Secrecy News

Rethinking Intelligence Analysis, Cont’d

As well established as the practice of intelligence analysis may be, researchers continue to ask elementary questions about what analysis is, how it is done, and how it can be done better.

“Intelligence analysis involves a complex process of assessing the reliability of information from a wide variety of sources and combining seemingly unrelated events. This problem is challenging because it involves aspects of data mining, data correlation and human judgment,” one recent study (pdf) performed for the Office of Naval Research observed.

The study focused on development of computer tools to support the analytical method known as Analysis of Competing Hypotheses (ACH), previously explored by Folker (pdf), among others.

See “Assisting People to Become Independent Learners in the Analysis of Intelligence” by Peter L. Pirolli, Palo Alto Research Center, Inc., Final Report to the Office of Naval Research, February 2006.