The Role of Intelligence

Why Intelligence is Employed

What is the Role of Intelligence?

“The Role of Intelligence is to reduce a decision-maker’s uncertainty and inform their decision, to increase the likelihood it results in the outcome they intend”

The Football Scout

To give you an example of what we mean by the definition above, consider a football scout. Her job is to watch footballers that play for other teams to identify those that are likely to be a good fit for the team that employs her. She then creates reports on those players, detailing their skills and attributes, and feeds them back to the manager of the team.

By reading scouts’ reports to gain an insight into the skills and attributes of available players before choosing which one to sign, it is more likely that the player the manager signs will be a good fit for the team than if she just signed any available player at random.

Or, put another way:

By using intelligence to reduce uncertainty and inform their decision, it is more likely that the decision the customer takes will result in the outcome they intend.

What the role of intelligence is not

You may have noticed that the words “reduce” and “inform” were in bold in the definition above. This is to highlight that:

“The Role of Intelligence is to reduce a decision-maker’s uncertainty and inform their decision, it is not to remove the decision-maker’s uncertainty nor is it to make their decision for them”

The decision is ultimately the responsibility of the decision-maker, not the person or organisation producing the intelligence.

If we stick with our football example, the scout may be responsible for highlighting the players they assess will be the best fit for the team, but they do not decide which ones to sign. That is ultimately the responsibility of the manager, who will either get the glory or the blame depending on how it works out.

Found this interesting? Feel free to follow me on LinkedIn for more intelligence content.

Join the conversation

or to participate.