Competitive Intelligence

Tactical, Operational & Strategic Analysis of Markets, Competitors & Industries

ICI / ATELIS Competitive Intelligence Conference - Bad Nauheim, Germany - April 5-8

I'm attending the ICI / ATELIS CI conference in Bad Nauheim, Germany this week and thought I'd open a discussion here to surface a few topics and issues, as well as to act as a group liveblog for anybody who'd care to add remarks from the meeting itself or questions and comments from afar.

So far today, I've spent more time catching up with old friends (hi Sheila!) than I have in sessions, but promise to attend more as the conference kicks off. I'll also get these onto my Twitter stream.

Still, I can only be in one place at a time, so with four tracks to cover, hopefully a few other of you out there will join in and perhaps consider keeping your notes here on this discussion. I know there are many of you who are attending live.

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Andreas Vesper talked about Trade Show Intelligence and provided a detailed plan how to prepare to conduct such Intelligence, including the preparation of an Intelligence Collection Plan, thinking about the reporting, logistics and on-site investigation beforehand.

What was new for me was his idea of splitting the collection of information from the analysis: so he proposed one team running around, collecting brochures, taking pictures, asking questions and another team taking this information and analysing it. This way the analysis should be more objective and can be written faster (as the info collectors will be exhausted after a whole day collecting information). He suggested to set up a tradeshow-room where collectors and analysers can meet and discuss.

The ideas he provided for preparation, during trade show actions and follow-up activities sounded interesting and I envy every CI colleagues who has the resources and support to set up such a Trade Show Intelligence Team.

The final session I joined was held by Ms. Dominika Dabowska talking about “Internet evolved: from secondary to primary data”


She gave a good overview about why primary information does matter and what User Generated Content is about by explaining Forums, Blogs and Microblogging and providing examples how such UCG can be of help for CI.


The findings of her PhD are that User Generated Content (UCG) can help to gather primary information and CI experts should be aware of these resources.


However one should keep in mind that this UCG provided via Twitter, Blogs and Forums is subjective and always needs to be verified against other sources and analysed by a human brain. She provided a list of aspects to keep in mind when assessing UCG (e.g. relevance of source and author, integration of external factors like user views)


To find relevant UCG Ms. Dabowska proposes automatic solutions and she did some research among CI experts how such a perfect solution should look like, e.g. including graphical reporting of the results, analysis of emotions of the postings, access to the raw data….


My personal summary of the two days: it was  a great event providing a  lot of new insights, it was a great opportunity to catch up with old friends, make news friends and to meet some people I did only knew virtually up until now.


As a practitioner it was interesting to listen to some of the scientific presentations, the international character of the conference enabled me to get interesting insights about CI in other industries and countries and I noticed that in the end we all face the same problems :-)

One of the topics which have been addressed in different presentations and stuck to my mind is the “unknown unknown” and the fact that we have to remain curious & open minded to detect the gaps and anomalies we want to highlight to the management - And I think such a conference is the best place to remain open minded and think out of the box


...and know I will start to go through the huge reading list I collected during the conference.

btw. The next ICI conference is planned for March 28/29, 2012 in Bad Nauheim and the next international conference is planned for 2013 in Indonesia – this will really provide an interesting view on CI and I am looking forward to it.

... and I promise by then I will have a notebook and learned how to listen and type the same time to do real live blogging ;-)


I am looking forward to reading about other sessions I wasn’t able to attend

For anyone interested in the Scientific Journal Project, Henri Dou and Per Jenster announced during the conference that they will be founding editors of a new journal. This was a continuation of the initiative taken during the ECIS 2009 Conference in Stockholm. The journal should be a scientific home to articles within the domains of competitive intelligence, market intelligence, business intelligence, information systems. Henri Dou has many years of experinec with CI and many ISI Web of knowledge articles to his name. Per Jenster is a world leading expert and academic writing on CI and related fields. Jenster has also been asked if he wants to lecture during the upcoming SCIP conference in Vienna. 

Many suggestions about a name was presented. One that received support was to move away from any label that may change with time. Arik Johnsson and Sheila Wright suggested Journal of Intelligence Studies in Business. This would include all forms of intelligence studies but set the journal apart from intelligence studies in politics and international relations.  

The journal would pool contributions from a larger international community of scholars. It could also fill the needs of a number of conferences in the field: ECIS, SIIE, VSST, SCIP, CCIIC 

The plan is to set the journal up using an Open Source system. A number of short lists for editorial board is now circulating basically based on previous research in the field. Within a few weeks we should be able to show an internet site with an editorial team. I will keep you all updated here on the work in progress.





Great News Klaus!


Count me in - what can I do to help? 

Hi Miguel,

Everyone are welcome to participate. You do not even have to have a PhD to write a scientific article and get it accepted.

For the editorial commitee however, we are looking for those around the world who have published the most scientific articles and books in the field, who are already reviewers for other journals in English. If that is you you can also suggest your own name.

More on this as the site for the journal develops. I will post it here.

Hi Klaus,

Thank you for your swift reply.

It was clear to me the current status, thank you for your clarifications.

I am also an author of a CI book, in Portuguese, and a university teacher, in two different universities, responsible for CI courses.

Still not a PhD, and not planning to become one, neither I have published any scientific articles, may plan to, neither an Academic, and not planning to become one.

In any case, my view is that if you keep this as just an academic effort from the start you will take even longer to become recognized as a scientific field.

Therefore, my 'two cents' are that we should move on several keys directions at the same time opposite to only one.

I remain available in case you think it may prove beneficial additional help.

Wish you the best of luck.
Hi Miguel,

You are right, the CI field cannot move only with academics. It is very much a joint effort, each group learning from each other. There is also no discrimmination when it comes to contributions, as said. Actuallly there are two journals. For more popular reading there is the CI Magazine, issued by SCIP. The new academic journal is thought to replace a gap left by the JCIM.

That said would there be something that could be done to reinforce the Scientific Journal Project effort, at the same time but in other environments?

I think this is a great idea. I know that Rainer Micaheli is working on similar ideas, so you should expect to hear back from us here.



Great! Look forward to have Rainer inputs!



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