Insights: Intelligence 101

Conspiracy theories, Cognitive Bias and Intelligence Analysis

An intertesting article here relating to conspiracy theories and their worryingly increasing prevalence. The ease with which barking mad, crazy or just slightly twisted stories can be “broadcast” to the world worries me.   And the fact that people can easily find stories which they believe confirms their suspicions is more worrying.  There is a part…

Intelligence and Piano Tuning

Enrico Fermi was one of the last century’s greatest scientists and he created the world’s first nuclear reactor.  One of the talents of that generation of scientists and engineers, driven by necessity, was the ability to do what we in the UK call “back of the fag packet” calculations.   Of course good scientists and…

Using a Wiki to Construct and Deliver Intelligence Analysis

IMSL are involved in number of projects where the output of our intelligence analysis is delivered as a knowledge base or a wiki to a customer.  We aren’t the only ones doing this, although the number of organisations that use a wiki as a collaborative tool for developing and delivering intelligence analysis is remarkably small.…

Practical Management Techniques for reducing Cognitive Biases in Intelligence Organisations

Rooting out cognitive biases in the intelligence analysis business needs much more than sticking a post-it note on your computer screen. One of the more interesting aspects of the work IMSL does is helping organisations develop management techniques for the intelligence process. With one or two notable exceptions, most intelligence analysts and most intelligence organisations are very prone to cognitive biases

Quote Daniel Boorstin Unquote

I’m currently reading this excellent book ” Seeing What Other People Don’t” by Gary Klein. The book explores how humans gain “insight” from looking at data and the world in which it sits. Therefore it has direct application to intelligence analysts, who are mostly human. (Take that any way you want…) The book is provoking…

The Death of the RFI (and why that’s a good thing)

My last post on the problems inherent with delivering written, linear intelligence reports has got me thinking.  As I discussed there, the speed of modern analytical tools allows huge data crunching to be done almost instantaneously. This really causes a problem for those whose broader operational systems are wedded to an intelligence cycle that operates at…

Good riddance to the pdf. The problem with Linear Presentation of Intelligence Analysis

The pen has a lot to answer for.  I don’t doubt that the invention of writing allowed thought to be recorded, and records to be made.  A wonderful tool indeed.  But more and more these days I can’t help thinking that writing a report is a pretty poor way of presenting intelligence analysis. The issue…