How AllSource Analysis helps in crises like ISIS and Ukraine

by Doug Pitorak
March 3, 2015


Approaching its one year anniversary, AllSource Analysis (ASA) is inching closer to generating a Series B offering to complement its 2014 seed funding of $500,000. In addition, the satellite imagery intelligence company is approaching the launch of its interactive web portal, where users will be able to easily search and find the information they need. 

When not dealing with those exciting developments, the team at the Longmont-based company is helping concerned parties analyze critical events, such as fighting in Ukraine, ISIS attacks on oil refineries in Iraq and the construction of the $20 billion Cheniere Energy LNG export terminal in Louisiana.

In other words, they have plenty to keep them busy. 

The idea for ASA developed at DigitalGlobe, a Longmont-based commercial vendor of space imagery where ASA CEO Stephen Wood met CMO Chuck Herring, as well as other ASA executives. Wood said he and Herring would work into the middle of the night to assist with breaking news by gathering and analyzing images of events like the Iraq War, the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami and the 2011 Japanese earthquake. 

Interested parties could range from humanitarian agencies to financial firms and governments, entities that likely don’t have the personnel and resources necessary to conduct meaningful analysis. Thus, ASA was founded to simplify things.

“Our belief is that this industry has to become easier,” Wood said. “We're going to be one of the agents to make that change.” 

Much of the value of satellite imagery lies in the fact that it gives entities access to areas that Wood said are difficult — perhaps impossible — to monitor in other ways. The regions could be too remote or too dangerous, he said. If certain entities do not have the experience or the technology to analyze the images and derive insight, they face a costly, painstaking process that can take days or longer.

Combining their expertise with complex imagery, geospatial and open-source research technologies, the ASA team and its network of analysts are granted images from DigitalGlobe and Airbus Defence & Space and can provide clients with easy-to-understand, cost-effective reports in near real-time.

Analysis with a personal touch

In his 25 years of industry experience — 14 of which he spent with the Central Intelligence Agency — Wood came to learn that different entities have different needs. To reflect that, ASA offers three content products, of which customers can make one-off purchases, sign up for subscriptions or request any combination that suits their needs best. 

One product, Discovery, is an “as fast as you can” solution, aiding entities who need an image analyzed pronto. According to Wood, example situations could be an Alaskan wildfire or a flood in the Middle East. Discovery reports contain the basic analysis of an image and can be turned around in three hours, Wood said.

Analysis reports, the second ASA product type, dig a bit deeper into the image, providing historical context and requiring more research. Insight, the third product type, tells the whole story of an image, fusing historical context into the image.

Wood said the reports — which are sent to entities in a cost-effective, timely manner — empower their customers to take action.

“There is increasingly a glut of imagery, and there will be more — I like to call it an explosion of data that is coming,” Wood said. “How do we make it more actionable for people — that’s really what we’re all about.”

Value is starting to show

Whether customers come to ASA wanting to simply monitor a facility or region of interest, or if they want an in-depth Insight report right away, ASA knows they’re on to something valuable. Wood said ASA serves nearly 100 customers worldwide, a number that is growing rapidly and is quite an increase from the six contracts ASA had just one year ago.

Wood said customers often just want to monitor changes. Such changes could be as grand as a city’s urban growth or as slight as a vehicle moving position at a facility, Wood said. Eventually, customers might have an interest in seeing what competitors are up to, an aspect Wood called competitive intelligence.

Regardless of the situation, customers have interest in ASA’s reports, and Herring and Wood hope the web portal — still being developed — will only increase that curiosity and interest in monthly reports.

“We come from that expertise,” Wood said, referencing ASA’s industry experience. “Our vision from the very beginning, and what we’ve been doing for years, is making [imagery analysis] simple for people who are not from the industry itself, to make the information come alive and become actionable for commercial or government users.”

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