Simon Everett, Ltd.

Simon Everett is an analytic design firm. We structure and implement analytic engagements to help government agencies, businesses, and non-profits solve problems, large and small. Whether our clients seek to create capabilities, improve processes, or inform decisions, we offer the proven ability to address their needs. Our consultative approach blends analytic agility with interdisciplinary expertise to produce functionally and aesthetically impactful results. We are successful when our clients tell us they can achieve better outcomes.

Filtering by Tag: analysis

Cyber health in the Commonwealth

Cybersecurity is big business. Worldwide spending on goods and services to protect digital information is estimated to reach $1 trillion between 2017 and 2021. As companies, governments, and individuals make this tremendous investment, policymakers are looking to the industry to catalyze economic growth within their communities – and to cultivate the capabilities needed to meet the security demands of an increasingly digital society.

Recognizing the opportunity inherent in the cybersecurity sector, the Commonwealth of Kentucky commissioned Simon Everett and our partner kglobal to conduct Kentucky’s first-ever statewide study of cybersecurity. The Kentucky Commission on Military Affairs, which sponsored the study with a grant funded by the Office of Economic Adjustment, sought a broad-based analysis designed to serve three related objectives: strengthen the economy by creating an environment conducive to the growth of the cybersecurity sector; protect critical infrastructure by promoting a healthy cybersecurity ecosystem; and make the defense industrial base more resilient by helping defense companies better assess growth and diversification opportunities in this adjacent industry.

After more than eight months of research, stakeholder interviews, and outreach, we recently concluded our work with a briefing to government leaders in the historic State Capitol in Frankfort. The 190-plus-page Kentucky Cybersecurity Industry Study is in fact a composite of ten smaller studies, each addressing a different facet of the state’s cybersecurity landscape. For example, we assessed the industry’s economic impact in Kentucky, analyzed the cybersecurity workforce, and reviewed risk management and governance frameworks.

Guided by our analysis, the study makes dozens of specific, actionable, and practical recommendations for Kentucky to realize the economic and security benefits of a vibrant cybersecurity sector. With purposeful action tied to strategic direction, Kentucky can become a hub for cybersecurity companies and talent, and it can be a leader in protecting citizens, businesses, and infrastructure from cyber risk.

Click here to view the Executive Summary of the Kentucky Cybersecurity Industry Study.

Reply hazy, try again

Projecting the future can be a thankless task – not because you might get it wrong, but because someone might mistakenly think you’re expecting to get it right. In our business, it’s worth understanding the difference between the art & science of “projection” (for the sake of being prepared for what may come) and the magic 8-ball of “prediction” (for the sake of bragging about your Super Bowl pick).

Happily for the security of America and its allies, many US Department of Defense (DoD) organizations recognize the value of projecting how drivers may advance in the coming years so that they can prepare for a range of potential outcomes and stand ready to meet future challenges. In support of one such defense client, we recently teamed with prime contractor Barbaricum, LLC, to develop a suite of scenarios that explore how certain technologies might be employed by friendly forces, adversaries, civilian populations, and private organizations throughout Latin America over the next fifteen years. Barbaricum’s cadre of experienced military professionals, technology subject matter experts (SMEs), and regional specialists provided the “science” part of the equation. We tended to the “art” of designing structured exercises through which to elicit SME insights, constructing creative settings for the application of specified technologies, and developing compelling narratives to present potential outcomes and implications for DoD planners.

The resulting product may serve as a common framework for consideration of future force structure needs, recruitment strategies, training requirements, and capability gaps in a region that is traditionally underserved in the field of security studies. Each of these long-range planning aspects will undoubtedly be impacted by the rapid advance of technology – and this framework will help DoD better prepare for a complex future.

We’re proud of our projections and are working with Barbaricum to provide further support to our defense client. As for predictions, my season-opening call for Super Bowl LI was Steelers vs. Seahawks; outlook not so good.

 

Channeling our efforts

We’re often asked what “analytic design” is. Simply put, it’s the combined application of analytic skills, tailored methodologies, and thoughtful design – both in terms of a project’s structure and its outputs. We’re pretty agnostic about the subject matter of our projects, as long as our team — including our network of consultants — has the necessary expertise to address the issue at hand. This allows us to tackle a wide range of challenges that have one aspect in common: they require us to assess, distill, and interpret information, and produce insights to help clients make informed decisions and improve outcomes. That said, it’s always fun when we’re given the chance to go back to our roots – Middle East affairs and the Arabic language – and apply our skills and knowledge in new and creative ways. Case in point: our recently completed 10-month effort supporting the Broadcasting Board of Governors.

The Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) is an independent U.S. federal agency whose mission is to "inform, engage, and connect people around the world in support of freedom and democracy.” BBG oversees multiple media outlets that combine to attract more than 226 million audience members each week. Even if you haven’t heard of BBG, you know their networks — including Voice of America and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. Our effort supported the BBG’s Middle East Broadcasting Networks (MBN). On behalf of MBN, we assessed the online Arabic-language content of nearly 600 news programs across 30 television channels to characterize their approach to topics relevant to BBG’s mission. By analyzing the subject matter, discourse, format, setting, objectivity, and production quality of individual episodes, we identified trends and gaps that informed MBN’s continued efforts to “expand the spectrum of ideas, opinions, and perspectives available in the region’s media.”

This project enabled us to use our foreign language expertise not for translation purposes, but to assess discussion of political, social, religious, and security issues. We created a custom framework for comparing media content and production across a large set of channels, programs, and episodes. And we provided MBN with concise findings and recommendations that can advance its mission. All in all, we enjoyed the opportunity to support a client that truly makes a difference on the global stage.   

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