Posts Tagged 'intelligence'

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 both information needs and functional (and non-functional) requirements. I’ve seen many many posts about interview techniques and presentation techniques and the more I read about it, the more I come to the conclusion that those are merely tools, and not even the most important ones. No, information analysis is Art. And it was not his brush that made Rembrandt one of the biggest painters of his time.

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.

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).

Article: Achieving Actionability: How to Get Decision-Makers to Pay Attention to Intelligence

Kenneth SawkaKen Sawka once again wrote a very interesting article on their Outward Insights blog. It’s about the problem of perfectly good Competitive Intelligence simply being ignored by management. I’d like to discuss this article in more detail in this blogpost, for two reasons. Firstly because this really is a problem every CI practitioner will recognize. Sawka describes the three forces that influence the level of success in being heard by management, which I think is enlightening. Secondly because I would like to share my vision on this ever returning nuisance and provide some suggestions on how to deal with these forces. Needless to say, I would really recommend the Outward Insights blog since it contains very useful posts on Competitive Intelligence.

Article: Leaping Over the Intelligence – Decision Gap

Kenneth SawkaAnyone who worked in a CI environment knows that no matter how extensive, expensive and mature your Competitive Intelligence activities are and, more importantly, no matter how insightful and actionable your acquired intelligence may be, it is never guaranteed that the intelligence is actually used in the process of strategic planning. The same goes for decision making; it takes more than relevant, actionable intelligence to make sure decisions are taken based upon it. The following article by Kenneth Sawka, managing partner at Outward Insights, clearly describes two ways to improve the impact CI can have on both strategic planning and decision making.

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?


What kind of host would I be not to welcome you to this blog. So, welcome to this blog! Before I further introduce myself, I would like to explain the subtitle. Because one might get the wrong idea to think ‘doing’ Competitive Intelligence is something you do when things get rough. You might actually consider that, and hopefully it is not too late at that time, but it’s not what I meant. What I did mean is that every company has to cope with it’s environment – competition, customers, legislation, the weather, et cetera – and that environment is bound to be changing rapidly. More often than not more rapidly than we’d like it to change. That is what I mean with stormy weather. And stormy weather is not so bad, once you are well prepared for it.