Today we learned of the passing of Richards J. (Dick) Heuer.
So many of us were influenced by Dick Heuer and his writings. His first public writing on the discipline of intelligence analysis began in 1979 upon his retirement from the CIA. Later he would pull together his many articles to form the basis of his seminal work, Psychology of Intelligence Analysis, which helped improve the quality of intelligence analysis and became one of the most superior and lasting texts of intelligence literature.
His writings helped intelligence community analysts realize they have to confront their own human biases and always consider the right mental models when conducting analysis. He also helped many of us realize that the rush to always get more data is not always the right approach to improving analysis. There are times when we have all the data we need but do not apply the right analytical methods or let our bias creep in and cloud our judgement.
In 2010 co-authored the book Structured Analytic Techniques for Intelligence Analysis which highlight 55 structured analytic techniques. This book can help leaders in intelligence, law enforcement and business ensure they are considering the right mental models when approaching an analytical challenge.
With all the challenges facing humanity today, Heuer’s works are more important than ever. Every big challenge out there, including topics like the environment, the economy, the struggle between open societies and closed societies and healthcare, all have data associated with them. Having data does not seem to be the key issue in these domains. Having the right analytical methods and models may be far more important at this point.
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