Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Effectiveness of Multi-Criteria Intelligence Matrices in Intelligence Analysis


Lindsey Jakubchak examines the use of Multi-Criteria Intelligence Matrices (MCIM), which focuses on likely Courses of Action (COA) to be taken by external organizations. This differs from the conventional form of MCDM, which typically concentrates on an organization’s own COA.


MCDM is a well-known method for determining a course of action based upon a variety of different criteria, goals, and objectives. There are a variety of different models and theories, the application of which are used in a wide variety of enterprises. The author proposes converting MCDM into an intelligence methodology termed the Multi-Criteria Intelligence Matrices. Instead of focusing on internal goals and priorities, MCIM is meant to analyze likely COAs for external organizations, while aiding both efficiency and thoroughness.

In order to test MCIM as an intelligence tool, Jakubchak conducted an experiment using two groups, a control group and an experimental group. Both groups were given the same real life intelligence scenario, asking about the future relationship between Russia and OPEC. However, the experimental group was given a 35-minute introduction to MCIM and its use, while the control group was merely given the question. Prior to the test, the control group indicated that they were both more interested in the topic and also more knowledgeable about the relationship between Russia and OPEC.

Interestingly, after the experiment was finished, the experimental group produced a larger number of COAs than the control group, did so in less time, and yet felt more strongly that they had been given adequate time to complete the task. Unfortunately, the issue that the groups were analyzing was not resolved within the timeframe of the project, so the accuracy of the MCIM could not be measured. In addition to being timelier and more efficient, the experimental group also expressed higher analytic confidence in their work and, due to the incorporation of various COAs in their analysis, maintained higher objectivity while incorporating alternative analysis, something that many members of the control group failed to do.

While the accuracy of MCIM remains in question, the author contends that the potential benefits warrant giving it a further look. The experiment indicates a positive influence on efficiency, analytic confidence, and objectivity. Furthermore, the table matrix allows for quick review and adaptation should unforeseen circumstances arise that could potentially alter an organization’s COA.


Jakubchak, L. N. (2009). The Effectiveness of Multi-Criteria Intelligence Matrices in Intelligence Analysis. Conference Papers -- International Studies Association, 1-27. Retrieved from:


  1. I also found this article online, and thought it was very informational. I felt that it was really helpful in better explaining MCIM, instead of further focusing on MCDM which is something we are all more familiar with.