The Datalab is HCSS’ in-house evidence and knowledge base that is increasingly becoming the foundation on which we build our geostrategic analyses. Until fairly recently, the fields of foreign, security, and defense policy (FSDP) analysis had few other options but to rely on mostly qualitative expert analysis and opinion. HCSS has, from its very inception in 2007, pushed for complementing this deep – but often partial –  human expertise with more systematic – and multi-perspectivist – machine-based and data-driven analysis.


The HCSS Datalab’s StratBase leverages a wide array of over 11,000 variables from various open and proprietary datasets. Many of these datasets are of a numerical origin (e.g. economic, financial, military, values, etc. country-year datasets), but increasingly they are also extracted from text- and even image/video- or audio-based – sources. We process all of these datasets with the latest data-driven algorithms and analytical frameworks to map and track global geodynamics, conflict lifecycles, political and security risks both offline as well as in cyberspace, great-power assertiveness, the behavior of pivot-states, access to natural resources, changing insights about the future, and many other phenomena that are of key importance to international interactions.