Competitive Intelligence

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

The state of strategic intelligence in the organization: A Benchmarking Study

We are on the cusp of a wave of strategic change unlike anything we have managed in the past several decades - are organizations prepared to collect and analyze information about those changes? That is the question I pose to you in this Benchmarking Study about the state of strategic intelligence.

If you would like to participate, this simple, anonymous survey will cover a few multiple choice questions about what kinds of strategic information you see in your career, how often it comes by, who uses it, and the culture around it.

Please click here to take the survey, and when we have a significant enough sample size, I look forward to reporting the findings publicly. I look forward to your participation and to what will no doubt be fascinating results.

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Look forward to read the 'fascinating results'.



Done.  Love the reference to Sales Force Dot Com, it makes up for the American-centric line of questioning. I can't wait to see the results as well!
Complete - eager to see the results.

Great stuff so far from a few dozen who have taken the survey so far. Please feel free to send this to other colleagues - the more respondents, the more interesting the findings.



Hi Eric, completed your survey. Hope you get some good numbers in terms of completions to enhance your conculsions!


I've got to reprint this comment that just came into my site regarding the questions posed in the survey. This feedback is something that applies to everyone who might ever pass by this site:

My concern (and observation) regarding strategic, competitive, and/or technological (technical?) intelligence, etc. is NOT whether it is important.  I think it is very important.  My observation is that when the information is needed, it is needed VERY quickly, and "very inexpensively" (read, free, except for a week, or so, of internal labor).  Perhaps I am mistaken, but there seems to be an assumption with the "strategic intelligence community" that there is the luxury of time in generating analyses (and meta-analyses) on emerging technologies for specific markets and strategic sectors, and that the objective of such analyses will be so well defined and so well focused that they can easily be addressed.  I have found this (unequivocally) to not be the case.  (e.g. "... tell me about the intersection of agri-food and nanotechnology in various key - and relevant - global regions, and tell me by week's end the key research areas we should BEGIN to look at where we can have an impact, where the field is not crowded, and do so using freely available resources and references."  Next week, we'll ask a similar question, but the topic will be emerging/"very advanced" technologies that might be utilized in the "forestry industry", with the same cost and time constraints, and conditions, as the previous analysis.).  At any rate, these are just the flavour of the inquiries I've seen over the past ten years, or so.  I'm not sure the strategic intelligence community is able to handle analyses where "deep knowledge" of the technologies in question is ALSO required.  The SI community seems to be much better suited to "more standard" and/or "commoditized" fields.






Wow.... where to even begin with this one. IF a company has an internal technical, strategic and tactical team, hey immediate or within a week time frame for strategic/tactical/technical questions is perfectly acceptable and easily done. BUT if one is taking any Joe in the company and asking those questions or one person in an analyst role and bouncing them across too many  domains, well good luck with that! They arent a SME, and they wont become a SME in this fashion- and being a SME that can immediately turn around critical intelligence on a dime takes a concerted focus on particular competitors/technologies over time! I mean, you don't get to be a piano virtuoso by picking it up and putting it down etc. If this expectation is out there, then a lot of education must need to be done on how real CI is generated.


All I can say as a long term successful strategic CI analyst/director with regard to this comment is:


1) Meaningful CI takes focused analysts who look at things over time in depth to develop subject matter expertise that allows for the exceptionally quick turnaround. It also takes HUMINT capabilities not just secondary research!

2) Actionable intel is never free; when it is, we'll all be looking for a new profession. This day isn't coming anytime soon as well evidenced by the other article you posted about the death of the industry analyst business because they aren't providing the depth real strategic CI folks can.

3) Further as to the comment about the objective of the analysis not being able to be defined and focused, that clearly represents that the company in question has some extant issues. Why do the analysis then if they don't know why they even want it done? Hmm.

4) I think this individual's issue is that he/she is in a company without those appropriate CI and planning processes, AND is expecting cross domain expertise on a dime without focused CI SMEs. Good luck with that.....




I find your reply interesting and I am curious as to others thoughts on this.  I need to craft a forum thread on the balance between "time boxed" deliverables and quality/depth of material.  I want to get the post right as this fundamental issues is something we all face and deal/struggle with in different ways.  It is very likely all of us have diligently practiced the art of pulling rabbits out of a hat.
Completed - eager to see the outcome!

In addition to what Monica mentioned - I would also add that Competitive Intelligence needs to be:


1.)  Strategic

2.)  Unbiased

3.)  Actionable

4.)  Measureable

5.)  Repeatable


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