Structured Analytic Techniques – An Introduction

Expand your intelligence analysis expertise. Learn how to apply a variety structured analytic techniques to your work, including problem restatement; divergent/convergent; pros-cons-and-fixes; and sorting, chronologies and timelines.

Enroll in ICAT103

About This Intelligence Community Course

This course is the first in a four-part FedLearn learning series.

In this course, we explore a variety of foundational structured analytic techniques topics, including:

  • Why intelligence analysis and structuring are not the same thing
  • Why the failure to consider alternatives is a common cause of flawed intelligence analysis
  • How structuring helps to organize the data you analyze
  • Why there is no one method that will solve all your analytical woes

We also cover the art and science of intelligence analysis, the differences between intuitive and structured approaches, system 1 and system 2 thinking and how structuring can impact our thinking.

You will learn about troublesome instinctive mental traits—emotions that can overwhelm our power to reason that lead to:

  • Jumping to a conclusion, a hunch or intuition
  • Perceiving patterns where none exists
  • Having biases that can lead to quick conclusions and reactions, sometimes at the expense of truth
  • Finding explanations, which go along with our compulsion to see cause-and-effect relationships and other patterns
  • Subconsciously misrepresenting evidence in intelligence analysis
  • Having the tendency to cling to false beliefs in the face of incontrovertible contradictory evidence by rationalizing away the disparity

In addition, you will participate in activities that may reveal these problematic proclivities in your thinking to help avoid some common analytic missteps.

We wrap up the course by looking at a tangible example of what it means to structure intelligence analysis.

The course aligns to the Defense Intelligence Agency Certified Defense All-Source Analyst certification Body of Knowledge Topic Area 5 – Structured Analytic Techniques.

What You Will Learn

  • Explain how structuring can aid one’s analysis
  • Discuss the seven problematic proclivities that negatively influence our thinking

Who Should Take This Course

This course is intended for new intelligence analysts working for eitherFfederal government agencies or government contractor companies who have little to no prior experience and want to develop the basic skills necessary to produce logically sound, descriptive intelligence analyses. It is also an excellent refresher for more experienced intelligence analysts.


This course is the first in a four-part FedLearn learning series.

Prior completion of the Critical Thinking course is strongly recommended.

After finishing this course, it is highly recommended to take the second course in the series, Structured Analytic Techniques: Basic Techniques (ICAT114), to continue to advance your knowledge.

Course Certificate

To achieve a course certificate of completion, you must score 80 percent or higher on graded lesson quizzes and a final exam.

Course Format

Self-paced, online training course

Course Pricing

Individual courses are $124.99 (per person)

Seat licenses to access the entire FedLearn Intelligence Community catalog a re also available. Click here to learn more and purchase

If you are interested in learning about special team rates for Federal government and government contractor organizations, email [email protected].

Continuing Education Unit Credits

This course provides .8 CEUs.