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Structured Analytic Techniques for Intelligence Analysis

Structured Analytic Techniques for Intelligence Analysis

Second Edition


May 2014 | 384 pages | CQ Press

This Second Edition of Structured Analytic Techniques for Intelligence Analysis showcases fifty-five structured analytic techniques—five new to this edition—that represent the most current best practices in intelligence, law enforcement, homeland security, and business analysis. With much more depth, detail, and utility than existing handbooks, each technique is clearly and systematically explained. Logically organized and richly illustrated, and with spiral binding and tabs that separate techniques into categories, this book is an easy-to-use, comprehensive reference.

Chapter 1: Introduction and Overview
1.1 Our Vision

1.2 Two Types of Thinking

1.3 Dealing with Bias

1.4 The Role of Structured Analytic Techniques

1.5 The Value of Team Analysis

1.6 The History of Structured Analytic Techniques

1.7 Selection of Techniques for This Book

1.8 Quick Summary of Chapters

Chapter 2: Building a System 2 Taxonomy
2.1 Taxonomy of System 2 Methods

2.2 Taxonomy of Structured Analytic Techniques

Chapter 3: Choosing the Right Technique
3.1 Core Techniques

3.2 Five Habits Every Analyst Should Master

3.3 One Project, Multiple Techniques

3.4 Common Errors in Selecting Techniques

3.5 Structured Technique Selection Guide

Chapter 4: Decomposition and Visualization
4.1 Getting Started Checklist

4.2 AIMS (Audience, Issue, Message, Storyline)

4.3 Customer Checklist

4.4 Issue Redefinition

4.5 Chronologies and Timelines

4.6 Sorting

4.7 Ranking, Scoring, Prioritizing

4.8 Matrices

4.9 Venn Analysis

4.10 Network Analysis

4.11 Mind Maps and Concept Maps

4.12 Process Maps and Gantt Charts

Chapter 5: Idea Generation
5.1 Structured Brainstorming

5.2 Virtual Brainstorming

5.3 Nominal Group Technique

5.4 Starbursting

5.5 Cross-Impact Matrix

5.6 Morphological Analysis

5.7 Quadrant Crunching™

Chapter 6: Scenarios and Indicators
6.1 Scenarios Analysis

6.2 Indicators

6.3 Indicators Validation

Chapter 7: Hypothesis Generation and Testing
7.1 Hypothesis Generation

7.2 Diagnostic Reasoning

7.3 Analysis of Competing Hypotheses

7.4 Argument Mapping

7.5 Deception Detection

Chapter 8: Assessment of Cause and Effect
8.1 Key Assumptions Check

8.2 Structured Analogies

8.3 Role Playing

8.4 Red Hat Analysis

8.5 Outside-In Thinking

Chapter 9: Challenge Analysis
9.1 Premortem Analysis

9.2 Structured Self-Critique

9.3 What If? Analysis

9.4 High Impact/Low Probability Analysis

9.5 Devil’s Advocacy

9.6 Red Team Analysis

9.7 Delphi Method

Chapter 10: Conflict Management
10.1 Adversarial Collaboration

10.2 Structured Debate

Chapter 11: Decision Support
11.1 Decision Trees

11.2 Decision Matrix

11.3 Pros-Cons-Faults-and-Fixes

11.4 Force Field Analysis

11.5 SWOT Analysis

11.6 Impact Matrix

11.7 Complexity Manager

Chapter 12: Practitioner’s Guide to Collaboration
12.1 Social Networks and Analytic Teams

12.2 Dividing the Work

12.3 Common Pitfalls with Small Groups

12.4 Benefiting from Diversity

12.5 Advocacy vs. Objective Inquiry

12.6 Leadership and Training

Chapter 13: Validation of Structured Analytic Techniques
13.1 Limits of Empirical Analysis

13.2 Establishing Face Validity

13.3 A Program for Empirical Validation

13.4 Recommended Research Program

Chapter 14: The Future of Structured Analytic Techniques
14.1 Structuring the Data

14.2 Key Drivers

14.3 Imagining the Future: 2020

Key features


  • Five techniques are added: AIMS, Venn Analysis, Cone of Plausibility, Decision Trees, and the Impact Matrix.
  • Three techniques—Quadrant Crunching™, Structured Brainstorming, and Red Hat Analysis—are significantly revised.
  • A new discussion of System 1 (or intuitive thinking) and System 2 (or analytic thinking) led to a new taxonomy of analytic approaches.
  • Discussion of cognitive biases and the role structured analytic techniques can play in helping analysts avoid, overcome, or at least mitigate them is expanded
  • Discussion of how to develop the Five Habits of the Master Thinker to use the techniques instinctively
  • Revisions throughout the text ensure that all material speaks to both U.S. and international audiences.

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter 1

Chapter 7

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