Business Development Manager
Raytheon, Intelligence and Information Systems
Bill Bal is a Raytheon Business Development manager who also serves as a reserve component intelligence analyst. He volunteered to support the User-Centric Grand Challenge, which Raytheon is leading using a scenario-based gaming exercise to study in depth the intelligence analyst tradecraft. The goals is to help analysts make more informed decisions, produce more accurate intelligence products and streamline workflows. Below, Bill talks about his experience.
Q: Please explain your role in Grand Challenge.
A: I have been supporting as a subject matter expert on Intelligence Analysis and problem sets. I have been providing the team with real-world intelligence problems from strategic to tactical. I've also been providing feedback comparing various analytic tools and real-world analyst business processes.
Q: Describe your experience and what input you're providing.
A: In my 13 years as an Air Force intelligence officer I've served at a variety of locations and various functional positions. I've spent the past nine years (five as a reserve officer and four on active duty) supporting the Pacific theater as a staff officer and intelligence branch chief. I've specialized in operations planning, foreign disclosure, and collection management.
I've been using my background to provide the Grand Challenge with a variety of intelligence problems, and prioritized them along National Intelligence Priorities. In one scenario, I spent a day evaluating a variety of their tools and providing feedback on their utility. I've also created various operational scenarios for the team to address. One scenario focused on the challenges associated with tracking and targeting mobile missile systems in an A2AD environment. I provided real-world constraints and resource parameters, and had the team work the problem.
Q: In an ideal world, how do you see the customers using Appsmart?
A: The Appsmart market has various isles of data, information, applications and services. Functionality that is traditionally disjoint (the many programs of record across TCPED) are now accessible and combinable through Appsmart. That's an "ideal" world.
Q: Discuss the decision-making process that occurs in these types of scenarios for those people who may not be familiar with how an intel analyst works.
A: Intelligence analyst is a very broad term, and can mean a variety of things to different people. The decision-making process will always depend on the type of analysis, timeliness requirements, and the action it is meant to drive. Collection and analysis of intelligence tends to require narrowly specialized analysts working with specific data types. This limited perspective is the biggest challenge in understanding and answering complex intel questions. More information of multiple sources help drive better decisions. The Grand Challenge is trying to enable an analyst to make faster, better-quality decisions with tools to process and analyze multiple sources of information.
Q: How do you think this research will benefit Raytheon customers?
A: In the end, the systems Raytheon builds help answer our customers' hardest intelligence problems. We can improve our customers' ability to answer these hard problems by taking a problem-centric approach.
Q: Why is this research important?
A: This research has the potential to change the way Raytheon interacts with our customers and how we invest in new capabilities. By allowing our customers to drive and evaluate the tools we build, we're ultimately aiming to demonstrate real operational utility.