Data Collection & Structuring

The Center for Analytics was formed in 2003 as the Institute for the Study of Violent Groups. It was one of the first organizations to receive post-9/11 funding to provide quantitative analysis of terrorism and violent extremism.

In doing so, ISVG became a data producer and was responsible for the creation of the largest repository of data related to the subject. This database contained more than 1.5 million records describing more than 350,000 events, 2,500 groups, and 30,000 individuals.

Building from this capacity, CFA was developed to apply these collection techniques to fill gaps in information across problem sets outside of the field of terrorism studies. Since this restructuring, CFA has applied these techniques to monitor state and non-state actions in the Middle East and North Africa. The resulting repository serves as the largest collection of its type, containing more than 200,000 events. With this data set, scholars and analysts can follow the rise and fall of ISIS, the role of Russian forces in the regions of study, and ongoing civil unrest within the region.

CFA continues to apply these methodologies to support atrocities prevention efforts sponsored by the Knights of Columbus. Through capturing attacks against minority populations in Syria and Iraq, CFA provides near-real-time monitoring of humanitarian efforts in the regions an serves as an early warning system for threats to those efforts.