How to write up your analysis? (Part 3)

January 25, 2013

 

Continuing on this thread, the next step is to decide what to do with what you have written. Well, first, find out what your company’s records retention requirements are. Particularly, how long do you have to keep the report – and, more importantly, your work notes and materials? Where do you keep them? Why? Then adhere to them.

Why even keep them handy? Having old research and reports on hand can be very useful. If you are going to revisit the subject, it can give you a quick refresher on the subject, and highlight what you found out and what you did not. But, CI is not like a fine wine – it does not get better with age. Rather, it has a short half-life (the time after which it loses half of its accuracy/value).

 But, if it may still be good, do not automatically rely on what you found when you revisit the subject.

What?

Time has passed since you did the report. And the target has moved on. What you saw that they did may now be seen as a part of a larger or different pattern. They may have done what you anticipated. If so, wonderful. But now what does that new position mean? If they did not do what you expected, why? Did something change their expected direction? If so, what and why?

In other words, do not be caught up in this blind spot. Just because you saw things one way in the past is never a reason to see them that same way today.



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