Companies can no longer plan their activity without profound understanding of all the elements necessary to manage a company in the decision-making process, among these elements being Intelligence.
The success, and sometimes even the survival of a company, depends on the quality of intelligence it acquires and which allows it to make correct decisions in an unpredictable environment in which the only predictable thing is its unpredictability.
As Robert Steel, a well-known ﬁnancial expert, says: “information costs money… intelligence makes money”.
What is the difference between information and intelligence? There is a major one! Information is a descriptive, not evaluated material, which results from observation, discussions, reports, rumors or images. The pieces of information can be true or false, accurate or not, conﬁrmed or not, real or fanciful.
Intelligence is a result of the collection, assessment and interpretation of the pieces of information. Intelligence is always checked using different sources, in a cross-check process.
The above deﬁnitions prove clearly that what companies need is intelligence and not information.
Business Competitive Intelligence is an invaluable tool in assessing business situations, trends, providing professionals with critical information at the right time to make well informed strategic decisions.
Until recently, BI was mainly used for financial reporting and analysis and rightly so, since finance is probably given the top priority in most businesses.
However, off late Business Intelligence is being used in many other areas of businesses including HRM. BI comes in very handy right from the hiring process to the “letting go” process.
The concept of “Business Intelligence” is often used with a limited meaning referring only to the IT processing and storing of information. The “confiscation”, on commercial purposes of this phrase by the IT companies, needs to be cleared up so that this concept to be well understood. The Association of the Romanian Business Intelligence Professionals
Association considers that the phrase “Business Intelligence” means only “Intelligence for Business”.
Business intelligence has two basic components:
- Competitive intelligence (CI)
- Competitive counter intelligence (CCI).
CI is the activity of deﬁning, gathering, analyzing and disseminating intelligence products on clients, competitors and on other aspects of business environment necessary to business decision makers to make strategic decisions. Its primary role is Strategic early warning
If CI means to get intelligence referring to the business environment a company is interested in, competitive counter intelligence (CCI) means to ensure the security of a company against the competitors’ attempts to get information which later is to be transformed into intelligence. CCI also deals with the physical security of a company: documents, personnel, IT systems (INFOSEC) and communications (COMSEC).
A company, in order to be successful, has to combine the two domains: competitive intelligence and competitive counter intelligence.
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