Intelligence analysts gather information in a variety of ways, including online searches, physical investigation, electronic means, and the management of sources. If you work in an intelligence analyst job, you'll quickly learn that you can get information from people in a number of different ways. Once you have this information, you can then confer with other intelligence analysts within your organization to go over the data and use it to help with your investigations. Here are three different ways that it's possible to obtain information from sources as an intelligence analyst.
Developing Confidential Informants
Those within the intelligence community frequently rely upon confidential informants to pass along relevant and helpful information. A confidential informant is frequently someone who receives some form of compensation for his or her help. You may have a number of confidential informants whom your intelligence agency pays a nominal fee around a regular schedule, provided that these informants continue to supply you with pertinent information. Often, confidential informants are from the underworld in some manner — for example, it could be a low-level criminal passing you information about a criminal leader.
Making Clandestine Connections
Intelligence analysts also gather information in the field from sources without revealing the nature of their work. This undercover work requires you to make contacts with people — often developing these relationships over a series of months — so that they eventually begin to share information with you. This type of information gathering can often be dangerous and requires ample training. You'll often misrepresent yourself in an effort to get people to trust you. For example, you might suggest that you have a criminal record in order to get close to those in the underworld, all for the purpose of gathering information about those who are operating outside of the law.
Detaining And Questioning People
Yet another way to obtain information from people is to detain and question them. Often, you'll do so in cooperation with different law enforcement agencies. They may take care of the detainment process, and you'll arrive to go through the questioning. Such individuals may not necessarily receive charges that relate to the reason they were detained. Often, if you feel as though they've cooperated adequately, you'll choose to release them without charges. The threat of an arrest can often be an effective strategy for getting these individuals to talk, especially if the nature of the potential charges against them could be serious.