Tactical Intelligence Studies Group

Who are we?

We are academics, engineers, managers and military analysts who look for better ways to find and deliver “the right information to the right people in the right time and the right form” – for various meanings of ‘right’.

We focus on the tactical rather than strategic; what can we conclude from data that is drawn directly from the world, rather than high-level socially constructed theories formed from other high-level theories.

Themes and Aims

Better analytic techniques:

There are a range of structured techniques to analyse and synthesis and assess information. What mental tool-kits actually work well, and what do not? When we mitigate biases, what counter-biases do we introduce? What are the trade offs in time, effort, accuracy and resources? What evidence do we still need to collect to find out the answers to these? How do we better teach them – what are the metaphors and stepping stones we can use to help people re-wire their minds to think more effectively?

Disseminating Conclusions

Telling people something similar to what they already believe is boring and useless. Telling people something that is very different from what they believe is surprising, distracting and prone to rejection. How can we improve getting across the relevant key nuggets of new information effectively, efficiently and with a suitable level of conviction?

Searching The Body of Knowledge

Much is already known by other people. What are good existing methods to review this? What should we beware of? What are the trade-offs again in time, effort, accuracy and costs? What are the templates and semi-mechanical processes that we can provide to people who want to find out something specific?

Cross-Fertilising

Again, much is already known by other practitioners. What can journalists, military intelligence, police, weather forecasters, engineers, politicians, social media analysts, data miners and academic researchers learn from each other? What should we not? Who else should we include?

The Cyber Situation in the Intelligence Picture

IT terminology and concepts can be impenetrable to outsiders. What are the metaphors, memes, analogies, stories, representations and so on that we can use to help non techs understand the ‘cyber situation’ when assessing overall intelligence?

What do we do?

Research

Survey what is already known. Run experiments to test efficacy of analytic techniques. Measure performance of analysts when on task

Disseminate

Write papers for journals; produce videos to introduce and explain; create training packages.

Seminars and Conferences

Meet physically and online; bring together experts and novices from different fields to plan, execute and understand better ways to provide front-line decision makers with what they need to know to be effective.

Gossip

Share information - without spamming everyone with junk! We borrow from news sites such as SpaceDaily to provide a regular update of news and events that is easy to skim and identify relevant items

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