Will Web Intelligence End Data Poverty?

October 20, 2013 • Greg Barrette

The following interview is with Oren Falkowitz and is from our Web Intelligence Perspectives Series. Oren is currently the president of Thursday Strategies.

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

There’s no greater source for creating competitive data advantages than the web. Web intelligence gives us a more timely, geographically specific, and contextually precise view than we’ve ever had before.

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

For so long we’ve lived in a data poor environment. With the explosion of the World Wide Web not only has data become more open, but the tools for storing, searching, and contextualizing information have become more available and robust. Observations which could previously only be inferred, can now be examined directly with “Web intelligence.”

This is particularly true for cyber security, which balances between being the platform to create attacks and the source of information to prevent attacks.

What does a critical insight from Web intelligence look like?

Knowing when and where is only half of a story. The critical insight delivered from Web intelligence is the ability to aggregate when and where across billions and trillions of data points, while simultaneously isolating any individual data point.

This is the key context to solve any puzzle and for informing the next set of actions to be taken on any question.

What is your vision for how Web intelligence could be used?

I’m most excited about the opportunities to leverage Web intelligence in the public domain. We’ve seen a few examples, my favorite being Google Flu Trends, where a public (CDC) / private (Google) partnership is providing some really exciting outcomes and insights.

This particular idea is so simple and powerful. Hundreds of more critical insights will be driven from this model, and now with the President’s latest push to open federal government data we should expect an explosion of new apps.

Looking ahead, will Web intelligence become a standard piece of tradecraft in your community? Will it “go viral”?


Oren J. Falkowitz is Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Area 1 Security. Previously he served as Chief Data Scientist at United States Cyber Command and held a number of positions at the National Security Agency focused on Big Data and Computer Network Operations.

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