Week 5, Day 2
Theme: Analytic Errors
This week's theme is mistakes. Today we look at the common types of analytic bias and some pretty spectacular ensuing falures.
READ Today's task: A Tradecraft Primer 400 Kb (also online below)
5 minutes (to read only the introduction)
'A Tradecraft Primer: Structured Analytic Techniques for Improving Intelligence Analysis', Introduction pp 1 - 3 prepared by the US Government, March 2009. Also available online here.
Key takeout: Biases are many in number and rich in variety. Of course, the single page (3) included as reading today is just the tip of the iceberg - but I have found that many practicing analysts are unaware of many of the biases on this page. This is a serious issue that is often overlooked when corporations are building training programs for analysts. Too often they focus exclusively on software tools and what I call data orientation - introducing analysts to the organisation's data, it's meaning and known issues/limitations. If as an analyst you are ignorant of the causes of bias and the techniques that can overcome them, then I question how good you can ever be.
Oh, and the rest of the primer is well worth a read.
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