Intelligence analysts work primarily for the public sector, including the armed forces and police and security agencies, where they work in the acquisition, evaluation, analysis and assessment of secret intelligence.
Intelligence analysts - sometimes known as officers - are employed in a variety of operational roles.
Intelligence sources include signals intelligence (SIGINT) and human intelligence (HUMINT) although many different sources and analytical techniques are used.
Intelligence analysts work to protect national security and economic well-being as well as to detect and prevent serious organised crime, such as drug trafficking.
Working to government requirements and priorities, intelligence analysts may be involved in providing support to military operations and law enforcement, detecting and preventing the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear), counter-espionage and counter-terrorism, and disrupting threats to cyber security such as cyber espionage and computer network attacks.
The occupation of an intelligence analyst covers a diverse range of activities, dependent on the organisation's remit and individual's role within a team. Each role calls for its own precise mix of skills and abilities. They may differ greatly in the police, for example, compared to the intelligence and security agencies.
Colleagues may include librarians (open source/public domain information specialists), cryptanalysts and mathematicians (codes and ciphers) as well as linguists.