Competitive Intelligence

A broad definition of competitive intelligence is the action of defining, gathering, analyzing, and distributing intelligence about products, customers, competitors and any aspect of the environment needed to support executives and managers in making strategic decisions for an organization.

Key points of this definition:

  1. Competitive intelligence is an ethical and legal business practice, as opposed to industrial espionage which is illegal.
  2. The focus is on the external business environment.
  3. There is a process involved in gathering information, converting it into intelligence and then utilizing this in business decision making. Some CI professionals erroneously emphasize that if the intelligence gathered is not usable (or actionable) then it is not intelligence.

A more focused definition of CI regards it as the organizational function responsible for the early identification of risks and opportunities in the market before they become obvious. Experts also call this process the early signal analysis. This definition focuses attention on the difference between dissemination of widely available factual information (such as market statistics, financial reports, newspaper clippings) performed by functions such as libraries and information centers, and competitive intelligence which is a perspective on developments and events aimed at yielding a competitive edge.

The term CI is often viewed as synonymous with competitor analysis, but competitive intelligence is more than analyzing competitors — it is about making the organization more competitive relative to its entire environment and stakeholders: customers, competitors, distributors, technologies, macro-economic data etc.

Read more about Competitive IntelligenceHistoric Development, Principles, Distinguishing From Similar Fields, Ethics

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Craig Fleisher - Background, Education and Academic Career
... He is considered an expert in the business or competitive intelligence and analysis area based on the number of cited pieces (see Google Scholar for the most current citation counts of his work) he has ... He was recognized for his lifetime contributions to the field of competitive intelligence by being named the international Meritorious award winner and Fellow of the Society of Competitive Intelligence ...
Intelligence Cycle (target-centric Approach) - Target-centric Analysis - Intelligence Process
... The most common view of the intelligence process is the model known as the intelligence cycle ... The intelligence community often discusses the problems with this pure model and offers multiple approaches to solving them ... Likewise, when the decision-maker receives an intelligence estimate, he or she should have the opportunity to ask questions concerning not only how the analyst reached a ...
Competitive Intelligence - Ethics
... generated on this topic, most prominently addressed through Society of Competitive Intelligence Professionals publications ... The book Competitive Intelligence Ethics Navigating the Gray Zone provides nearly twenty separate views about ethics in CI, as well as another 10 codes used by various individuals or organizations ... Competitive information may be obtained from public or subscription sources, from networking with competitor staff or customers, disassembly of competitor products or from field research ...
Craig Fleisher - Other Professional Experience
... his work in academia, Fleisher has served as President of the Board of Directors of the Society of Competitive Intelligence Professionals (Alexandria, Virginia, USA), inaugural chair of the ...
Commercial Intelligence
... Commercial Intelligence is the highest and most comprehensive form of legal, ethical open source intelligence as practiced by diverse international and localized ... Competitive intelligence focuses primarily on competitors and their capabilities within shared market spaces ... Business intelligence is a mis-nomer for data mining and enterprise dashboards that present useful patterns or distillations of internal information to the executive ...

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