Is CI the Elixir of Immortality?
Every once in a while it happens: you read an article that triggers you in so many layers of your brain that your thoughts immediately begin to wander off uncontrollably. It happens to me anyway, for example with this article I read about social business ...
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 ...
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 ...
The Art of information analysis, or the biggest misconceptions of interviewing
If you are in any way participant in intelligence projects from an end user or consultant perspective (BI, CI, MI or whatever I) you will most likely also participate in the process of information analysis. Previously, we have defined this as the process of gathering ...
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 ...
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 ...
Posts Tagged 'ethics'
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 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).
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?”.
When practitioning Competitive Intelligence, you always balance on the line between what information is available, and what information isn’t, but can be made available. In the latter situation the question is at what price this information can be obtained. Does it involve a visit to the competitor’s showroom while portraying oneself as a customer? Or making employees of your competitor believe they are participating in a market research project while you’re collecting interesting information for your own benefit? When thinking about these situations, questions about ethics come forward. According to Julia Evans, the writer of the interesting paper ‘Misrepresentation in CI: An Ethical Analysis’, the most common ethical questions in CI concern misrepresentation:
About Jeroen van Luik
Since 2004 I have been working with Business Intelligence solutions, formerly in the role of end user and currently as a BI and CI business consultant at Dink Intelligence, part of Redwood International Business Group. As challenging as Business Intelligence may be, I felt like there was more. Gradually I started working in the field of Competitive Intelligence, which I have been doing since early 2006. Unlike BI, Competitive Intelligence is less obvious and less commonly accepted. This blog is hopefully contributing to changing that.
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About Anne van den Brink
I am working as a BI and CI business consultant at Dink Intelligence. I hope I can provide useful information about what CI is, but also what it can be. It is exciting to work in such a dynamic field, and writing about CI is a challenging task I gladly accept.
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