How analysts think: think-steps as a tool for structuring sensemaking in criminal intelligence analysis

Selvaraj, Nallini, Attfield, Simon ORCID logoORCID:, Passmore, Peter J. ORCID logoORCID: and Wong, B. L. William ORCID logoORCID: (2016) How analysts think: think-steps as a tool for structuring sensemaking in criminal intelligence analysis. 2016 European Intelligence and Security Informatics Conference (EISIC). In: 2016 European Intelligence and Security Informatics Conference (EISIC), 17-19 Aug 2016, Uppsala, Sweden. ISBN 9781509028573. [Conference or Workshop Item] (doi:10.1109/EISIC.2016.019)

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Sensemaking has been described as a process involving information structuring. However, there are few detailed accounts of how this manifests in practice, particularly in relation to the creation and use of external representations such as data visualisations, and how such structuring aids sensemaking. To explore these questions in depth, we present an interview study of police crime analysts from which a model of their analysis process is developed. We describe the model focusing on the notion of 'think-steps', which for the analysts acted as a primary structuring concept. We describe how 'think-steps' propagate throughout the analysis process captured in the model. For the analysts, 'think-steps' are extensible templates that decompose a case into elements, provide a way of storing and visually structuring data, support generation of requests for information, focus research, simulate a case, and shape reporting. We reflect on the implications that our findings might have for design, including the possibility of a repertoire of evolving, sharable and reusable templates for sensemaking within a community of practice.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Research Areas: A. > School of Science and Technology > Computer Science
Item ID: 22103
Notes on copyright: © 2016 IEEE. Personal use of this material is permitted. Permission from IEEE must be obtained for all other uses, in any current or future media, including reprinting/republishing this material for advertising or promotional purposes, creating new collective works, for resale or redistribution to servers or lists, or reuse of any copyrighted component of this work in other works.
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Depositing User: Simon Attfield
Date Deposited: 07 Mar 2018 18:12
Last Modified: 29 Nov 2022 21:39

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