Intelligence Analysis: Foundations

Open enrolment and in-house options available

Our introductory course to intelligence analysis offers a solid introduction to the art and science of analytic reasoning. The course provides the foundational knowledge you need to establish and grow your analytic toolkit. Attention is given to descriptive and predictive modes of analysis, and the complimentary skills of trend identification, pattern detection, evidential reasoning, and ideation. You will also learn how to identify and explore multiple lines of analytic enquiry, including via the Analysis of Competing Hypothesis. The guidance provided on this course offers an essential prelude to our more advanced programs.

Course Outline

Thinking and Reasoning

Introduction to Intelligence Analysis

  • What is analysis?
  • The three modes of analytic reasoning
  • The challenge of analysis
  • The role of the analyst
  • The critical disciplines of analytic work

Analytic Thinking and Reasoning Skills

  • Critical, creative and conceptual thinking
  • Sensemaking and calibration
  • Identifying trends, patterns and relationships
  • Evidential reasoning
  • Scoping and managing your uncertainty
  • Measuring and monitoring your thinking
  • Working with structured analytic techniques

Ideation through Brainstorming

  • What is brainstorming
  • The varieties of brainstorming
  • The dos and don’ts of brainstorming
  • Brainstorming techniques

Ideation through Mind and Concept Mapping

  • Types of mind / concept maps
  • The uses of mind mapping in intelligence
  • Individual vs. group application

Descriptive Analysis

Descriptive Analytic Techniques

  • The 5W1H model
  • Causal mapping
  • Force field analysis
  • Actor / factor analysis
  • Temporal analysis
  • Link / association charting

Applications of Descriptive Analysis

  • Issue analysis
  • Trend analysis
  • Event analysis

Predictive Analysis

Working with Hypotheses

  • What makes a good hypothesis?
  • Multiple hypotheses generation
  • Analysis of Competing Hypotheses (ACH)
  • Variations of ACH

Predictive Analytic Techniques

  • What if analysis
  • Trend / impact analysis
  • Impact / probability analysis
  • The futures wheel
  • Consequence trees

Applications of Predictive Analysis

  • Risk analysis
  • Alternative futures analysis
  • Operational planning

Course Details

Who is this Course For?

This course is for anyone working in an analytic role, regardless of professional background or prior work experience.

How You Benefit

On completion of this course you will have the ability to:

  • Justify the importance of structured approaches to analytic thinking
  • Apply a range of critical and creative thinking skills
  • Make your reasoning transparent to others
  • Develop causal narratives using descriptive analytic techniques
  • Analyse events and trends and extrapolate their impacts
  • Generate and evaluate multiple hypotheses
  • Anticipate future outcomes using predictive analytic techniques

What You Receive

  • A full set of course slides in PDF
  • An index of analytic techniques
  • Templates to support the application of the techniques taught
  • Six months of post-course support

Course Prerequisites

No prior knowledge of intelligence analysis or analytic reasoning is needed to take this course. We recommend this course as an essential starting point for all our analysis programs.

Course Requirements

Please bring a Windows or Mac laptop with you. Please also ensure you have a Gmail account to access the course materials.