How Web Intelligence Adds Another Dimension to Analysis

February 10, 2014 • Greg Barrette

Editor’s Note

The following interview is with Anne Walton and is from our Web Intelligence Perspectives Series. Anne is founder and CEO of Analysts Compass, LLC.

What is it about web intelligence that is such an important opportunity to you?

Web intelligence expands my view of the world and gives me access to the resources and communities I might not otherwise be able to reach. Many times it illuminates connections between entities, individuals and networks not previously known.

What drives interest in web intelligence in your community? What hole in your world does it fill?

The driver of interest in web intelligence in my field is the need to know, hear, and “see” the world in a very diverse, multi-dimensional way. Web intelligence frequently provides insight into the “who, what, when, where, why, how” that all analysts are after.

What does a critical insight from web intelligence look like?

A critical insight, for me, was having access to minute-by-minute coverage of the Westgate Mall attack in Kenya and identification of the media outlets (both mainstream and social media) reporting on the events in real-time. Another example was a sentiment analysis on Bitcoin viewed over the long term and during a specified date range. Recorded Future was extremely valuable in both of these instances.

What’s your vision of how web intelligence could be used?

Web intelligence provides one analyst with multiple views of the world. It can and should be used to challenge perceptions, break boxes, unlock avenues to collaboration, research and develop on topics and in places not thought of before. The web adds another dimension to analysis and we need tools like Recorded Future to help us make sense and derive meaning from all that’s available.

Will web intelligence become a standard piece of tradecraft in your community? Will it “go viral”?

Absolutely, analysts are starved for this kind of knowledge. Right now, however, I think the biggest and more pressing challenge is understanding what material and content is available, how to access it and how it can add value to research and analysis in both the short and long terms.

Anne Walton

Anne Walton is founder and chief executive officer of Analysts Compass, LLC. She has over seven years of experience in analytical, research, and investigative environments gleaned from work in a major international financial institution, law enforcement, and the private sector. Anne is a Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist, holds an MA in Criminal Justice and a Certificate in Terrorism Studies from John Jay College of Criminal Justice and a BA in Justice from American University.