Better IT process improves intelligence products

SALT LAKE CITY'For years, the Joint Intelligence Center Pacific operated inefficiently, but a new focus on IT has helped the center improve its service.

In years past, the center could not process, store and search data rapidly enough to help the armed forces. Warfighters struggled on their own to find relevant intelligence information. Material produced by the center, such as intelligence briefings, maps, updates and threat projections, were indexed by category and not by the information they contained. And to make matters worse, the information was outdated almost the moment it was posted.

But the digital production office at JICPAC, based in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, has re-engineered its processes and uses metadata to capture and identify important elements sometimes hidden in lengthy intelligence documents. JICPAC provides 24-hour, global intelligence to commanders in 44 countries.

JICPAC processes data in Standard Generalized Markup Language and Extensible Markup Language, which improves how it uses the data. Hypertext Markup Language, which the center used previously, didn't offer the same benefits, said Nancy Roemer, an IT specialist at the center. Roemer gave a briefing yesterday at the Systems and Software Technology Conference.

After processing data in XML and SGML, the center uses Extensible Stylesheet Language Transformation, previously known as Omnimark, to transform the data to HTML.

The new process reduces the time needed by analysts to prepare intelligence products, which saves the center money, Roemer said. For example, the change reduced from eight hours to one hour the time it takes the center to produce the JICPAC Intelligence Bulletin graphics, layout, review, and Web posting.

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