What do we mean by Intelligence?

As a generalisation, intelligence is sought when there is a need to make a positive change to a given situation. Change can be brought about through action, but crucially, we need intelligence to inform the decisions that will define that action. This is where IMSL comes in. We enable you to answer your questions and take informed decisions based on intelligence relevant to your organisation and its challenges.

Intelligence is a very broad subject and implies different things from one application to the next, depending on your sector of activity. But the fundamental principles of an intelligence cycle are relatively common and form the foundation for fulfilment of most intelligence requirements.

In its simplest form, intelligence is the result of the analysis of information, or data, in the context of a specific question. Intelligence of different forms and from various sources is fused together to form a rich intelligence picture. This fused intelligence is often referred to as ‘actionable’ or ‘exploitable’ intelligence, and increases the body of knowledge relating to the question, leading us toward an answer and the ability to make an informed and accurate response.

It’s important to appreciate that, in most situations, raw information that has not been contextually analysed is not very useful. It is only when a relevant analysis of that information is made that succinct, exploitable intelligence can be derived. The critical skill that IMSL provides is to extract the real value of the intelligence from the rich but disparate sources of information and data available in the modern world.

The intelligence cycle

The processes involved in operating an intelligence cycle generally involve the following fundamental steps:

  1. Defining the question or the ‘Request for Information’ (RFI) from the customer.
  2. Make a collection plan that will reach into the range sources where relevant raw information may be found.
  3. Analysis and fusion of that raw information to extract the meaningful intelligence insights that will inform a response to the RFI.
  4. Dissemination of the intelligence to those who will act upon it.
  5. Feedback for process refinement and supplementary investigation.
  6. The management of this entire cycle.

intelligence cycle


At IMSL we aim to provide expertise, services and support to all aspects of this process, whatever the operational sector or application.