The final potential problem, to be discussed here, for the intelligence analyst is the lack of domain expertise; that is, an analyst cannot be expected to be an expert in all of the information domains required for a typical analysis. Critical thinking skills are required to compensate for lack of domain expertise and, also, to facilitate the development of expertise in domains that are important to current and future analyses. Closely related to this challenge is the availability of information, which might range from large volumes in some domains to very little in others. In the first case, critical thinking is required to sort out the relevant from the non-relevant from the volumes available and, in the second, to develop assumptions to be used in place of non-available facts. Another problem is language, where analysts may have to depend on translations away from original sources or where cultural information is vital to the analysis but they don’t have much prior knowledge of the culture.


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