Posts Tagged 'CI tools'

The typical CI analyst: Man versus Machine

In her previous post, Anne discussed the role of CI analysts. In this follow-up post I’d like to discuss their raison d’être. Is the human brain replaceable in the competitive intelligence process? Can it be fully automated at some point in time, using processor power instead of brain power?

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.

What is a proper competitive intelligence tool? (I)

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).

Competitive Intelligence – Think Big, Start Small (III)

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.

Competitive Intelligence – Think Big, Start Small (II)

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).

Competitive Intelligence – Think Big, Start Small (I)

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.

The synergy between Competitive Intelligence and Social Media

social_media_strategiesI have to make an apology for the misleading title, because this post is not about competitive intelligence and social media. At least, not the combination that is so often described as synergy in its purest form. I cannot help thinking that some (more or less) highly respected people write about social media (in some cases related to Competitive Intelligence or any other underestimated and underappreciated profession) because writing about social media scores. I really encourage everyone to draw attention to my beloved profession, but do not do it by stating nonsense, please! You might as well write about CI in relation to Britney Spears or Tiger Woods.