The Intelligence Cycle: Part 1 – Direction

The intelligence cycle is an important, detailed process used by analysts to create intelligence and answer intelligence requirements. It consists of collecting relevant information, analysing and interpreting it then providing assessments and recommendations. The intelligence cycle acts as a tool used for the creation of intelligence which informs the planning and decisions of commanders and policy makers. 

The ‘direction’ phase of the cycle is important as it gives the intelligence analyst a starting point, and provides the options available to resolve and deal with any fraud or criminal activity and allows a solution to be discovered. Specific requirements will be initially addressed in the direction stage of the cycle, such as: 

  • Why? – A background of the situation will need to be provided, along with why the intelligence is required. 
  • When? – When is the intelligence required by? 
  • Importance – How important is the situation, and how much of a priority is the intelligence? 
  • How? – How is the intelligence to be provided? For example, written, oral briefing etc. 

The infographic below provides a detailed break down of each step of the direction stage in the intelligence cycle, and how it can easily be applied to different situations in order to resolve criminal and fraudulent activities. This infographic is part of a series which will cover each stage of the intelligence cycle, with part two focusing on collection.