Abstract: Big Data, Compliance, & the US Army: Cleaving the Gordian Knot (Society for Prevention Research 27th Annual Meeting)

399 Big Data, Compliance, & the US Army: Cleaving the Gordian Knot

Thursday, May 30, 2019
Seacliff B (Hyatt Regency San Francisco)
* noted as presenting author
Francisco Huante, BA, Software Development Analyst, Army Analytics Group/Research Facilitation Lab, Monterey, CA
The Army is serious about big data. They have established several initiatives including the Human Capital Big Data (HCBD) initiative and the Army Data Analytics Strategy (ADS). These initiatives are aimed at utilizing data to better understand the past, improve the current, and predict future trends.

The Person-Event Data Environment (PDE), operated by the Army Analytics Group (AAG) and its Research Facilitation Laboratory (RFL), serves as a key location for Army and Department of Defense (DoD) Research. The PDE sets out to provide approved personnel with an easy-to-use environment for big data analysis. The PDE utilizes varied DoD data ranging from Education, Psychometric, Medical, Demographic, Career, and Combat.

Managing DoD data within the PDE is no easy feat. A balance is maintained in acquiring big data, managing big data, data compliance, research compliance, and human protections. The PDE has successfully done this by providing an online system that brings the researcher to the data rather than providing the data to the researcher. The PDE consists of an administrative website and a virtual desktop which facilitates research. This provides ease of access while allowing the PDE to ensure a high level of security. Another layer of security comes from the PDE’s on-site human protections team that monitors data usage and ensures that the PDE and its users adhere to project specific Institutional Review Board (IRB) regulations and Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) guidelines for data.

These safeguards have allowed the PDE to facilitate sensitive projects such as exploring the impact of minority tokenism within Army units, using data mining to predict negative health outcomes, and utilizing machine learning to understand & predict sexual assault.

PDE users are quickly and accurately able to process the data by utilizing the software provided within the PDE’s virtual environment. The PDE provides the leading analytic software such as STATA, R, Anaconda, SAS, and SPSS. The PDE provides exemplary processing speed by utilizing back end Linux servers (when available) to handle intensive analytic processing.

The PDE has proven to be the premier analytic location within the US Army. We facilitate projects from doctoral dissertations to military policy analysis. Due to the PDE’s breadth in services we have managed to provide exceptional service as well as stay up do date with current data and analytic innovations.