25 Jul Analytical tools used in Intelligence
UK guidance puts forward the idea that each person working in the organisation should think analytically when dealing with problems. This very basic idea is the starting point to more complex analytical capacity and capability. For anyone to carry out analysis there must be access to appropriate data and tools. To use these tools effectively personnel need to be trained and competent and this task typically falls to police analysts. The analysts are deployed across a range of functions including problem solving, intelligence development, investigations into complex and serious crime and developing strategic insight for senior leaders. Each task should have a terms of reference for the intelligence analysis product before analytical techniques are applied to interpret the information. Inference development is applied to make judgements based on the analytical methods and tools. The product will have recommendations based on the results of the methods applied to enable decision making to be performed. Finally, a review should be undertaken to test the effectiveness of the intelligence analysis product. The tools and techniques fall into five broad groups – creative thinking and hypothesis generation, making sense of complex data, hypothesis testing, generation and evaluation of scenarios and other techniques. For further information on these please click on the link to the UK College of Policing website – Analytical techniques | College of Policing. The development of new faster and more effective tools is an aim for any Law Enforcement Agency and the NOTIONES project is seeking to direct research to enable this to be fulfilled.
Author(s): Graham Kissock, Police Service of Northern Ireland