Intelligence magazine publishes student’s work

Melanie Todd, Staff Writer

What started off as another homework project turned into a published article for a respectable Intelligence organization.

The Strategic and Competitive Intelligence Professional’s (SCIP) is the largest community of intelligence expert. Their “Competitive Intelligence” magazine published work by Mercyhurst’s Andrew Coffey, a current Master’s candidate for Applied Intelligence.

The paper started as an assignment for Associate Professor of Intelligence Kristan J. Wheaton’s Advanced Analytic Techniques class. The class as a whole examined about 10 methodologies. Students then chose a particular methodology to work on in an in-depth project.

“It actually was part of an assignment for Wheaton’s class. We had to go in-depth with one kind of methodology we did not have a lot of experience with,” Coffey said.

“You get to learn about the other methodologies through the other students and their projects.”

Coffey chose to focus on indicator analysis. Traditionally, this methodology is used in national security, but Coffey applied it to the competitive field for the semester-long project. In order to translate the methodology, Coffey researched both military applications of indicator analysis and competitive authors and writings by taking the Department’s of Defense definition and formed it into a competitive definition.

“I think translating it from a military and national security methodology to a competitive one was the most interesting part,” said Coffey.

Coffey found the methodology translated well to the hyper-competitive cyber security industry.

“I looked at Area 1 Security, a new cyber security company. I found that it is likely to be successful because it has 13 out of 15 of the indicators of success,” Coffey said.

This project has since developed into part of his thesis. Coffey broke the indicators into four main categories including funding attributes, firm attributes, founder attributes and market attributes.

“I found team founding. If you have a team of founders, you are more likely to be successful. Also, investor financing really gives some companies a leg up,” Coffey said.

Originally from the suburbs of Cleveland, Coffey graduated from Ohio State University with a bachelor’s degree in Security and Intelligence. In his career, Coffey looks to continue to merge national security with competitive intelligence.

“Hopefully, I’d like to work for some of the defense contractors down in D.C.,” Coffey said.