Ep 14: From Coalface to Creation, Why Bottom-Up Innovation Matters is LIVE!
Jan. 12, 2023

Ep. 007: Data Analytics on the Front Line

Ep. 007: Data Analytics on the Front Line

Tom has Starlink problems and Colin is wondering if it was wise to install AI to control his garage door. Lots of exciting episodes planned, not least from our sponsor, Improbable.

This week the Warfighter Podcast is joined by Al Roan who is Managing Director of Cervus - a company which delivers data insights for Defence and Security. Al, an ex-Army officer turned data entrepreneur, started on this journey after a poignant event when he was tasked to look into information related to the death of a comrade.

From his experience harnessing data to provide deep insights for the military, Al provides us with an overview of how data analytics is used and breaks down some of the myths and misconceptions. Al covers:

  • Types of Analytics (Descriptive, Predictive and Diagnostic)
  • Data mining and the importance of business/military knowledge
  • Decision and Precision
  • Descriptive - Counter IED Training example.
  • Cultural - Getting people to trust the data
  • Technological - Challenges in analysing in real time
  • Dashboards - making the complex readily understood.
  • Predictive and Diagnostic
  • Structured and unstructured data
  • User driven analytics vs Data driven analytics
  • Machine Learning
  • XCALIBR User case

As ever we are joined by our intrepid journalist Andy Fawkes. As things have been a bit quiet over the Christmas break, Andy gives us a look-ahead on the technologies and themes which he thinks will be important in 2023:

  • AI - what do current developments such as ChatGPT mean for S&T?
  • Data - ability to capture and analyse training data getting better but taking place in pockets rather than broader enterprise
  • XR/Metaverse - whatever the hype, developments are swift.
  • Cloud technologies - so much potential but will defence S&T embrace it?
  • Gaming - will keep on giving?

Episode Sponsor: Improbable Defence

Improbable Defence is a mission focused technology company working to transform the national security of our nations and their allies in the face of increasing global competition and evolving threats.

Today, national security is defined by technological superiority. We believe that software more than any other capability will redefine how war is fought and who will be on the winning side. Those entrusted with the preservation of our freedom, prosperity and safety deserve the best software-defined capabilities available.

Since the end of the Cold War, the UK, US and their allies have been unchallenged in military technological dominance. Today, we are facing a different reality: our adversaries are seizing the technological edge.

Improbable Defence chooses to stand up and not stand by. We are building cutting-edge software products to help our nations retake the technological advantage. We believe in defending our democratic values against those who seek to undermine them. Supporting those tasked with this mission is at the heart of all we do. We seek to radically transform the mission outcomes of those whose responsibility it is to keep us safe.




Watch the panel online for free on Thursday 26 January 09:45-16:30 pm (GMT).

Alan RoanProfile Photo

Alan Roan


Alan Roan is the Managing Director of Cervus Defence and Security Ltd, a defence focused experimentation and analytics company. Prior to co-founding Cervus, he has worked for a number of defence companies and for the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl). He also served as an Infantry Officer during the ‘Tony Blair Years’ , serving on operational tours in; Northern Ireland, Bosnia, East Timor, Iraq and Afghanistan. As a result of these experiences, an interest in defence innovation and the challenges of defence procurement processes was ignited. Today he passionate about helping others create and deliver practical solutions for the front-line.