Author Archive

Competitive Intelligence Functionality: Graphs

Graphs are strong instruments in which trends can be easily shown and recognized. Many different kinds of graphs make sure that there is a graph for every purpose. With this is mind, it won’t surprise you when I tell you that graphs are also being used in Competitive Intelligence (CI) tools. But, the use of these graphs differs from for instance Business Intelligence (BI) purposes. What is the difference and what are the challenges when using graphs in CI?

Competitive Intelligence & privacy

In our blogs, Jeroen and I talked about ethical intelligence gathering. We’ve discussed this topic from the organization point of view. I recently came across a news item which made me think about another point of view: the perspective of the one(s) the intelligence is gathered about.

The typical CI analyst

In our previous blogs, we have been constantly saying that analyzing will remain human work and that the CI analyst is of vital importance. But what does the typical CI analyst do? What makes him or her valuable? What is that piece of human work we don’t want to (or can) automate in CI tools? I will discuss these questions in this weblog.

Sentiment analysis: Is it accurate enough?

In our latest post we’ve discussed briefly the questions about the accuracy of sentiment analysis. Are the current sentiment analysis techniques accurate enough? Are humans 100% accurate in performing sentiment analysis? In this follow-up post I would like to discuss these questions more thoroughly. While discussing this, I will refer to a number of blog posts in which the accuracy of sentiment analysis is discussed.

Competitive Intelligence functionality: Sentiment Analysis

You have launched a new product onto the market, and of course you want to know how your customers feel about it. Are they happy about it? Disappointed? Or maybe you want to know how your customers (and other people) feel about your company in general? It is difficult to find reliable answers to these sorts of questions. Companies spend thousands on market research reports, only to obtain information from about a year old. What if you want to know how your customers feel now, at this very moment? The answer is sentiment analysis.

What is a proper competitive intelligence tool? (II)

In part I of this series, Jeroen discussed the information gathering and spreading framework. In this framework he discussed multiple functions. We believe a tool should offer this functionality, together with the functionality I will discuss here, in order to be named a Competitive Intelligence tool. I will discuss two frameworks in this post: the profiling framework and the analysis framework.

Copyright Challenges in Competitive Intelligence

Recently I was involved in a CI project at a large company with a mature CI environment. Part of the company’s CI infrastructure was a collection of news cuttings and a (digital) archive, both openly accessible throughout the company. They also published a daily newsletter to all employees. Copyright challenges were obviously there, but it triggered me to find out all there is to know about copyright. “Can they use this information for their purpose?”, “Should they ask the writers of the articles for permission?”, “What are the rules for copyright when conducting CI?”. In this blogpost I would like to focus on the copyright issues that arise from gathering information for Competitive Intelligence purposes. I will focus on the textual copyright only and my post is based upon the Dutch Copyright legislation (Auteursrecht). Depending on your country the rules may vary. I would like to provide you with some ‘Copyright Intelligence’, so you can go on with your Competitive Intelligence without disobeying legislation.

Being Seen instead of Sight

Panopticum BenthamCompetitive Intelligence has to do with sight. It is important to see what your competitors do, and what else is happening in your environment. Although CI is not only about sight – you also have to do something with your vision – in this blogpost I would like to focus primarily on sight. But this focus won’t be the traditional perspective (observing the environment), but the other way around (the environment observing you). I would like to discuss what visibility means for an organization. Are you aware about the information your competitors can see? In this blogpost, I would like to discuss ‘being seen’.

Practical tips: Presentation techniques

ZenAt some point, every CI (and BI) practitioner has to present something. This can be a presentation about what you want to do, about what you’ve done, or about what you’ve found. No matter why or for whom you’re presenting, it is important to transfer your message loud and clear. In the modern world of today, you can’t imagine a professional presentation without some digital help, for instance a slideshow-presentation, or a short movie. In this blogpost, I would like to discuss some methods for using a slideshow-presentation.

Article: Are you gathering competitive intelligence ethically?

As I suggested in my previous post (Article: Misrepresentation in CI: An Ethical Analysis) ethics in CI is a difficult subject. It is difficult to know where to draw the line between what can be tolerated and what absolutely cannot. Drawing this line is something each CI practitioner should do for him- or herself. Although this may be true, this doesn’t mean that there aren’t any guidelines. In my previous post I discussed an article from Julia Evans, where I outlined several positions concerning these guidelines. In this follow-up post about ethics and CI I would like to discuss the perspective of Devin Liddell as outlined in his article: “Are you gathering competitive intelligence ethically?”.