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[FYI] CIA modernisiert IT-Infrastruktur


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October 1998

cSIGNAL Magazine 1998

Intelligence Agency Adjusts As Mission Possible Unfolds

Customer awareness, process improvements result from broad
applications of advanced analytical tools.

By Clarence A. Robinson, Jr.

The Central Intelligence Agency is bringing the power of information
technology advances to bear on its basic analytical functions. The use
of advanced analytical tools dovetails with a new strategic agency
direction. This imperative calls for much closer ties with customers,
accelerating information gathering and processing, handling larger
volumes of data more efficiently and expediting product delivery. 

An advanced analytic tools office, within the Central Intelligence
Agency (CIA), is harnessing a variety of information technologies to
meet the growing needs of analysts in the intelligence directorate.
The agency recognizes that it can no longer deal with the flow of
information as in the past. This new office within the science and
technology directorate is focusing its strengths on areas of security,
information extraction, data mining, data visualization and machine

An agency initiative encompasses finding ways to provide a
laboratory-type of environment, where analysts can interface with
industry experts to gain knowledge of entrepreneurial technical
approaches and new ways to use cutting-edge information tools. This
new environment would address ways to overcome hurdles, not just test
existing tools, according to Susan M. Gordon. She directs the
100-person advanced analytical tools office. "We want to get
industry's brightest minds and have them understand what the analysts
are trying to do and perhaps provide solutions ... 'if we just did it
this way,'" she observes. 

A series of demonstrations with selected contractors addresses the
ways that existing technology can provide information tool solutions
to agency problems. Analysts already routinely meet with computer
scientists and engineers from this new CIA office to gain insights
into applications of existing agency analytical tools to ease the
workload or speed up the process, Gordon notes. 


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