Competitive intelligence is the action of defining, gathering, analyzing, and distributing intelligence about products, customers, competitors and related factors, to support executives and managers in making strategic decision. CI is typically the organizational function responsible for the early identification of risks and opportunities in the market before they become obvious. This definition focuses attention on the difference between widely available factual information (such as market statistics, financial reports, newspaper clippings) performed by functions such as libraries and information centers, versus deeper insights on events aimed at yielding a competitive edge.
Competitive intelligence can be both strategic and tactical. Strategic Intelligence focuses on the longer term, looking at issues affecting a company’s competitiveness over the course of a couple of years. The actual time horizon for SI ultimately depends on the industry and how quickly it is changing. Tactical Intelligence focuses on providing information designed to improve shorter-term decisions, most often related with the intent of growing market share or revenues (e.g., supporting the sales process).
Business value for customer, competitor, and supplier intelligence comes from the knowledge of how changes may affect the market, how the market may affect your company, and what other competitors are planning. Consumer intelligence can be used to make decisions on where to apply innovation resources or training resources for service companies. Supplier intelligence can be used to find inefficiencies in the supply chain.
Iknow has deep expertise in all aspects of customer, competitor, and supplier intelligence from initial requirements gathering, to integrating intelligence into business decision, to process design and customization. Competitive intelligence does not exist often as a stand-alone software product, but Iknow has the technology experience to gather and integrate intelligence using text analysis, web spiders, and document analysis. Iknow can handle intelligence projects of any size from analyzing current market state to the potential effects of new products industries.