Mitigating Information Overload: The Impact of 'Context-Based Approach' to the Design of Tools for Intelligence Analysts [open pdf - 311KB]
"With the explosion of available data from a variety of sources, it has become increasingly difficult to keep pace with the amount of arriving data, extract actionable information, and integrate it with prior knowledge. Add to that the pressures of today's fusion center climate and it becomes clear that analysts, police officers, and executives' ability to make rapid, sound decisions is severely compromised. The combination of circular reporting and the complexity of data sources are contributing to information overload. Law enforcement agencies realize this cannot be resolved by continuing to hire more intelligence analysts. Instead, they must begin leveraging technology. The Illinois State Police is utilizing a technology artifact in its Statewide Terrorism and Intelligence Center (STIC) which incorporates technology built from the context of these users. This thesis uses a survey instrument to evaluate the effectiveness of this technology on reducing circular reporting and the handling of complex data sources. The findings conclude that intelligence analysts within STIC perceive that information overload exists, and both the complexity of data sources as well as circular reporting minimizes their effectiveness and efficiency. Furthermore, this technology effectively improves these negative effects, and increases the STIC's ability to better serve communities."
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