Staff Study Methodoloy: matrix analysis, very useful general methodology
  • Primary resource -- US ARMY doc -- army has already fleshed out issues (evaluation, screening criteria, etc.)
  • Operational in nature, designed to decide what to do/to evaluate courses of action (not intelligence)
  • Written and conducted differently
* Rule oriented method of analysis. Must be consistent, clear.
    • WEAKNESS: doesn't leave a lot of room for nuance. Catagories are subject to interpretation/definition.
** This is an apples to apples comparison -- won't work if using apples and oranges (different definitions).
    • STRENGTH: transparency

1. Identify question
2. Research and Collect data
3. List facts and assumptions (not nec. a useful step -- redundant to some degree)
4. Develop possible "solutions" (key divergent activity: designed to expand the number of hypotheses/options, brainstorm)
  • estimates, hypotheses, alternatives
  • "solutions" -- operational word for suggestions, etc. Intelligence doesn't sugget action.
5. Interpret Data (mull it over)
6. Evaluation (evaluate possibilities): 2 ways
1. Screening: narrow scope of what I'm looking at
2. Evaluation criteria: compare possibilities that survived the screening process against one another and basic requirements
7. Prepare the study


Is disease outbreak in China likely to have the most pervasive impact in the East and Central Asian region?
  • Elements of influence: economic, trade, travel, etc.
  • *If can't define A, B, C, and D -- then this is not a good methodology for the question.
  • Close cousin to ACH (Analysis of Competing Hypothesis) -- but if only have a binary question, use ACH.

Which emerging disease is most likely to spread beyond it's current boundaries?
  • Avian Flu
  • SARS
  • TB
  • Hep A, B, C

Narrowing class options to MDR-TB, Avian Flu and Hep C -- matrix resembles US strategic interest matrix
*Everytime add a colum or row, increases workload. Anyway to combine estimative factors? (example: combine Health Care, Cureability, etc. because similar)

(Rough Example)
Avian Flu
Hep. C
1 = Good
3 = Bad (sicker)

Could individually look at Latency to arrive at a number:
  • How well does it hide in the body?
  • How long does it take to incubate?

Resource issue (too many?): management function -- ask boss/supervisor for more analysts

NIE Rankings

  • WHO global health ranking: divided by 5
  • HALE number

Wiki Newbies

Mike Thomas -- lived in China and speaks Chinese
Diane Chido -- Central Asia
Jen Wozny(?) -- Canadian Intelligence


1. "Beyond the Traditional Intelligence Agenda"
2. "Pharmaceutical and Biotech Technology"