What other types of new technology, especially "web 2.0" tools, do you find valuable? I'm thinking of tools like technorati, del.icoi.us and Linkedin and custom RSS feeds. I suppose you could include the whole pantheon of Google apps in there as well. You might also include high end tools like what Anderson Analytics offers.
I'm interested in hearing how other people have adapted some of these great gadgets for CI purposes.
I find websites like www.wikiinvest.com as good starting points for CI projects. But again these are more websites than tools. I have not come across any comprehensive tools than can do the analysis for you and most CI tools I have seen here and elsewhere are aggregators of information.
We are about to introduce a new intranet based on Sharepoint 2010. Does anybody have experience in setting up a CI environment in Sharepoint? I'm thinking of seperate Blogs for each business division but it would be very comfortable if the content could be generated semiautomatically by customized RSS channels...
For my personal market research I'm using Feeddemon http://www.feeddemon.com/ which is the best feedreader I know. I really like the great tagging tool as an archive. Unfortunately, I don't think there is a way to export my personal newspaper as a new feed to my colleagues...
This is not the first discussion on CI technology. There was recently one on SCIP group in LinkedIn. The problem is that it is not clear what we are discussing – either on using different technologies (usually available technologies) that can be used for CI or on dedicated CI tools, which are capable of using these solutions and are supporting CI professionals. Otherwise this discussion is lacking focus and may not be useful. I would suggest focusing on the former trying to share experience of various available technologies.
OK, Avner, you are right this discussion has taken on too many directions, so let me try again
At BTH in Sweden we basically run two technology-intensive courses related to CI:
1. the first is more related towards police/military/tax/customs intelligence, called "PU77U1", it starts with HTML logic, websearch, browsers and then goes into special software, like
Maltego http://www.paterva.com/web5/ and Website watcher http://www.aignes.com/. It also takes a closer look at metasearch engines which will often give extra information, Cartoo, Clusty, Copenic, Dogpile, Excite, Info.com, Ixquick, Mamma.com, Metacrawler, Search.com, Surfwax, Vivisimo, Widexplorer. At the end we also look at different Robots, for overview see http://www.robotstxt.org/
2. in the Business Intelligence Course "FE2401", we look at typical business intelligence software, Cognos, Business Objects and Oracles Business Intelligence Suits. We also have our own software, subsoft.se, for the moment at http://subsoft.se/newsite/index.html
Most colleagues now use Google calendar (especially also with family and kids). Thunderbird is fine for email even though I am probably changing to Google Wave within the next few months, and a hushmail account for more occasional sensitive messages. Google Earths new 3D plans and photo-bubbles makes geographical explanations easy, google docs is still better than most other (expensive) services for sharing documents. Skype is good for a number of things, even better for conferences (more stable and easier to use i think than Adobe Connect Pro and Marratech) most of the time I would say, even though sound quality can still be a problem from certain countries and upload of docs is slow. LinkedIn is a favorite for business contacts, as facebook is for friends. Twitter can work for family-members messages. Wikipedia is quite excellent, especially if cross-read over different languages and use it in combination with google search and google earth (a lot of google here, I am sorry) and bookfinder.com, Amazon and http://www.ilab.org/.
In Sweden there are many local solutions which have now even got their own apps; trainsystem, tv-channels, price comparing sites etc. most apps are still too much on the cool side, not the value added, but this is likely to change. For iphone users Apple has trapped us to itunes, which is very inflexible. Other solutions exist, but can be difficult to get to work well, which is why I will probably change to an Android phone soon. All of this is really also used for CI purposes, some more than others of course. A favorite CI application remains Google reader and RSS. The clue here is to have a broad selection of sources from around the world and to change them frequently, like has been suggested here by sharing RSS. Besides I like to get one journal in the mail, to read whenever I can, and to alter it every year. This year I broke that promise and resubscribed to the Economimst again, simply because it is so well informed on world issues, however not perfect.
As you may imagine, I'm familiar with the search engine and solutions. Thanks for the links you have mentioned. Regarding BI solutions – they are mostly not related to CI but will have to be interrelated to CI solutions in the future. I have to tell you that I personally more interested in advanced solutions for analysis rather than for search. I feel that actually – this is the real challenge of CI (and also national intelligence) in the future. Unfortunately – the existing solutions in the analysis are not so advanced as in search/ gathering. (Please see my article "Why Is CI Methodology Still
Behind CI Technology Tools?" in Competitive Intelligence Magazine, Vol 10, No. 3, May-June 2007). I feel that this discussion is valuable.
It is complicated to explain in this post. Anyhow – some insights-
I'm preaching for a combination of text analysis with automatic creation of intelligence entities which will provide a comprehensive solution for all intelligence activities (the intelligence cycle obviously including robust search engine by organizing and structuring broad needs and directing its workflow.). A system that is capable of analyzes data into valuable intelligence while the information is integrated in a human cognitive process which upgrades it from a piece of information into applicable intelligence.
We already know that constructive theories strongly believe that all learning takes place by actively integrating new information with previously existing knowledge structures. Also, associative theories view the cognitive structure as groups of concepts and overlapping associations between them. The user links new information to existing knowledge structures that are overlap and interrelated.
The CI system has to be regarded as a number of logically related activities centers rather than a cycle in which activities follow one another in a predetermined order. These centers interact with each other in accordance with the needs of specific tasks. One of the outcomes is discovering "hidden" relations from within the information overflow.
It is advised that the best solution will be capable of being interfaced in other software systems operating in the firm in planning, marketing, mergers and acquisitions, , pricing, R&D activities, sales, tenders and many other activities of the firm. The interface with other systems is a key success factor of such a system.