The analytical process focuses on use and development of intelligence to direct law enforcement goals, both for short-term operational aims and for long-term strategic reasons.
The scope of analysis and its overall reliability is dependent on the level and accuracy of acquired information, combined with the skills of the analyst. Analysis is a repeated process, which can be performed to help with all types of law enforcement objectives.
Different types of crimes and criminal operations require different scenarios, but in all circumstances, the information used should not be pre-filtered through an artificially and haphazardly imposed selective grid. Data integration is the first part of the analytical process. It involves joining information from different sources in planning for the formulation of inferences. Various techniques may be used to display this information, the most common being the use of charting techniques:
- Link charting —shows the association between entities highlighting in the investigation
- Event charting—shows the chronological associations between entities or sequences of events.
- Commodity flow charting—explores the movement of money, stolen goods, narcotics, or other commodities.
- Activity charting—identifies activities involved in a criminal operation
- Financial profiling—identifies hidden income of business entities or individuals and to identify indicators of economic crime
- Frequency charting —organize, summarize and interpret quantitative information.
- Data correlation —illustrates the associations between different variables.