Posts Tagged 'competitor intelligence'

Book review: Competitive Intelligence Advantage by Seena Sharp

Seena Sharp truly is a thought leader on Competitive Intelligence (CI) and definitely one of the best authors of this moment on the profession. She proves this with her book, Competitive Intelligence Advantage, in which she continuously stresses the importance of actionable knowledge regarding a company’s competitive landscape. She emphasizes the scope of CI and clearly explains the difference between CI and for instance market research, marketing intelligence and other related professions. By doing this she contributes to branding CI with great authority. In fact, one might even say Sharp is too keen on underlining the true nature of the profession by constantly emphasizing what Competitive Intelligence is – and is not. It is almost as if she is convinced the reader is in total disagreement. Be that as it may, the bottom line is that in the end she makes sure you agree with her.

I don’t need Competitive Intelligence, I work for the Government!?

Recently I visited a BI-seminar where I exhibited on Competitive Intelligence basics. Afterwards I spoke to several people who wanted to discuss whether or not Competitive Intelligence would do them any good. Especially government or semi-government employees struggled with the necessity of CI in their particular situation. “We don’t have competitors” was one of the most heard phrases. Most likely that isn’t even true, but even if it is, I’d like to quote Seena Sharp here from her excellent book “Competitive Intelligence Advantage” where she explains the difference between competitor and competitive intelligence:

What’s in a name

ICT jargon is funny. Names come and go, mostly before they ever reach the state of maturity. Some topics and/or names are hot this year and totally taboo the next. Then of course there are silly names that do not properly describe what they actually are, but for some reason are generally used. The various subtopics of intelligence are no exception. You have Business Intelligence, Competitive Intelligence, Marketing Intelligence, Competitor Intelligence, Enterprise Intelligence, et cetera. In a way they describe what they actually are, but a lot of people do not use them properly anymore. And with properly I suppose I mean that they lost the original meaning somewhere along the path. Business Intelligence for example is now commonly seen as a reporting solution for management information, accompanied by a datawarehouse. But is that really what it is about?