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In the Business of Defence Intelligence

In the Business of Defence Intelligence

Delivering the right information at the right time can be a matter of life and death in Ian Graces’ work at the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF). The Porirua resident designs databases for the Defence Force and ensures they are kept up to date with vital information.

“Officers may need to know at short notice who to deploy to trouble spots around the world - who is best qualified and fit and able. Having accurate information can avoid mistakes and save lives,” says Mr Grace.

The Defence Force uses databases for a wide range of functions that include Human Resources, project management, finance, and weapon inventories.

Mr Grace designs processes to ensure the information entered into the databases is not corrupted as can happen when complex information is being continually updated.

Because there is so much information he has to present it in a manageable way.

“Not so much it will swamp people and not too little, just the right amount they need.”

The databases Mr Grace designs are used regularly in reporting and decision-making processes.

“Officers use the information to keep track of how well things are going. The databases provide information they need to make decisions and write reports.”

With a background in programming and a Diploma in IT Mr Grace topped up his qualifications by completing the final year of a Bachelor in Information Technology at Whitireia Polytechnic.

“I learned a lot of useful skills from the tutors and enjoyed discussing new ideas. We learned about development life cycles. When you design databases you talk to the people who need the site, find out what they need and work out a technical solution for them.”

His position with the Defence Force came through a student project he did as part of the course at Whitireia.

“The tutors set the project up with the Defence Force managers. When the position came up I applied and the rest is history.”

ENDS

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