The Intelligence Analyst
David Moore in a 2007 paper on critical thinking and intelligence analysis states that intelligence analysts are engaged in an intellectual pursuit (Moore, 2007). “They are trying to solve puzzles, resolve uncertainties, discover the nature and meaning of things that others would keep secret,” Moore writes. “They must have the entire intellectual apparatus to help them identify the problem, assess the parts they know and the parts they do not, come up with an explanation of what is going on, and then express it in a way that others, including an audience not steeped in their own techniques, can understand” (Lowenthal, 2007, p. ix).
In the example previously discussed related to the out-of-state investigator and Jeannie, it was easy to see how the ultimate goal of the analyst was to data mine information and produce intelligence that directly responded to an initial request. Intelligence analysts are a critical component in the intelligence process since they are the ones tasked with completing each stage of the process. More importantly, however, they need to be extreme analytical thinkers in terms of processing the information and formulating conclusions.
When performing these functions in a real-time setting, the tactical analyst is required to rapidly data mine information gleaned from 911 dispatched crimes in progress. This process of rapid data mining accelerates the stages of the intelligence process because the information needs to be converted to actionable intelligence, and relayed to the field, as soon as possible. In some cases, tactical analysts are also multitasking several requests at once—strongly suggesting that the analyst must possess a confident, capable, analytical skill set.