What is Finished Intelligence?

Finished intelligence is the final product of the intelligence cycle, which is the process of collecting, analysing and evaluating information to provide insights that help decision-makers make informed choices. Finished intelligence is typically written in a concise and objective format and tailored to the specific needs of the decision-maker.

Finished intelligence can include assessments, predictions and recommendations based on the analysed data and considers the context, importance and implications of the information, summarising it all in a structured way. It is usually produced by intelligence agencies, government organisations and other groups involved in intelligence analysis.

What is raw intelligence?

Raw intelligence, also known as raw data or primary information, refers to unprocessed and unanalysed data collected from different sources. It is the basic information gathered through intelligence collection methods such as surveillance, interviews, intercepted communications or other means. Raw intelligence can include documents, reports, photographs, videos, audio recordings or any other type of information gathered without further analysis. It is the starting point of the intelligence cycle and once raw data is processed, evaluated and contextualised it produces actionable finished intelligence.

What are the five categories of finished intelligence?

The five categories of finished intelligence are:

  1. Current intelligence, which provides up-to-date information and analysis on current events, emerging threats and ongoing developments. It helps decision-makers understand the situation and make informed decisions in real-time
  • Estimative intelligence, which predicts potential outcomes based on available information and analysis. Decision-makers can then make informed judgments and assessments about future events, trends or capabilities using these predictions
  • Warning intelligence, which aims to detect and alert decision-makers to possible threats or crises in advance. This involves analysing early warning signs to identify potential threats and give timely alerts
  • National Intelligence Estimates (NIEs), which are detailed analyses that address major national security issues. They provide a holistic understanding of specific topics, considering a wide range of factors to inform policy and decision-making
  • Strategic intelligence, which provides insights into geopolitical trends, global developments, new threats and opportunities that shape national or organisational strategies. It focuses on long-term planning, policy development and strategic decision-making

These categories of finished intelligence help provide a thorough understanding of various aspects of the intelligence landscape, ranging from current events and ongoing threats to future predictions and long-term planning.

What are the different types of finished intelligence?

The different types of finished intelligence vary depending on the context and who produces them. However, these are some common types:

  • Reports: Detailed documents that contain analysis, insights and recommendations on specific subjects, such as security threats, geopolitical developments or technological developments
  • Briefings: Short presentations or summaries that present key information, analysis and recommendations to decision-makers, commonly used to give timely updates, point out critical issues or support decision-making processes
  • Assessments: Information evaluated and analysed to reach an informed conclusion on a given subject, such as threat assessments, risk assessments, capability assessments or assessments of possible scenarios
  • Strategic analysis: Explorations of long-term trends, new threats and opportunities to aid strategic decision-making that provide insights into geopolitical developments, technological advancements or other factors that can shape future strategies
  • Intelligence summaries: Short summaries of key intelligence findings, developments or events with a quick overview of the most important information and analysis to enable decision-makers to stay informed in a time-efficient way
  • Specialised products: Intelligence products tailored for specific sectors, such as military intelligence, cyber intelligence or counterterrorism intelligence, focused on providing analysis and insights relevant to their areas of expertise

What are the differences between finished and raw intelligence?

Raw intelligence is the starting point for intelligence analysis and needs further examination to uncover meaningful insights, whereas finished intelligence is the final product that is shared with decision-makers. The latter provides a complete understanding of the collected information, complete with conclusions and recommendations. It is used to support decision-making, strategic planning and operational activities. While raw intelligence is often presented in its original form, such as unprocessed data files or unedited reports, finished intelligence is delivered in a polished format, such as organised reports or video presentations. It is designed to be easily understood and used by the target audience.

How does raw intelligence become finished intelligence?

The process of converting raw intelligence into finished intelligence involves several stages. The first step is to collect raw intelligence from different sources – such as open-source intelligence (OSINT) sources. It can come in the form of reports, images or other forms of unprocessed data. This is then carefully examined to verify its credibility and reliability through cross-referencing and consistency checks. Next, the raw intelligence is put through in-depth analysis by analysts, who review the information, find patterns and assess the data in light of existing knowledge and context. Multiple pieces of intelligence are then put together to create a more holistic understanding of the subject and identify any connections.

Once fully analysed, the intelligence is assessed and evaluated in terms of its potential risks and opportunities. This is done by noting key findings, assessing their impact and examining the reliability and confidence of the conclusions. At this stage, the raw intelligence has been transformed into finished intelligence, which is assembled into a format suitable for the target audience. Finally, it is shared with the relevant stakeholders.

The process of transforming raw intelligence into finished intelligence can vary depending on the organisation, the type of intelligence and the end user’s requirements. The goal is to provide accurate, timely and actionable intelligence that supports smart decision-making.

How to extract maximum value from finished intelligence?

The Silobreaker platform addresses the challenges associated with generating finished intelligence. It simplifies the time-consuming process of gathering and organising information from different sources, including open, deep and dark web channels and via key integration partners including Mandiant and RANE. With Silobreaker, users can easily navigate and analyse this wealth of information to produce high-quality finished intelligence that enables organisations to take quick and accurate decisions.

With our platform, you can receive assessments, predictions and recommendations based on the analysed data, all summarised in a structured way. In a single workflow, you can analyse and process complex data, generate relevant reports and stay ahead of evolving cyber risks.

Find out how Silobreaker can deliver dramatic efficiency gains while helping you to meet your priority intelligence requirements (PIRs), reduce risk and response times and provide decision-makers with actionable finished intelligence faster.