RESENDING - MUST READ Fwd: source evaluations - must read

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Al-Akhbar Management

Date 2011-08-10 21:05:56
From [email protected]
To [email protected]
Others Listname: mailto:[email protected]
MessageId: <[email protected]>
InReplyTo: [email protected]
It has come to my attention that if something is sent at night it is not seen as valuable as if it were sent during 8a-5p so I'm resending this. This needs to change. We operate 24/7. This is mandatory for everyone to read and process.

I also resent the insight lists this morning with the correct spreadsheet. That is also mandatory reading. If you need me to resend that as well, let me know.

If there are any questions, please ask. I will send an email later today or tomorrow on the intel meeting next week as mentioned in another email also sent last night.


-------- Original Message --------

Subject: [alpha] source evaluations - must read
Date: Tue, 09 Aug 2011 21:51:43 -0500
From: Jennifer Richmond
Reply-To: Alpha List
To: Alpha List , [email protected]

This is the first in several emails on our sourcing and insight collections. To begin with, we will be meeting with everyone who has sources to evaluate them on the criteria and scoring below. I will be in touch with everyone who has a source list within the next few weeks. If you have sources but no source list, then you need to create one. I will give details on this in a separate email.

All of those who need to update or create their list need to do so by Monday and send them to both myself and Anya. If you need a source code number range, email me and I will get this set up for you so you can start the process. For analysts with compiled lists with uncoded sources, please code these ASAP unless they are genuinely a one-off and then give an explanation.

In the meantime, it would be best if everyone with sources start to evaluate each source by looking at least the past five insights and start to score them based on the criteria and scoring below so you are not scrambling when we are ready to set up an evaluation with you. Also, from here on out, start to think about sources with these criteria and scoring in mind. This will be the first of many periodic insight evaluations so its best for everyone to get acquainted with this method.

For Watch Officers, please also start to think along these lines when you are reading insight. In the future we will also look to you as objective source evaluators. Also, please start to read the insight carefully and comment on it the same as you would a piece from OS. As Reva said in our meeting today, we are starting to refocus on intel and insight. As Watch Officers, you are well placed to comment on any anomalies presented in insights and compare it with what is being said in the media.

If there are any questions or concerns, please ask.


Sourcing Criteria

The following are the proposed criteria for analyzing both sources and insight.

1. Source Timeliness

2. Source Accessibility/Position

3. Source Availability

4. Insight Credibility

5. Insight Uniqueness

Source Timeliness: This is the average grade on how long this particular source turns around tasks and replies to inquiries. It may change but is more of a static indicator.

Source Accessibility: Accessibility weighs the source's position to have certain knowledge in a particular field. So, for example, if we are looking for energy insight and the source is an official in an energy agency, his or her Accessibility would be ranked higher than if s/he was a banker giving insight on energy. While we would welcome a banker giving his/her insight, a good source may not have a high accessibility ranking if they aren't in a position to offer reliable insight on a certain topic. The source's access to decision makers, specific training or education in the desired topic area, specific knowledge of events/situations/incidents can also be considered.

Source Availability: How often can we go to this source? Are they someone we can tap daily, weekly, monthly, yearly?

Insight Credibility: This is our assessment of the veracity of the insight offered. Here we need to consider whether or not this is disinformation, speculation, correct data or knowledgeable interpretation. Any bias that the source is displaying or any specific viewpoints or personal background the source is using in the assessment provided should also be considered.

Insight Uniqueness: Is this insight something that could be found in OS? If it is but the analysis of the information is unique, it would still have a high uniqueness ranking. Or, if it is concrete data, but is something that is only offered to industry insiders, i.e. stats that aren't published but that aren't secret, it would still have a high uniqueness score.


All of the above factors will be scored on an A-F scale, with A being exemplary and F being useless.

Source Timeliness:

A = turnaround within 24 hours

B = turnaround within 48 hours

C = turnaround within a week

D = turnaround within a month

F = lucky to receive a reply at all

Source Accessibility:

A = Someone with intimate knowledge of the particular insight

B = Someone within the industry but whose knowledge of the topic is not exact (e.g. if we were asking someone in the oil industry about natural gas)

C = Someone working close to the industry who doesn't have intimate knowledge of a particular topic but can speak to it intelligently (e.g. a financial consultant asked to gauge the movement of the stock market)

D = Someone who may know a country but doesn't have any concrete insight into a particular topic but can offer rumors and discussions heard on the topic

F = Someone who has no knowledge of a particular industry at all

Source Availability:

A = Available pretty much whenever

B = Can tap around once a week

C = Can tap about once a month

D = Can tap only several times a year

F = Very limited availability

Insight Credibility:

A = We can take this information to the bank

B = Good insight but maybe not entirely precise

C = Insight is only partially true

D = There may be some interest in the insight, but it is mostly false or just pure speculation.

F = Likely to be disinformation

Insight Uniqueness:

A = Can't be found anywhere else

B = Can only be found in limited circles

C = Insight can be found in OS, but the source has an interesting take/analysis

D = Insight can be found in OS, but still may not be common knowledge

F = Insight is accessible in numerous locations

Jennifer Richmond
China Director
Director of International Projects
(512) 422-9335
[email protected]


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