Magazine article Information Management

Competitive Intelligence Underutilized

Magazine article Information Management

Competitive Intelligence Underutilized

Article excerpt

According to a recent survey, a majority of U.S.-based companies that claim to use competitive intelligence (CI) to guide their decision-making processes either do not use intelligence enough or use it in the wrong way.

"Ostriches & Eagles" conducted by business intelligence consultants Outward Insights LLC, studied the effectiveness and use of CI across several industries. Among the key findings:

* Twenty-nine percent of respondents admitted that they do not have "an organized and systematic way to deriver CI," including 14 percent with more than $1 billion in revenue.

* Of those lacking "an organized way," 28 percent said they do not have a need for it, and 17 percent said they are unsure how to do it.

* Nearly 40 percent said they "rarely or never" incorporate likely competitor reactions into their new product plans.

* Almost 30 percent of companies either do not have or do not feel the need for a CI system despite today's ultra-competitive marketplace.

The study of 100 senior executives at U.S. corporations revealed that one of the most beneficial aspects of CI--the ability to receive early warning of competitor activity or emerging industry trends--is going largely unrealized.

"In what is arguably the most competitive global marketplace in history, a surprisingly high number of companies do not consider intelligence for strategic reasons, to assess competition, or to devise operational plans for their business," said Kenneth Sawka, a principal at Outward Insights. "And for those companies that have developed an organized CI function, these systems tend to be ineffective or underdeveloped. …

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