the government should be addressing process issues. Indeed, the real conversation should be how to move forward. These questions should be asked now: 'How should we bring identifying data together? What are the key sources? How should integration, access, and usage policies be formulated? What would a sustainable process look like?' Those questions aren't 'who' questions, they're 'how' questions, and they should be front-and-center in the national security conversation."

What's been occurring in the intelligence community is a movement to get data integration right within their own domains, but not consider integration between agencies.   Thus, they are missing key pieces of the puzzle in truly evaluating threats, which basically comes from patterns that are culled from data sources that span organizations.     Clearly, we don't do that well, if not at all if we're missing things that are that obvious. 

Data is key here, and perhaps more the answer to the problem than making me put away my iPhone an hour before landing.     What's most bothersome about things like this, and even 911, is that the data was there, however no mechanisms existed to make good use of it.   In short, there was no data government or management in place.

Not to blame technology entirely.   The culture of "not sharing my toys," in this case data, that exists between agencies is getting a bit annoying as well.   

To be honest, this is easy stuff.   The aggregation of information from many organizations is something that businesses do daily in support of profits.   Let's give it a shot in support of safe travel...shall we?   

1 Comment

I agree that the attention needs to be on process improvement and the real people issue is improving collaboration

Industry expert Dave Linthicum tells you what you need to know about building efficiency into the information management infrastructure

David Linthicum

David Linthicum is the CTO of Blue Mountain Labs, and an internationally known distributed computing and application integration expert. View more

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