Analysis in the Digital Age: From Revealing Secrets to Solving Puzzles


Today’s strategic environment — whether in the realm of geopolitics or business — is characterized by great complexity and a propensity for rapid change. In order for one to make educated decisions, this complexity demands many sources of information from various fields of expertise. The propensity for rapid change requires decision-making based on the most updated information and analysis, as well as preparation for a spectrum of futures.

In the past, the major challenge of analysts and decision-makers was to acquire accurate data. In that bygone world, the decision-maker’s challenge revolved around secrets that needed to be revealed. However, the modern information age is one where information is increasingly moving to open sources and social media, with sensitive information frequently leaked — and where the perception of what is secret or private is changing. In such a world, the challenge moves from secrets to be revealed to puzzles to be solved.

In other words, the transition to the information age marks a parallel transition for analysts and decision-makers in the strategic environment: from collection of data to interpretation and sense-making of data, from secrets to puzzles.

Today’s exciting and novel technologies are altering the way in which decision-makers consume information and transform it into actionable insights. Advanced technology to collect, process and interpret data, advanced big data analytics, machine learning and sophisticated prediction algorithms all fundamentally alter the way we think about strategic planning. In today’s complicated world, businesses and governments need broad intellectual exposure to sift through increasingly complex issues and generate greater analytic insight.

This revolution is pioneered by inventive, digital-age companies — from the well-established Palantir to newcomer Epistema (check them out!) — all involved in facilitating smarter decision-making and analysis.

We founded Wikistrat six years ago with the belief that the old models of consulting and analysis are simply outdated. Whereas crowdsourcing is everywhere, transforming industries and business models, the consulting industry still lags behind.

In this move from revealing secrets to solving puzzles, Wikistrat proposes a new approach — one that taps into hundreds of experts rapidly on an interactive platform, and enables them to collaboratively map future scenarios, propose innovative strategies and analyze risks. It is expert-led collaborative crowdsourcing, and it is transforming how corporations and intelligence agencies think about analysis and strategy. It is how puzzle-solving is done in the digital age.

About the author

Elad Schaffer

Elad Schaffer
Wikistrat Chief Operating Officer

This article was written in collaboration with Dr. Shay Hershkovitz, Wikistrat’s Chief Strategy Officer, and originally published on LinkedIn..

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