Intelligence Analysis: Foundations (Virtual Course)

Open enrolment and in-house options available

Our introductory intelligence analysis course 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.

The course will be delivered live over five, 3.5 hour sessions. There will be separate iterations of the course for Asian, European and North American audiences. Please select the start time (SGT, CET or EST) that suits you best.

Course Outline

Introduction to Analytic 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

  • Scoping and managing your uncertainty
  • Measuring and monitoring your thinking
  • Working with structured analytic techniques

Thinking Descriptively

Descriptive Analytic Techniques

  • The 5W1H model and its variants
  • Causal mapping
  • Actor / factor analysis
  • Temporal analysis
  • Link / association charting

Applications of Descriptive Analysis

  • Issue analysis
  • Event analysis

Thinking Predictively

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

Thinking Relationally

Charting Techniques

  • Event charts
  • Link / association charts
  • Activities charts
  • Commodity flow charts
  • VIA Diagrams
  • Communication charts
  • Comparative case analysis

Thinking Creatively


  • Creative ideation and its role in analysis
  • The varieties of brainstorming
  • Dos and don’ts of brainstorming
  • Brainstorming techniques for analysts

Mind and Concept Mapping

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

Course Details

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
  • A certificate of completion
  • One hour of individual consulting if needed

Course Fee

EUR 1,000

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 courses.

Course Requirements

Please observe the following technical requirements:

  • You will need a Windows or Mac laptop
  • Install Google Chrome
  • Install Microsoft Office
  • Install Zoom
  • Set up a Google account
  • A second monitor is recommended but not essential

Additional software requirements will be sent prior to the start of the course.