Every project always has to start with a business case. And every time it all boils down to the same ingredients. No – building a CI business case is not easy. The same goes for BI for instance, but at least the benefits of a BI system are a lot easier to measure afterwards. In this article I’ll discuss the CI business case and I would love to hear your comments and experience on this.
It has been a while since I read an article as stunning as this one – ‘James Bond’ Tactics Help Companies Spy on Each Other. The article is about a former CIA agent who is now some sort of private investigator who gathers intelligence on companies for his customers – mostly a direct competitor to the company he spies on. The nature of his way of working is so strikingly blunt and inappopriate that I’m not even sure whether this article should amuse me or have me deeply worried. I’ll try to explain in below post what exactly it is that startled me and then I’d encourage you to comment on how you feel about this.
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.
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.
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.
While BI tools and solutions became a commodity – and therefore offer roughly the same functionality – CI tools are not at that stage (yet). So for that reason it is important to have a good understanding of the functionality the tools can offer to be able to determine whether or not a CI tool will suit your needs and will support your CI processes best. In this series Anne and yours truly will address some of the functionality we believe is important and that such tools should offer to be called a CI tool (in our humble opinion).
The previous posts had a bit of an open end, for which I apologize. So by popular demand, in this post I will reveal what happened to my restaurant after I started practitioning CI. Did I manage to turn the Thursday evening into a profitable night, inspired by my competitor but without losing my identity? And what else did it bring me to reward my invested time? Also, I pointed out that you don’t necessarily need fancy tools to support a CI system at this maturity level. I will show you what I accomplished with little or no investment in tooling, creating a system to support my activities.
In the previous post we investigated whether or not I should consider practitioning Competitive Intelligence in my restaurant ‘Chez Jérôme’. We designed a partial action plan based on my strategic goals and based upon that, I decided that it was most definitely useful to invest some time and effort (and scarce means) in CI. In this post I will focus on the next steps, now that we decided to go through with our Competitive Intelligence ventures. I will also address some tools that you can use to support your process, which are by the way not Competitive Intelligence tools because that is too big an investment for the size of my restaurant (see my post “The Synergy between Competitive Intelligence and Social Media” for my definition of competitive intelligence tools).
When we hear success stories on Competitive Intelligence (or other related professions such as Business Intelligence), the companies in question often have mature CI systems in place, with lots of supporting software, contracts with (expensive) content providers or news sources and many CI professionals to support decision makers in their tough task of guiding their company through stormy weather. Of course that makes sense because these companies have much more visibility in the market than small companies, the stakes are higher and the struggle to beat competition is drawing more attention, especially when it is a publicly traded company. But that doesn’t mean that smaller companies with ditto budgets cannot gain serious advantage by practitioning CI. In fact I think the effect per invested coin of your choice may even be larger and CI may even be more vital for these companies. Let’s have a closer look at that in this post.
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.