Recently our Chief Strategy Officer for Public Sector, Brigham Bechtel, attended the 2019 GEOINT Symposium in San Antonio, Texas. It was an exciting event attended by professionals across industries, academia and government.
Prior to attending GEOINT, we sat down with Brigham to see what he was looking forward to this year and included his comments in our GEOINT Preshow Preview. In this blog, we’re circling back with Brigham to hear his key takeaways from attending.
Robert Sharp, Director Vice Admiral, National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA)
Robert Sharp discussed NGA’s mission priorities. They’re working hard to move NGA to the forward edge of technology innovation—from hardware and software to data and tradecraft.
They plan to invest heavily in future competencies and are looking to industry to help support NGA’s mission. He made a point of urgency, stating that the intelligence community requires the latest and greatest to remain competitive.
There was a significant focus on analyst training and development to strengthen the human-machine team. MarkLogic fits into this picture by supporting the machine element of the human-machine team with quality data.
One thing that stood out for me was his focus on his personnel and workforce. He gave some anecdotes about how he intends to lead, and it was nice to hear the direction he wants to take with instilling values and raising morale among his people. I want to follow up and hear more about his playlists for his people.
Sue Gordon, Principal Deputy Director, National Intelligence
Sue Gordon reminded attendees that the world is changing and that GEOINT professionals must continue to innovate. She put it succinctly by stating, “Your ‘what’ is GEOINT, but your ‘why’ is national security.” One of the core messages that highlighted her talk was that there is a time and a place for the aspirational, but it is vital that we keep our feet on the ground with hard data when making decisions.
She made these important points while reflecting on her granddaughter Harper’s arrival into the world, and it was a poignant moment—watching a new grandmother project the future she imagined for her granddaughter while sounding a call to everyone in the room to focus on the mission. It moved most everyone in the room.
Kari A. Bingen, Deputy Under Secretary, Defense for Intelligence
Kari A. Bingen spoke about several issues that face the intelligence endeavor at the Pentagon. However, what stood out for me were her noting successes of Project Maven, the artificial intelligence and machine learning activity-based intelligence program that helps review drone footage and provides intelligence updates for people in the field. They were able to move the tool into operational settings in less than two years with widespread user adoption.
If you’re interested in learning how MarkLogic uses Machine Learning to make critical functions smarter and more automatic, take a look at our MarkLogic 10 announcement by Executive Vice President of Products, Joe Pasqua.