What is Competitive Intelligence?

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Over the past four decades, competitive intelligence (CI) has become a critical function in nearly all Global 1000 companies, but many executives still misunderstand its meaning and impact.

Competitive Intelligence 1.0 defined the activity as the ethical collection and analysis of information that led to a decision. But in Competitive Intelligence 2.0, the definition has changed.

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COMPETITIVE INTELLIGENCE IS...

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Not spying. Competitive intelligence is the legitimate strategic and tactical research and analysis designed to identify threats and opportunities.

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Not a crystal ball. Competitive intelligence is a process to alert management and give corporations good approximations of reality, near- and long-term.

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Not a simple Google search. Competitive intelligence is a means to identify competitive gaps and determine strategy.

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Not one-size-fits-all. Competitive intelligence comes in many flavors and formats – some very formal and structured, others informal.

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Not useful if no one is listening. Competitive intelligence is a way for companies to improve their bottom line, if management is willing to act on the insights they receive.

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Not a job for one, smart person. Competitive intelligence is a process and a way of life for everyone in the corporation.

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Not a fad. Competitive intelligence has deep roots in business history – in fact, it’s been around as long as business itself.

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Not driven by software or technology. Competitive intelligence is directed by management and based on critical analysis, a process of people reviewing and making sense of the information.

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Not based on internal assumptions about the market. Competitive intelligence is a way for a company to see outside itself into the broader market and competitive landscape.

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Not a spreadsheet. Competitive intelligence can be the result of qualitative as well as quantitative analysis.

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Competitive Intelligence 2.0

Com•pet•i•tive In•tel•li•gence 2.0 (kəmˈpetətiv/ inˈtelijəns):  The delivery of timely, in-depth competitive and global insight while helping decision-makers illuminate the uncertainties of tomorrow’s market.

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