Competitive Intelligence

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

Sometimes CI software is mistaken for BI software and vice versa. Both are used for decision support, but CI normally deals with unstructured information while BI focuses on strucutured information. This is not always crystal clear to prospective users and because BI is a much larger market (for the moment...), we need to point this out more clearly. I would appreciate any comments on this or pointers to information that can help distinguish the two types of software.
Thanks!

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Replies to This Discussion

Hi Jesper,

Another big difference is CI software is looking outside the company to organize all the unstructured "stuff" from external sources about the market trends, technology changes, innovation, environmental changes that impact your company including competitors. BI software is really looking more inward, how your company can sell more products/services to your customer base. Cross-selling seems to be a very common application. Another idea is to look at the big players in BI like Teletech, and see how they're selling BI.

HTH,

Ellen
Hi Jesper,

To add to your discussion, one of our big differentiating points we use when talking about CI and BI, is that BI mostly focusses on internally sourced data from transactional systems for structured data analysis for two types of reporting 1) Operational Reporting; which reports on the performance and operations of transactional systems, 2) Management Reporting; looking at all management aspects of a business from Marketing through to Finanance, Sales and Customer Management. Both of these reporting type required current and historical internally captured data to perform their BI function. There is some growth in unstructured data coming into BI systems but mostly for Management reporting and not CI.

The grey area is where sources like Nielson provide external strucutured data feed to BI systems which is then used in BI to benchmark a companies performance and compare offerings / pricing. This form of analysis is blended with internal structured data and fills the pupose of Management Reporing and Analytics that would usually be classified as BI, but when comparing companies key metrics becomes CI. One way to approach this is that the output of the BI system (ie. Reports, Dashboards, Analytics) are input to CI.

This is a difficult topic, and I am interested in peoples thoughts on my comments.

(sorry it took me almost 2 months to reply)

- Tristan
Thanks for the responses!
I also found a good webpage that discusses this and that contains definitions and comparisons of CI vs BI.

href="http://competitive-intelligence.mirum.net/business-intelligence/definition-competitive-intelligence.html">

BR
/Jesper Martell

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