The British Army's headquarters is using business intelligence (BI) software from supplier SAS to analyse and more efficiently allocate manpower and resources.
SAS maintains that through insight afforded by its software, the army has been able to realign, and so avoid wastage of expenditure totaling £770m.
The software includes SAS Enterprise BI Server, a business intelligence software system that integrates SAS Analytics and SAS Data Management.
The army’s structure and nomenclature poses data management problems.
Martin Richley, head of the Army Personnel Data Management Organisation (ADPMO), directorate of army manning, told Computer Weekly earlier this year that on 1 January 2013, the Army had 94,610 trained regulars, 8,670 regulars under training, and 19,040 trained territorial army (TA) Group A soldiers, with a further 6,000 under training.
For more on the British Army and IT
- British Army data quality programme tackles ‘whole army’ concept
- British Army's data quality initiative opens new intelligence vista
- UK to look to army reserves for cyber security specialists
It has hundreds of thousands of pensioners, 50 different nationalities – foreign and commonwealth, as well as Irish – 17 ranks from private to general, and 250 trades.
Naming conventions, even within the same rank, are complex and it is spread across the world, often in areas inaccessible to the internet or mobile phones. Personnel costs account for 27% of the defence budget overall, but 74% of the Army’s.
The Army is also using the SAS Solutions Suite to maintain data quality by correcting input errors and deduplicating data sets, while SAS Enterprise Guide is used to streamline the Army’s data and data analytics and reporting capabilities.
Elaine Drummond, head of public sector at the supplier, said:“SAS gives the British Army a much greater insight into vast volumes of information held within their systems. By sufficiently aligning and simplifying the data, the British Army now has the power to make better-informed decisions about manpower planning, driving efficiencies and new opportunities for innovation.”