The Activity Report can be used as a vague indicator about which Cities or Organizations it would be best to investigate - though collecting Red Herring Data can easily throw the chart into disarray.
This is a single document which Max possesses from the start of each mission.
Listed on the document are the names of all Cities and Organizations existing in the current Theatre of Operations. Next to each of these is a small color bar.
Initially all bars are as small as they can get. As Max gathers more information during his investigation, some of the bars will begin to grow in size, based on the information itself.
As Max acquired various types of information, such as Mentions and Clues, the CIA automatically increases the size of the bar pertaining to the subject of the information. For instance, if the KGB is Mentioned during a Wiretap, the bar for the KGB will increase slightly. If a Clue is pointing to a possible suspect in Paris, the bar for Paris will increase slightly.
This way, the Activity Report document keeps track of how often a certain city or organization is discussed in enemy documents and transmissions, and as such is a good measure for determining which city is more likely to contain a Participant in the plot, or which Organization is more likely to be involved in the plot.
The reason why this works is because Mentions and Clues tend to be about Plot Participants, their location, affiliation, etcetera. For example, an organization which is not fielding any Participants will not be Mentioned anywhere.
Or rather, that would've been how it works, if it weren't for Red Herring Data. Red Herrings and their locations/affiliations tend to be mentioned as often as Plot Participants, especially on higher difficulty levels. Therefore the bars corresponding to the Red Herring's City and Organization will also continue rising throughout your investigation. This means that on higher difficulty levels the Activity Report becomes considerably less useful (to the point of being downright useless on Global Crisis, where all bars may end up increasing!).
Viewing the Activity ReportEdit
The Activity Report itself is viewable through the Check Data menu. This menu is reachable from almost any location.
Effect on StrategyEdit
The Activity Report is meant as a "Last Resort" in case all solid leads for investigation have been exhausted. If Max has no idea what to investigate next, it's possible that the answer can be gotten from the Activity Report.
In the report, any Organization or City which is showing a long bar next to it is likely to be somehow involved in the current Plot - or at least more likely to be involved than Cities/Organizations showing smaller bars. Therefore it is often more sensible to investigate the city or organization in question, unless this has already been performed and yielded no real results.
Note that, as explained above, the Report is much more useful at lower Difficulty levels. This is due to the limited appearance of Red Herring Data, which points to agents not involved in the Plot and hence irrelevant. In higher difficulty settings, it is quite possible for a city to have the "longest" activity bar, while containing nothing but Red Herrings who are generating random Mentions of that city all over the world.
Nonetheless, if all else fails, you can always check out the Activity Report to see whether or not a city or Organization you have not yet investigated is showing high activity - this may in fact lead you to a Participant. Or not.