All Source Analyst Intermediate Course
The Intermediate Course provides the next level of training to hone analysts' skills. This course starts with a case study and progresses through the modules to produce both an analytic briefing and an analytic product that meets analytic tradecraft standards. This course consists of seven modules that build on the prerequisite Foundations Course. The course incorporates computer-based training modules, quizzes, readings, discussion board postings, and written assignments. The course is delivered over three days in a blended training environment.
- Bias and Mindsets: Students are instructed to understand how bias affects their thinking and how a structured method of product development can mitigate these biases.
- Brainstorming: Students are introduced to the course case study and brainstorm ideas that are used in the remaining modules of the course.
- Analysis of Competing Hypotheses (ACH): Using the ideas from the brainstorming session to generate hypotheses, students learn the background and purpose of ACH and review the eight steps of completing an ACH. Students will understand the importance of ACH in maintaining analytic objectivity and mitigating mindsets.
- Argument Mapping: This module introduces argument mapping and how visualizing an analytic argument can help in identifying strengths, weaknesses, and gaps. Students use their ACH matrix from the previous module's exercise and complete an argument map diagram.
- Analysis of Alternatives (AoA): The AoA module is required by ICD 203 and explains the reasons and requirements for conducting an AoA, as well as the methodology to complete the assessment. Students develop an AoA paragraph using one of the alternative hypotheses from their ACH module.
- Preparing an Intel Brief: After instruction on communicating verbally with clients, and how to enhance the verbal communication with a slide, students will develop a slide with a script that will present their analysis and judgment of the case study. This is the first of two capstone modules.
- Strong Writing: The final capstone module reviews the features of good writing, including grammar, sentence structure, clear and concise language use, and logical flow. Students prepare a one-page analytic paper using information from previous coursework, incorporating analytic tradecraft standards using appropriate ICDs.