Insights

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.…

Avoiding Cognitive Biases in Intelligence Analysis

There is an excellent article in this month’s “Nature” journal about the way in which scientists fall foul of cognitive biases in the analysis of their scientific data.  This matter has an exact read-across into intelligence analysis where the same cognitive biases of course apply. The article provides some key techniques for countering these cognitive…

Instant Terrorism Analysis

For most of the last 30 years, I have been an avid consumer of press reports of terrorist incidents.  Such reports are just part of the “open source” intelligence landscape and yesterday’s bomb explosion in Bangkok, is just another set of news stories in this long sad line.     Today those news stories are…

Yesterday’s Social Media Operations

Social Media Intelligence is all the rage, and of course the modern world is astounded at the ability of spectators to film incidents as they occur, and post them on YouTube or elsewhere for all to see. IMSL are doing some interesting work in examining the “lives” of videos posted on YouTube and other social media,…

Deja Vu, UFO

Last week the Economist published this article noting a possible correlation from US UFO reporting data between the consumption of alcohol and the sightings of UFOs.  (That’s the humans that may have been drinking not the aliens, we suppose.) Now, avid readers of this blog may remember that back in March 2012, the one and only…

Stringing together a database

This blog is about an early and mysterious database system that seems to have been used for OSINT and other purposes by the Incas. Not only that but it’s a 3D system using both base ten and, some believe, binary coding.

Intelligence Training from IMSL – Chief Instructor Jason Bradley explains all…

In our last blog post we mentioned the Intelligence Analysis Intensive 5 Day Course which starts on 06 July (for which there are still a limited number of places available). We managed to track down the designer and lead instructor of this course, Jason, and asked him some probing questions about what the course… Who…

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