Intelligence Analysis

JMU partners with Aurora WDC to involve students in a "real world" competitive simulation

JMU students pictured with JMU professor and Aurora WDC representative

SUMMARY: James Madison University and Aurora WDC partnered to support the annual RECONVERGE:G2 conference in Madison, Wisconsin. Competitive Intelligence students curated publicly-available content concerning "disruptive technologies" - including Artificial Intelligence, Augmented and Virtual Reality, Cryptocurrencies, and the Internet of Things - as inputs to a live business competitive simulation (aka war game) exploring the impacts of these technologies on the future of business.

By Qingjiu (Tom) Tao

JMU student teams in the global competitive intelligence course worked with supervisors from global intelligence firm Aurora WDC to monitor, track and curate content in 12 disruptive technology areas and conducted detailed analysis as part of intelligence support for a large-scale War Game held at the company’s annual RECONVERGE:G2 conference in late April 2018.

Student teams used the FirstLight intelligence software platform to gather information on different technology areas and curated the data.

“Students were very excited to be able to work on one of the leading Competitive Intelligence platforms and went through the entire CI cycle to get to some meaningful results for decision makers, ” said Qingjiu “Tom” Tao, an assistant professor in the Integrated Science and Technology Department at JMU. “I believe in experiential learning and bringing industry projects to my classes is a big part of that. The real world is our classroom.”

“In light of how few high quality post-secondary programs exist to help train students to become intelligence professionals, the fact that JMU’s intelligence analysis students were involved in a ‘real world’ project where they not only learned new knowledge and skills but also contributed to the building of a portal that helps executives better understand the impacts of technologies on their future competitiveness,” said Dr. Craig Fleisher, Aurora WDC’s Chief Learning Officer.

The exercise connected students with the leading edge disruptive technologies and the companies/professionals responsible for dealing with them. One student also had the opportunity to participate in the actual war game itself.

Organizations represented at this year’s RECONVERGE:G2 Intelligence Leadership Symposium included: IBM Watson, Deloitte, Northrup Grumman, CUNA Mutual Group, Brewer Science, NetApp, West Monroe Partners, Cognizant, Bose Corporation and others.

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Published: Monday, May 21, 2018

Last Updated: Thursday, January 23, 2020

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