Overcoming the complexity of intelligence sharing

Mar 4, 2024
An effective approach to intelligence sharing offers multiple benefits to investigators. So why does it remain such a challenge?

Intelligence sharing offers investigators numerous benefits, including heightened situational awareness, improved collaboration, and faster identification of patterns and trends. By sharing information, investigators can leverage collective expertise and resources, leading to more efficient investigations and proactive measures to prevent incidents.

But despite these benefits, implementing a routine and effective approach to intelligence is difficult. Navigating the intricacies of intelligence sharing in investigations presents a formidable challenge, with various factors complicating the process and hindering stakeholder collaboration.

Dealing with overwhelming data

A significant hurdle to intelligence sharing is the overwhelming volume of data we’re faced with today. With half of investigators feeling swamped by the sheer magnitude of information, effective data transfer becomes daunting, impeding the establishment of a robust culture of intelligence sharing crucial for gaining insights into criminal activities.

Fragmentation and siloing of data

The fragmentation and siloing of data within organisations exacerbate the challenge, underscoring the need for seamless connections between internal systems and external entities.

Robust data-sharing agreements and technological solutions such as APIs are essential to bridge these gaps and facilitate efficient information exchange. This necessitates the option of ‘open’ and interoperable systems – and a concerted shift away from reliance on spreadsheets.

Compliance challenges

Compliance challenges and regulatory hurdles further complicate the exchange of sensitive data among departments, agencies, and organisations. Stringent regulations regarding data privacy and security require careful navigation to ensure legal and ethical compliance, adding layers of complexity to the sharing process.

Many intelligence and investigation professionals lack sufficient familiarity with data-sharing procedures and protocols, impeding efforts to establish effective information-sharing frameworks and hindering collaboration.

Comprehensive training and education programs are essential to equip professionals with the necessary knowledge and skills to confidently navigate matters of compliance securely and efficiently.

How to optimise your approach to intelligence sharing

Effective intelligence sharing also requires a crucial human element. Intelligence and investigations teams cannot overlook the importance of talking to one another; and building trusted relationships with operational partners. Developing familiar points of contact encourages conversations to take place and important information to be exchanged. 

In our corruption in sport webinar, Heriberto ‘Beto’ Quiroga, Head of the Integrity in Sport & Gaming program at the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), emphasised that successful cases rely on working with partners to connect the dots. “What may not mean much to one entity could mean a lot to another.” 

The FBI’s sports integrity and gaming unit doesn’t limit itself on how it receives or shares information. The more information gathered, the better the Bureau can identify new and developing trends to stay ahead of a sophisticated criminal opposition. 

“I think that some of the ways that we can improve this data sharing is by doing more of what we’re doing here [in this webinar],” said Quiroga. “Continuing that liaison work, knowing who to reach out to…” 

Joining Clue Connect – our investigation and intelligence community platform – is a great way to make new connections and join relevant working groups. 

If you’d like to learn more about how Clue can help you share intelligence more effectively, book a consultation with us today to discuss your team’s challenges.   

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