What kind of host would I be not to welcome you to this blog. So, welcome to this blog! Before I further introduce myself, I would like to explain the subtitle. Because one might get the wrong idea to think ‘doing’ Competitive Intelligence is something you do when things get rough. You might actually consider that, and hopefully it is not too late at that time, but it’s not what I meant. What I did mean is that every company has to cope with it’s environment – competition, customers, legislation, the weather, et cetera – and that environment is bound to be changing rapidly. More often than not more rapidly than we’d like it to change. That is what I mean with stormy weather. And stormy weather is not so bad, once you are well prepared for it.
Enough about the subtitle, let’s talk about me for a short while. During the last five years, my occupations have had something to do with Business Intelligence. In my opinion – and I know definitions vary – Business Intelligence is about you, your company and it’s performance. Very useful of course to know how you are doing, how your internal processes perform, so that you can react on things going south (because when gauges are in the green zone, you are doing great and you need not respond). So now you are in a car that is doing fine, according to your dashboard, engine is running properly, plenty of oil, gas and windshield cleaner. Now tell me, how often did you drive by just looking inside your car, at the dashboard? Hopefully, you answered ‘never’ to that (silly) question. But it more or less illustrates that knowing the performance of your company is only one part of the puzzle. You need a clear view around you, to see how your fellow drivers are doing, to notice that there is a strong turn coming up, or a traffic sign ahead. Similar, your company wants to know how your competition is doing. It also would like to see what opportunities and threats are out there, caused by changes in legislation, technological development, demographic effects, et cetera. It was during those BI related occupations that I learned about the need for that other part of the puzzle, Competitive Intelligence.
I’m of course not the one who created this thought. Rodenberg wrote about it, for example, and calls it Enterprise Intelligence in one of his books. And I’m quite sure he didn’t invent it either. But it’s interesting to see how many organisations actually have mature BI and CI competences. How on earth can you make any decisions if you don’t know where you stand, let alone if apart from that you haven’t the faintest idea how well you perform in comparison to your competition? That, my dear readers, is my mission. And in this blog, I would like to discuss this vision, bring up news and developments that I run into and hopefully learn from your comments, opinions and experiences as well.