Insights

Presenting Intelligence Part 2.

Post by Andy Green, IMSL CEO. Roger has hit on a truly significant issue regarding the dissemination of intelligence to consumers.  Powerpoint has become the de facto medium, replacing lengthy, wordy analyses presented as text documents.  However, I would challenge the assumption that Powerpoint must be the only way to do it.  We have found from experience…

Response to the “Intelligence and Prediction” blog post

Tom offered up the below as a comment to the original post but I think he makes some good points so I’m upping it to the front.  Thanks Tom, appreciated. Thanks for posting this article and your comments – very interesting. I can’t disagree with the central tenet of the report – namely that long-term…

Presenting intelligence to a consumer

At IMSL we pride ourselves in developing new and innovative ways, as well as effective ways to present intelligence.  Presenting/disseminating intelligence is one element of the intelligence cycle and just as important as all the others.  And like organizations the world over, this forces us to grapple with Powerpoint.  Of course, in principle,  Powerpoint can…

Perils of Prediction

Great article here about intelligence analysts trying to predict 15 -20 years in advance. The lesson – don’t bother.  Intelligence should be about explaining current actions not long range forecasting (aka guesswork) .  The article also quotes my favourite psychologist, Daniel Kahneman saying “ The world is vastly more complicated than our mental models of…

Basic OSINT capabilities with mapping

Although it’s pretty straightforward, there’s a danger I’m teaching readers to suck eggs. Along the same lines that with a little knowledge on google you can get remarkably good results with a few extra qualifiers, here’s a useful link to getting great OSINT from google maps

Techniques to Control ‘Confirmatory Bias’ in Analysis

IMSL’s most recent joiner, Stewart Rowles, goes on a champagne hunt… —————————————————– I know that the English deviously planned for the American revolution and ensured that a government of Englishmen followed ever since (apart from Jimmy Carter, but we’ll let that one go);  I also know that nothing has actually ever landed on Mars; and…

How maps can change our perspectives

Panjandrum’s blog post, below, about our predilection for base 10, and the fact that other analysis using different bases can throw up useful insights got me thinking, as usual.  Another cognitive predilection is maps, and maps are pretty important for intelligence analysts. Yet maps drawn in interesting ways can startle us into thinking in different…

Five for the day

Five intelligence mistakes, why they happen and perhaps how to avoid them. 1. A good narrative does not equal analysis. Stories are a good way of explaining complex issues. The human brain likes narratives. But often the urge to tell a “good story” , to make a good narrative, encourages the analyst to fit facts…

The intelligence analyst is a hunter with a sharpened stick hunting sabre-toothed tigers

I’m continuing my reading into the psychology of intelligence analysis and related to that, why people make bad, poor, or silly judgments. Hopefully this will lead to a better understanding of how and why it’s possible to avoid these and make good judgments, good intelligence analysis.  I’m enjoying this book: Why People Believe Weird Things:…