Competitive Intelligence

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In English abstract of Eugenio R. Luján's article La relación entre los servicios de inteligencia y las universidades: la formación en lenguas de interés estratégico appears the sentence "Proficiency in foreign languages has always been a crucial factor for the work of intelligence services" ( http://www.athenaintelligence.org/aij-vol3-a16.pdf ). Are we entitled to paraphrase this sentence as follows "Proficiency in foreign languages has always been a crucial factor for the work of Competitive Intelligence"? How do you feel it in relations between CI and universities in your countries? Citizens of the European Union feel the problem of foreign languages acutely enough { http://geocities.com/eklezjastka/ester3.html [The e-course which I've decided to prepare also at http://fedcba.ning.com/group/me for the European Career College ( http://www.kde.edu.pl/page.php/2/0/show/1/ ) students who studying the concentration English in the European communication will enroll themselves in it within two years]}.

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I don't suppose it will surprise you to hear that in the United States foreign languages are not particularly valued. What's shocking is that the U.S. intelligence community's relationship to foreign languages is no better than that of the general population. Moreover, many U.S. universities have cut language programs.

I believe that global analysis can only be accomplished by analysts who speak several languages and collect from a variety of sources, but that's a rare occurrence in the United States.
We see more and more of our clients monitoring web-sources in foreign languages for mainly two reasons:

- E-reputation:
Blogs may reflect product perception by consumers. It is important for our clients anxious about their reputation to monitor blogs and fora in the language they are written in.

- Business development:
Invitation for tenders, new plants, job positions, new constructions are many signals a CI analyst can use to support the sales team in his company. Very often, those signals show very early in local language (local press, blogs, institutional web sites) before being propagated to english language.
Chinese, Brazil are some examples.
The Masters program in applied intelligence at Mercyhurst requires students to have at least oral proficiency in a foreign language. And yes.. we feel the need for language skills in all our CI projects and analysts with multi-lingual skills are especially valued. More so if someone has knowledge of Asian languages.
Hi Nimalan,
How do you get students exposed to the combined need of practicing foreign languages and using CI tools?
Chris
Hi Chris - I guess a clarification is needed here. I work for a UK based CI firm based out of the India office and in no way related to Mercyhurst other than as a prospective student.

Their website (http://intel.mercyhurst.edu/content/graduate_studies) here states that one of course objectives is to get students to acquire reading competency in a foreign language. Again from what I gather from their website as a prospective student is that one attends undergrad course work in a foreign language parallel to the Masters program.

Maybe someone from Mercyhurst on this forum can throw more light..
In fact, they assure "Upon completion of the Master of Science degree program in Applied Intelligence, students will be expected to: [...] Possess a reading competency in a foreign language" ( http://intel.mercyhurst.edu/content/graduate_studies ). However, they don't state that "Upon completion of the Master of Science degree program in Applied Intelligence, students will be expected to: [...] Posses a competency in using CI tools". I'll meet the same problem at Poznan University of Technology -- even students studying Security and Safety Engineering won't be acquainted with all branches of technology. Some of them will work also in intelligence and counterintelligence organizations but they will work there professionally only because they will be (already as MSc in Security and Safety Engineering alumni) still trained both in needed foreign languages and in needed technological devices.
Eric, Chris, Nimalan, I'd like to thank you for your contributions to this discussion. Taking account of my PUT students who will begin studying Information security ( http://triton.cs.put.poznan.pl/platon/files/opisyPrzedmiotow/ib_dzi... ) in March, I've just used our discussion as an incentive to their greater effort ( http://fedcba.ning.com/xn/detail/2516803:Comment:681 ). I'm really looking forward to their contributions not only there ( http://fedcba.ning.com/ ) but also here, both on general forum and in individual groups. :-)

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