Analysis Tools for Investigators
In this chapter we will introduce you to a series of analysis tools to aid you in conducting your investigation. These tools are valuable to all sorts of investigators, but they are especially useful when dealing with a lot of information and difficult cases. In this chapter we will examine tools that are helpful in revealing relationships and visualizing time-based data. In Chapter 13, we will take a look at investigative inference networks, a powerful tool for following the logic of your case.
Although we have broken these tools into two categories, there is some overlap. The associational tools that we cover in this chapter are well suited to identifying relationships among people, places, and organizations—practically anything. The temporal analysis tools you will learn about also can prove valuable in analyzing relationships; however, they are most powerful in analyzing time-based relationships. We have chosen the categories based on the strengths of each tool. As new types of investigations arise, we urge you to be creative in how you apply them.
Why Use Analysis Tools at All?
For years, criminal intelligence analysts have recognized the value of graphic tools in helping to visualize relationships. Whether the relationship under observation is between people, businesses, or transactions, analysts have been using some form of associational analysis for a long time.
What began as simple link diagramming has expanded. ...