In the advent of digital age, wars are becoming increasingly asymmetric. Big data yields not simply a quantitative increase in information, but a qualitative change in how we create new knowledge and understand the world.
Information technologies have already begun to revolutionize commerce and science, transforming the economy and acting as enablers for other game-changing technology trends, from next-generation genomics to energy exploration. But similar to health care professionals managing large volumes of patient data, processing the massive amount of military intelligence and information can be like drinking from a fire hose, both for soldiers out in the field and for defense professionals operating in command centers. As with other institutions, the military and our intelligence agencies are drowning in a sea of information.
In defense intelligence communities, some of these technologies have been adopted for tasks, including technical collection and operational intelligence fusion—but big data’s impact on all-source intelligence analysis has scarcely been examined.