Structured Analytic Techniques for Intelligence Analysis
This ebook takes the comparatively new idea of structured analytic methods, defines its place in a taxonomy of analytic strategies, and strikes it an enormous leap ahead. It describes 50 methods which might be divided into eight classes. There are methods for:
Decomposition and Visualization
Scenarios and Indicators
Hypothesis Generation and Testing
Cause and Effect
Each structured method includes a step-by-step course of that externalizes a person analyst s considering in a fashion that makes it readily obvious to others, thereby enabling it to be shared, constructed on, and simply critiqued by others. This structured and clear course of mixed with the intuitive enter of material specialists is predicted to scale back the danger of analytic error.
Our present excessive tech, international setting more and more requires collaboration between analysts with totally different areas of experience and analysts representing totally different organizational views. Structured analytic methods are the perfect course of for guiding the interplay of analysts inside a small staff or group. Each step in a way prompts related dialogue inside the staff, and such dialogue generates and evaluates considerably extra divergent info and extra new concepts than a staff that doesn’t use a structured course of.
By defining the area of structured analytic methods, offering a guide for utilizing and educating these methods, and outlining procedures for evaluating and validating these methods, th
The investigative commissions that followed the terrorist attacks of 2001 and the erroneous 2002 National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction clearly documented the need for a new approach to intelligence analysis. Attention focused initially on the need for “alternative analysis”—techniques for questioning conventional wisdom by identifying and analyzing alternative explanations or outcomes. This approach was later subsumed by a broader effort to transform the tradecraft of intelligence analysis by using what have become known as structured analytic techniques. Structured analysis involves a step-by-step process that externalizes an individual analyst’s thinking in a manner that makes it readily apparent to others, thereby enabling it to be shared, built on, and critiqued by others. When combined with the intuitive judgment of subject matter experts, such a structured and transparent process can significantly reduce the risk of analytic error.
Our current high-tech, global environment increasingly requires collaboration among analysts with different areas of expertise and different organizational perspectives. Structured analytic techniques are ideal for this interaction. Each step in a technique prompts relevant discussion and, typically, this generates more divergent information and more new ideas than any unstructured group process. The step-by-step process of structured analytic techniques structures the interaction among analysts in a small analytic group or team in a way that helps to avoid the multiple pitfalls and pathologies that often degrade group or team performance.
Progress in the development and use of structured analytic techniques has been slow but steady—in our view, too slow and too steady. We need a big jolt forward. We hope this book provides that jolt. By defining the domain of structured analytic techniques, providing a manual for using and testing these techniques, and outlining procedures for evaluating and validating these techniques, this book lays the groundwork for continuing improvement of how analysis is done, both within the Intelligence Community and beyond.
As the use of structured analytic techniques becomes more widespread, we anticipate that the ways these techniques are used will continue to change. Our goal is to keep up with these changes in future editions, so we welcome your suggestions, at any time, for updating the book or otherwise enhancing its utility. To facilitate the use of these techniques, a companion book of case studies and exercises for practicing and teaching structured analytic techniques is forthcoming.
is ebook lays a standard floor for persevering with enchancment of how evaluation is completed. These methods are particularly wanted within the area of intelligence evaluation the place analysts sometimes cope with incomplete, ambiguous and typically misleading info. However, these sensible instruments for evaluation are additionally helpful in all kinds of professions together with regulation enforcement, drugs, finance, and enterprise.
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