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LAS Newswire

An Intel Source for Researchers

The Analyst Experience website is LAS’s newest resource for anyone planning to work with intelligence community analysts.

Monitoring. Attentive involved bearded young man with keyboard sitting watching in front of computer screens
A Day in the Life of a Fictitious Analyst: “Ferris,” a fictitious expert language analyst, is one of the personas developed by LAS and outlined on The Analyst Experience website: “Ferris starts [his day] by reviewing and correcting a translated transcript, adding words and contextual notes to help the translator improve their work.” (Source: Adobe Stock)

With the volume, velocity and variety of big data changing constantly, the world of intelligence analysis has grown increasingly complex. The Laboratory for Analytic Sciences at NC State aims to provide a behind-the-scenes look at intelligence analysis through the launch of its newest website, The Analyst Experience.

Built by LAS staff, National Security Agency employees, and former LAS collaborator and NC State College of Design Associate Dean Sharon Joines and her students, The Analyst Experience provides a deep dive into the heart of intelligence work. Content ranges from detailed role explanations to comprehensive persona profiles of fictitious analysts. This platform is a handbook for those looking to collaborate with the intelligence community.

Users can get a peek into a day in the life of an analyst within the intelligence community and an idea of the skills most used and valued in this field. The site is structured to guide visitors through different roles, demystifying challenges in the process. It focuses specifically on language analysts, intelligence analysts, and cyber/computer network analysts. Users can learn about real-life analysts and view documentation and deliverables created by them.

“We thought, with TAE, we could curate the material that we’ve accumulated over time and put that into a single forum where people could come and read through it to get a better understanding of what the analyst experience is all about,” says Lori Wachter, technical program manager at LAS and one of the creators of The Analyst Experience. ”By really showing what those individual user journeys are, you have a much better and much more in-depth understanding of what the critical problems are that the analyst faces.”

The Laboratory for Analytic Sciences is a partnership between the intelligence community and NC State that develops innovative technology and tradecraft to help solve mission-relevant problems. Founded in 2013 by the NSA and NC State, each year LAS brings together collaborators from three sectors – industry, academia and government – to conduct research that has a direct impact on national security. It also offers opportunities for students through internships and the annual Summer Conference for Applied Data Science (SCADS). Through the TAE website, students can learn what to expect as an intelligence community analyst, positioning them to find success in their professional growth. 

Whether it’s students exploring career options or researchers working with intelligence analysis, the TAE website makes the content accessible and engaging. 

“TAE is an important starting point for anyone interested in taking on the LAS challenge of making intelligence analysis easier,” says Wachter. 

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