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The Institute for the Study of Violent Groups (ISVG), an open source research center at the University of New Haven, is empowering students with real-world experience in the area of national security using Tableau Software. ISVG provides custom data collection and information services to enhance knowledge of violent extremism and transnational crime and is a trusted research partner across multiple government agencies. The organization uses Tableau to study data related to terrorism, extremism and transnational crime worldwide.
Since 2003, ISVG has been collecting and coding public data to develop the most comprehensive ontology on transnational threat networks worldwide. Students at University of New Haven use Tableau to analyze and visualize the data to support defense and the interagency while gaining data analytics experience.
“We have about 50 students analyzing Open Source, unclassified data and creating dashboards every day,” said John Hitzeman, IT and Analysis Coordinator at ISVG. “Before Tableau we produced just a few reports a year, but now we’re doing multiple reports in a week.”
ISVG provides these reports to government agencies to reveal insights such as which terrorist groups are the most effective or where crime is happening. For example, ISVG had an opportunity to brief the National Counterterrorism Center at their annual conference about the effectiveness of the Taliban.
“With Tableau we were able to see that for every one Taliban suicide bombing they were killing, on average, at least three people but losing only one of their own,” said Hitzeman. “This is how they’ve been able to cause casualties while not sustaining them over a long period of time.”
“ISVG’s work supports real-world missions and it’s also preparing the next generation of data scientists,” said Elissa Fink, Chief Marketing Officer at Tableau Software. “It’s an example of how visual analytics can reveal insights that were otherwise locked away. And University of New Haven students are learning valuable analytics skills that they’ll bring into the workforce in the future.”
The Institute for the Study of Violent Groups (ISVG) is a research center that provides custom data collection and information services to enhance knowledge of violent extremism and transnational crime. ISVG research capability supports defense and the interagency by providing data and analytics for decision support. The Institute's core research capability brings together open source research, applies a unique database structure, and produces visualization and analytic products that deliver a complete picture of a specific violent group, geographic region or event.
About University of New Haven
The University of New Haven is a private, top-tier comprehensive institution recognized as a national leader in experiential education. Founded in 1920 on the campus of Yale University in cooperation with Northeastern University, UNH moved to its current West Haven campus in 1960. The University operates a satellite campus in Tuscany, Italy, and offers programs at several locations throughout Connecticut and in New Mexico and California. UNH provides its students with a unique combination of a solid liberal arts education and real-world, hands-on career and research opportunities. The University enrolls approximately 6,400 students, including nearly 1,800 graduate students and more than 4,600 undergraduates – the majority of whom reside in University housing. Through its College of Arts and Sciences, College of Business, Henry C. Lee College of Criminal Justice and Forensic Sciences, Tagliatela College of Engineering, and College of Lifelong & eLearning, UNH offers 75 undergraduate and graduate degree programs. UNH students have access to more than 50 study abroad programs worldwide and its student-athletes compete in 16 varsity sports in the NCAA Division II’s highly competitive Northeast-10 Conference.
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