What character traits are essential in an Intelligence Analyst?

What character traits are essential in an Intelligence Analyst? Two most important attributes in Intelligence must possess are creativity and rigid morality.

Bearing in mind that we only see that which our conscious mind becomes aware of, what character traits are essential in an Intelligence Analyst? (If the vessel is damaged it cannot hold and preserve the precious material placed within.)
Additionally would these character traits hinder or support an analyst if they subsequently became a field agent; if so what does this mean for the Intelligence Community?


A major trait is to recognize that not all theories are just theories. Conspiracies do exist and through analysis are uncovered. Often a minor lead brings one to larger leads. Willingness to disregard a dead end and dogging on. What is a "damaged vessel"? It may be a slightly flawed vessel, while not perfect may indeed be utilized for the purpose. To analyse one must be able to bring sometimes disjointed bits of information to a segment or to fill a hole in existing data. Very much as if one is troubleshooting a complex system.

A relentless determination is a good trait in an analyst. They often progress quickly to junior and middle management but they make poor analysts and often harass skilled analysts until the entire department becomes bland. No amount of reading would improve this type of "flawed vessel"; as they will only see what they expect to see in the written material.

The most important characteristic for great intelligence analysis is subject mater expertise. If the analyst has deep knowledge of the area of intelligence being analyzed he/she can form a large set of reasonable hypotheses and can then apply available data to reinforce or dispute these hypotheses, eventually narrowing the number that need to be considered. This, in turn, allows the analyst to direct data collection in an intelligent way to continue to narrow the hypotheses until the best estimate can be made.

The ability to detect and assess data validity, while maintaining a healthy mix of ADHD, Loyalty and OCD.

Look for the slightest possibilities and think what would the bad guys do. It made several good finds following threads that no one else cared about.

There is no perfect set of traits for a single analyst.

Tenacity, curiosity, intellect.

Intelligence is the product of reflexivity .

For a member of any Law Enforcement Agency, strong character (honesty, dedication and impartial) is must while for intelligence operator the latest knowledge about the trends, techniques of collection and collation of intelligence must be well known. Moreover the experience of the field is necessary.

Integrity, Transparency with team at all times, Mission before self, Self-critical, Divergent thinker.

This is not a character trait but you will need to have a broad general culture in order to understand what's going on & to answer to the other 4 W (who, when, where, why). Indeed, your general culture will help you to discover weaknesses, strengths, leverage points etc. Loyalty is the essential character trait for an analyst.