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Competitive Intelligence - a FUMSI Editorial
Tuesday, 29th May 2012
Competitive intelligence draws on the insights developed from gathering a wide range of factual information and sentiment reporting, together with knowledge and inferences built through an understanding of what makes your competitors, your industry regulators and your consumers tick.
There have been many debates over the years about the scope and context of competitive intelligence. As discussed in Aileen Marshall’s article in the FUMSI Report: Folio on Competitive Intelligence, the perception still exists that CI is made up of covert activities such as corporate espionage or manipulation of individuals to unwittingly reveal company secrets. After exploring the different interpretations, Marshall’s article on intelligence in the transportation sector brings forward the point that librarians and information science professionals have the right skills to develop a role focused on the gathering of information and transforming it into intelligence.
The FUMSI Report: Folio on Competitive Intelligence also looks at my own sector. Daniel Ghinn provides an excellent overview of how pharmaceutical companies can extract valuable insights from online conversations, blogs and tweets, which are being used to influence their own strategies around engagement with patients and physicians.
Daniel also touches on some of the newer tools available for in-depth analysis and visualisation of this type of information and the metadata around it; several of these tools were the subject of reviews included in the FreePint Volume: Essential Competitive Intelligence Collection last year.
Most of the well-known social media tools will be familiar to FUMSI readers, but more is available for intelligence activities than might be visible on the surface. Extending the theme of engagement, the Folio also includes an article on crowdsourcing that highlights the value of using the collective intelligence of the public to feed back on innovative ideas and industry challenges. Building upon Rieder's look at LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter, articles in the FUMSI Report: Folio on Competitive Intelligence also examine other ways to exploit LinkedIn and Twitter in particular.
Competitive intelligence draws on the insights developed from gathering a wide range of factual information and sentiment reporting, together with knowledge and inferences built through an understanding of what makes your competitors, your industry regulators and your consumers tick. This applies across all industry sectors – competitive intelligence is wide and deep in its scope and impact!
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By Jeanette Eldridge
Jeanette Eldridge is a Manager in the Analytics, Information & Knowledge Engineering Practice in R&D Information at AstraZeneca. She participates in maximising the exploitation of external information and the development of next-generation knowledge management capabilities, with individual responsibility for providing input to competitive intelligence resources management and development. Jeanette has led teams of library services professionals, information scientists and informaticians in her years at AstraZeneca, while previously having experience in direct information support to drug-hunting projects and IP professionals.
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