Dr. Reggie Brothers, BigBear.ai’s CEO, 2021 Wash100 Award recipient and GovCon Expert, recently participated in the latest Executive Spotlight interview with ExecutiveBiz to discuss an array of topics surrounding the federal and government contracting (GovCon) sectors.
During the latest Executive Spotlight, GovCon Expert Reggie Brothers discussed the merger with GigCapital4 that will form BigBear, Inc. and take the company public, the advancement of artificial intelligence and other emerging technology in the federal sector, the company’s recent partnership with UAV Factory, ISR capabilities and the challenges of data-driven decision making with BigBear’s customers.
“This is a time when enterprises are really understanding the need to develop their AI capabilities, and this is why it’s so important that BigBear do this public offering to get the kind of scale necessary to provide the capabilities our customer sets need.”
You can read the full Executive Spotlight with Dr. Reggie Brothers below.
ExecutiveBiz: Congrats on the recent merger with GigCapital4! Can you walk us through how the merger came about, the benefits of going public and the mending of your two companies’ cultures to establish a new company focused on data-driven decision making in the federal sector?
“We’ve already established BigBear as a leader in this era of decision dominance and advanced analytics. We help our customers use data, whether it’s sparse and dirty or not, to make the best decisions possible. It’s not just understanding their world, it’s also about shaping it by providing a hypothesis of what’s going to come using our predictive analytics. Our course of action going forward is to give them advice on the potential results of the decisions they face.
Merging with GigCapital4 is an efficient way for us to become a public company and raise additional capital. This fuels our commercial growth, expands our sales and marketing, funds our research and development efforts that accelerate the product offerings, and enables us to continue pursuing corporate growth opportunities .
Since GigCapital4 is a Special Purpose Acquisition Company (SPAC) that has no commercial operations, we announced the merger and we listed our current measures to continue executing on strategic growth initiatives which will then be accelerated with the funding that the transaction will provide.
We’re talking about investing in research and development, products and capabilities. Helping our customers with those data capabilities has been a driving force for us as we’ve grown into new customer sets, while continuing our growth in the national security sector. We’re also taking the technologies to the commercial side, to users like infrastructure, energy, shipping and more.”
ExecutiveBiz: With the continued push of AI, cyber and other emerging technologies in the federal sector, how will BigBear.ai continue to push new capabilities in the commercial market for predictive analytics, forecasting capabilities and other areas?
“What we’re seeing is that companies started dedicating budgets to AI, machine learning technology and forecasting analytics, and these things present both opportunities and risks. We’ve targeted growth in certain commercial verticals and those like infrastructure, energy, transportation, logistics for security customers in the near term.
We’re not just starting to go off and try everything at the same time, we’re focusing on areas where we already have the capabilities and the domain expertise to do it right. One example is maritime intelligence, where there are immediate applications.
We’re helping customers optimize the routing or their fuel hedging strategies, conducting preventive maintenance to predict equipment failure, and forecasting demand for carbon capacity and commodity and shipping prices.
Again, accelerating growth is where the investment from the merger with GigCapital4 comes in. We’re investing in new technology and in expanded commercial research and development. We’ll also consider strategic acquisition targets and the procurement of additional capabilities.
With regard to cyber ops, people are incorporating AI and cyber tools and capabilities just like we do at BigBear. We have a full spectrum of cyber capabilities, and we are taking those skill sets and incorporating what we’ve learned from mission-critical environments. By equipping our employees with those capabilities, we can deliver meaningful value to commercial customers on a global scale.
As to how to dominate the decision battlespace, it’s not only about driving AI out into cyber but it’s also about taking proven capabilities and leveraging them in the commercial world. And what this all drives to is the importance of being able to rapidly make the best decision — a better decision than what’s possible for your adversary — and getting started on the adversary’s decision cycle. And so that’s why we try to get our capabilities to the commercial side.
But one of the biggest challenges for these tools is data, as some people say cleaning data takes 75 to 85 percent of analysts’ time to do. Because we use a technology called tensor completion, in addition to our extensive analytic capabilities, we can actually manage sparse and dirty data better, which again leads to greater efficiencies for the analysts and decision-makers who are our customers.”
Visit ExecutiveBiz.com’s Executive Spotlight Page to learn more about the most significant leaders of consequence to the government contracting (GovCon) and federal sectors and their experiences driving growth, new business and capabilities in the fiercely competitive federal landscape.
ExecutiveBiz: What makes the company unique?
What makes us unique, is that we are focused on AI assisted decision making in a realistic data environment that includes less than perfect data sets. As such there are two unique aspects to our approach that no one else in the industry is doing.
First, rather than a generic solution that is focused on a technology driven approach, our approach is focused on aligning AI/ML technology with the way people make decisions. We start with an organization’s decision-making process and then integrate the technology to enable better decision making rather than the other way around.
Second, we understand that the practical data environment is less than perfect. Data in a realistic operational environment is incomplete, sometimes inconsistent or inaccurate, often dispersed throughout a hybrid architecture.
We have developed the techniques and technologies that overcome these obstacles to deliver a practical solution that works in a realistic data environment. We call this “operationalized AI/ML”. And of course, we have the past performance to prove it.”
ExecutiveBiz: How will the recent partnership with UAV Factory lead to the advancement of ISR capabilities for unmanned aerial platforms and support new applications towards infrastructure, energy and other areas in the defense market?
“The broad reach of unmanned aerial vehicles is clear to everybody, and BigBear has a real track record of delivering AI-enabled solutions. It is a natural partnership. There’s a whole plethora of areas where UAV Factory and AI can work together.
This partnership will advance the ISR abilities of unmanned systems well beyond just being able to see objects and areas. It will allow users to make sense of what they’re viewing and quickly incorporate object detection and identification. This improves the value of unmanned aerial operations while reducing the strain on operators whether in the commercial or national security space.
And I’m really excited about the opportunity because it is not a prototype or a research project but because the products that we’re bringing together have game-changing capabilities. Whether you’re talking about a national security application or commercial market space, there’s just tremendous opportunity, and this partnership is going to grow.
This is a time when enterprises are really understanding the need to develop their AI capabilities, and this is why it’s so important that BigBear do this public offering to get the kind of scale necessary to provide the capabilities our customer sets need.
The partnership with UAV Factory is a perfect example of where, again, the time has come. People really are getting the importance of these autonomous systems and the kinds of roles they can play in advancing missions and in business applications.”
ExecutiveBiz: Can you explain why leveraging data is so crucial to the decision-making process and how that will impact the recent (NOI) with the AFRL for Project AURORA?
“We’re trying to accelerate the joint planning and decision cycle, and that’s the best use of automated technology platforms. It will establish a shared data ecosystem that’s all in support of the service.
In this collaboration, the joint planners are going to leverage our three platforms, namely Observe, Orient and Dominate. So Observe is where we’re enabling data ingestion enrichment, and then we go into exporter analytics and intelligence to understand the environment.
Following that, we use predictive abilities to achieve decision dominance in multiple domains. So it’s exciting, this is exactly the kind of program that we think we are uniquely suited to provide.”