WHAT IS COMPETITIVE INTELLIGENCE?
“Competitive Intelligence (CI) is a systematic and ongoing process for gathering and analysing information to derive actionable insights about competitors, the competitive environment and trends in order to further the organisation’s business goals.” ~ Adapted from Fleisher & Bensoussan, 2003
- Competitive Intelligence is concerned with the ethical and legal competitive strategy companies use to monitor their competitors, identify growth opportunities, understand their own competitive position and improve their performance.
- Competitive Intelligence helps organisations sustain their competitive advantage by providing actionable insights and reliable input to decision makers at operational, tactical or strategic levels.
- The Competitive Intelligence process can identify and project strategies that current or future competitors might pursue by providing a predictive, future oriented assessment of potential implications. Its purpose is to out-manoeuvre, out-wit and out-smart competitors by picking up weak, ambiguous signals from the market place.
The true value of a holistic Competitive Intelligence system is the management of risk associated with strategic decision-making.
Competitive Intelligence seeks to reduce the cost of executive decisions based on poor information by combining:
- Human intelligence techniques
- Communication processes
- Technology providing an effective knowledge management and dissemination platform
A systematic Competitive Intelligence process is based on the following cycle:
- Focus: Determine key business issues that need to be addressed
- Collect: Efficiently search and collate information to resolve the issues under investigation
- Analyse: Understand the future implications of emerging threats and opportunities
- Action: Disseminate and utilise the knowledge generated to minimise decision risk