All Source Analyst Foundations Course
The Foundations Course provides essential training in analytic tradecraft for the entry-level analyst or someone new to all-source analysis. This course builds from an introduction to the Intelligence Community (IC) to a capstone module where the learner writes a current intelligence product. This foundation in analytic skills allows a new analyst to hit the ground running.
We cover the following modules and coursework as a part of the Foundations Course:
- Intro to the IC: This module provides an overview of the history and legal underpinning of the IC.
- The Intelligence Cycle: In this module, analysts will review the six-step process of the Intelligence Cycle as laid out in Joint Publications to improve understanding of their role and how they can affect the cycle.
- Analytic Tradecraft – ICDs: This module provides an understanding of the Intelligence Community Directives (ICDs) that govern analysts and provide the basis for analytic tradecraft.
- Paul-Elder Critical Thinking: Students will discuss critical thinking and its specialized language in the IC and how to apply it to improve analytic outcomes for customers.
- The Intelligence Question: This module explains how to apply client understanding during the development of good intelligence questions – one of the most important factors in producing useful, predictive analytic products.
- Organizing an Analytic Paper: While each organization within the IC has its own format, the course focuses on the foundations of analytic product development and effectively communicating information, regardless of format.
- Effective Use of Sources: Students will focus on the use of sources and effective composition of source bullets to ensure clarity and conciseness. The module also covers sources, explores the strengths and weaknesses of different intelligence source disciplines, and details how to perform source diagnostics to ensure quality.
- Intelligence Gaps: This module reviews the importance of identifying and understanding gaps in the intelligence cycle and how to address them analytically.
- Analytic Design: Our brains do many things in a semi-autonomous way, which can lead us to overlook parts of analytic design during development. By using the process the DIA created, analysts can understand the full analytic design process.
- Four Ways of Seeing: This structured analytic technique allows analysts to review perceptions and gain insight into the adversary or the problem.
- Key Assumption Check: Students learn how assumptions can affect the quality of assessments and how and why we make assumptions. We discuss the need to articulate assumptions and determine the effect of wrong assumptions on our assessments.
- Writing Current Intelligence: Analysts will learn to organize, prioritize information, incorporate tradecraft standards to meet customer needs, and produce a current intelligence product in eight to 10 lines of text.