Thursday, March 14, 2013

2nd Annual Mercyhurst Report On Hiring Prospects For Entry Level Intelligence Analysts In The National Security Community Is Out! (And It Is Not Pretty...)
Sequester, draw-down, RIF, early retirement - these are the buzzwords that are dominating the hiring discussions in the US government these days.  While last year was marginal, the next 12 months are shaping up to be very tough ones for entry-level intelligence analysts trying to break into the US national security intelligence community. 

Greg Marchwinski, one of our current crop of graduate student all-stars, prepared this year's report which, like last year's report, is based on collected survey data, interviews and emails from knowledgeable individuals, and relevant secondary sources. 

Here is what Greg has to say about the prospects for the next 12 months (from the executive summary):
"Due to uncertainty over federal government deficit reduction initiatives and a decreasing military presence globally, it is highly likely that overall hiring of entry-level intelligence analysts within the US Intelligence Community (IC) will decrease significantly from recent levels until the next budget cycle begins in October, 2013. The only exception to this general trend is cyber-related positions which are likely to see a moderate increase despite budget cuts. Additionally, it is highly likely that sequestration throughout the IC will significantly limit hiring entry-level intelligence analysts in all analytic functions until defense funding negotiations are resolved."
Click on this link to download the full report.

Look for our reports on entry-level intel analyst hiring in law enforcement and in business next month.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Powerful Visual Analytics Tool, Jigsaw, Now Available Free For Download!

John Stasko, and the programming geniuses at Georgia Tech, have finally released their powerful and recently updated visual analysis software, Jigsaw, into the wild.

For those of you who just want the software now, click here to go to John's newly updated website.
It has been a while since I have looked at Jigsaw.  I examined it first back in 2007 (here and here) and we last used it in a project in 2009 (here).  Back then, it was an extremely good product for a fairly narrowly focused type of analytic work.

Today, though, it appears to be a much easier to use and more general purpose type of analytic software.  I was especially blown away by the use cases demonstrated in the video below.  The video is a little long but worth it if you don't know a lot about the state of the art in visual analytics.

I am also particularly impressed with the growing list of publications assessing the software's validity and the video tutorials to help new users get started.

If you are interested in new ideas and new tools for visualizing the results of your analysis -- particularly free ones -- I strongly recommend you check Jigsaw out!