intelligence analysis process have been discussed. This paper puts light on what basically is intelligence analysis and how can it be improved. It discusses ways via which intelligence analysis can be made more focused and more effective. It puts light on how better sharing and provision of information, collection and analysis of correct data and fact and figures can benefit the intelligence analysis process.
This paper also puts light on different psychological issues that are being faced by intelligence analysts and it also examines the ways through which analysts can overcome such hurdles.
Before discussing how to improve intelligence analysis it is necessary to have proper understanding of the terms intelligence and analysis. Intelligence can be defined as an information which has added value in it whereas analysis is a process via which you can evaluate your intelligence, it helps you to understand a situation and then to share your understandings with others. (Criminal intelligence, 2011)
The basic task of intelligence community is to provide valuable and accurate information to the consumers so that they can use it at the time of need. But if the intelligence community fails to perform this task then all the efforts and money which is utilized in the collection and analysis of information goes in vain. Researches prove that the major reason behind the failure of intelligence analysis is the communication gap or miscommunication between the intelligence producer and consumer. Most of the time the consumers are too busy and hence they do not give proper time to the intelligence producer and as result the analysts are not able to understand the important issues and demands of the consumers. The intelligence community is not solely responsible for the failure of intelligence analysis. The consumers are also partially responsible for the failure of this process. Better and close working relationships between consumers and producers of intelligence can lead towards more focused and effective intelligence analysis. Researches also indicated that there is a close relationship between the consumers and producers of military intelligence and as a result of this close relationship the demands and requirements of military are better defined. (Heuer, 2005)
Whenever the issue of improving intelligence analysis is put forward the first basic consideration in this case is the relationship between intelligence analysts and the consumers of intelligence. The following steps can be taken to improve intelligence analysis:
Building better relationships:
Building better links between intelligence analysts and consumers can lead towards better intelligence analysis. As military agencies are the major consumers of intelligence therefore they should appoint intelligence analysts to work with their staff. The analysts should travel abroad to get in touch with the foreign representatives as well. Though this is a costly procedure and demands more man power but if the analysts remain in touch with the staff, the foreign representatives and the internal intelligence department then he would be able to better understand the demand for intelligence. As military relies heavily on intelligence the provision of proper and accurate information is very necessary and this can be achieved if all the different branches of military and intelligence agencies work together and share their understandings and information.
Improving the quality of work:
No matter how effective and close the relationship between the analysts and consumer of intelligence is if the information provided by intelligence agencies is not accurate and is not supported by enough evidences and facts then the intelligence analysis will fail to achieve its objective. The agencies should try to provide quality services and they should also try to make proper use of open sources of information though intelligence is known for its secret information sources but no analyst can do proper analysis by only relying on secret sources of information.
Training intelligence officials:
Though some of the intelligence officials are experts in their field but others do need proper training and education to improve and polish their skills and abilities. (Improving Intelligence Analysis, 1996)
Researches also prove that most of the intelligence analyses fail due to the failure of analysis and not of intelligence. Analysis is a mental process and it usually fails because analysts are not appropriately aware of the working of their own mind. The major psychological barriers that hinder the intelligence analyses from becoming successful are: (1) Biases. (2) Availability Heuristics. (3) Assumptions. (Heuer, 1999)