In this chapter, the authors introduce policy analysis by identifying its place within the creation and application of public policy knowledge. They consider where policy analysts can be found and what sorts of things they do. The authors discuss the sorts of skills most essential for success. Executive agencies, including budget and planning offices, usually do have some personnel whose major responsibility is policy analysis. Analysts on the Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) do not play as direct a role in the budgetary process and, therefore, retain greater freedom to adopt the broad perspective of social costs and benefits. While policy research draws most heavily from substantively oriented professional fields like public health and environmental science, and from the academic disciplines of economics and sociology, policy process research draws most heavily from political science. Consultants who pander to the prejudices of their clients at the expense of analytical honesty are sometimes described as hired guns or beltway bandits.