Intelligence Analysis 101 workshop

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Intelligence Analysts collect, synthesize, and report on complex situations. Analysis is often complicated by high stakes, time pressure, and deception. During this workshop, you'll learn how to apply basic intelligence analysis techniques and to avoid common pitfalls. We'll then work as a group to analyze some current events using the Analysis of Competing Hypotheses (ACH) technique developed by the CIA.

Full Description

The workshop will begin with a 20-25min. presentation of intelligence gathering and analysis techniques. You'll learn:

  • Kinds of intelligence gathering, e.g., OSINT, HUMINT, SIGINT, etc.
  • Overview of frameworks for synthesizing information/sensemaking
  • Deep dive on the Analysis of Competing Hypotheses (ACH) technique
  • Preventing cognitive biases

Group Activity

After the introduction, we'll work as a group to analyze some current events using the Analysis of Competing Hypotheses (ACH) technique. Here are some examples of analyses:

Example Board

ACH Board Example.png


Signup using the HOPE system:


There's no prerequisites for participation.

But, to add and evaluate evidence during the activity, you'll need to complete the following steps before the workshop:

  1. Create an account on Open Synthesis.
  2. Request access to the HOPE team

Our email provider (SendGrid) we use for sending verification emails had an outage earlier today (7/28). It should be back up now, so please try creating an account. If people are still facing problems, we'll temporarily disable email verification:

Related Reading

Intelligence Analysis

Measurement and Prediction

Cognitive Processes and Biases


About the Presenter

Todd Schiller, PhD has a decade of experience building analytics and decision support systems. He's the maintainer of Open Synthesis, an open source web application for the analysis of competing hypotheses.