Data Science has the potential to revolutionise the Land Domain as it is already doing in the commercial world. This potential is currently at the forefront of the British Army’s thinking as it looks to develop the THEIA programme to drive digital transformation in the British Army. As the analytic capabilities of commercial businesses improve, they derive increasing value from diagnostics through predictions to optimisation and semantic understanding of social context and meaning.1 These capabilities give a competitive edge and are rapidly becoming critical for differentiation.2
But what is Data Science? It lies at the intersection of Domain Expertise, Computer Science and Mathematics, and leverages skills in these to inform critical decisions. Complementary advances in technology, such as UKCloudX3 which is capable of holding classified data up to Secret, mean that Data Science can be exploited easily and quickly by the UK military to ensure a position of advantage in the physical and virtual dimensions to deliver decisive outcomes in the cognitive.
There are also an increasing number of examples across the UK’s Ministry of Defence and Defence Departments worldwide where Data Science has been used as a highly effective enabler for Digital Transformation which can provide inspiration to overcome similar challenges in the Land domain. A selection of which are summarised below in relation to the assessment of capability and preparedness:
Workforce. The Royal Navy is using Data Science to improve its strategic workforce planning and personnel management. Techmodal developed a proof of concept that leveraged the wealth of personnel data stored within Navy databases and integrated the results into their Human Resource processes. The US Navy is using data science to identify those at risk and improve the outcomes from medical and psychiatric treatment programmes4.
Equipment. Data Science can transform maintenance and repairs from reactive to pre-emptive. Techmodal’s Prediction Engine harnesses the power of machine learning-enabled AI to inform early interventions to assure capability. At a tactical level, Data Science is assisting the Royal Navy with improving support insights during CSG21.
Training. Next to operations, training is the most important activity that the military conducts. To improve the efficiency of their F35 training, the RAF will use AI to optimise training schedules within multiple complex constraints including instructor, simulator and aircraft availability. The application, developed by Techmodal and Cognizant, utilises the Defence Digital Analytics Platform, which they also developed. While in the US the University of North Carolina is developing an AI-based tool to improve medical treatment on the battlefield. AI will predict the skills, training and guidelines military health care workers will need and could become the point-of-care decision [support] tool by showing what care has the best statistical outcome5.
Sustainability. The Spanish Army is putting AI at the heart of its Fuerza 20356 to deliver the most advanced fulfillment system of any military. In the UK, to support ‘professionals [as they] talk logistics’, Techmodal has re-built and updated its Force Capability Science suite. It can model all aspects of the concurrent deployments required by Defence Planning Assumptions, optimising and assuring Defence capabilities and calculating the carbon footprint of activity. This is complemented by Techmodal’s applications that use AI and robotic process automation to improve the quality of the underlying data.
Operational Advantage. Data is the ammunition that enables military capability to be generated; when properly exploited, Data Science has a transformative effect and allows capability to be generated more swiftly and efficiently, and sustained effectively, conferring an advantage over competitors and adversaries. Data Science will be foundational in delivering the outcomes from the THEIA programme.
Techmodal. We are an applied Data Science business solving complex data problems for our clients in Defence and Industry. We’ve built a reputation for getting things done and doing them well and this is why we are a trusted partner for our client’s data. Our name is synonymous with Defence data insights and our presence is growing in other domains. Now, as a part of BAE Systems we are leading digital transformation at the heart of the UK’s most important Defence and Industry partnership.