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The 8 most positive trends in Competitive Intelligence in 2017

Dr Ben Gilad Faculty at ACI invited readers of his blog to share the following trends in Competitive Intelligence. Dr Gilad says he is a negative person but now for the first time in many years he is optimistic about CI.

During his work as a CI strategist he has noticed the state of competitive intelligence showing promising signs. “From a low in the 2000s whereby CI has been pushed down in the corporate hierarchy, hidden away somewhere in marketing and made to chase competitors’ minutia, the function (and teams) are changing for the better,” he says. Marie-Luce Kühn of IBIS shares Dr Gilad’s main trends in Competitive Intelligence (please read the detail on each trend here: http://www.academyci.com/2017/04/19/the-8-most-positive-trends-in-competitive-intelligence-in-2017/

1. More CI is integrated into strategy: The push to have CI integrated into strategy comes from the top and it is based solely on the skills of the CI team.

2.The bifurcation of the field is complete: Information specialists and intelligence analysts are parting ways and that is good because they each have a unique role.

3. Different job requirements are evident in hiring: CI is a skill and therefore a career stepping-stone to more senior management positions while the information specialists see their role as a technical job of getting and distributing data in the most effective way.

4. Big Data and Big Analytics hype is over: Big Data are just more data, and Analytics is good old statistical techniques, and A/I is faster computing power for both. Competition analysts are not going to become data scientists (unless they like to acquire a Ph.D in statistics). They will definitely include the results of Big Data searches by the data analytics center into their analysis, but they are no longer worried about being replaced by data scientists.

5. A/I displacement is real but competition analysts will not become A/I programmers, nor will they be replaced by machine learning. Au contraire. Human perspective on the patterns discovered by A/I and Analytics seem to have become even more important, as busy executives demand less data and more insight.

6. Analysis wins big time

7. Adaptive markets drive CI: One reason analysis wins big is that analysis (not analytics!) brings a perspective which is not predictable, nor totally driven in a deterministic way by data alone. The human perceptive of seasoned competition analysts looking at all the data plus bringing their own strategic mind-set and broad-based experience to bear on them is superior to the algorithm-based predictions by computers.

8. Strategic Early Warning tasks become more popular” “Our execs want us to be able to drive scenario work, use war gaming techniques to test strategic options for them and direct strategic dialogues”. Gilad concludes: “One of my favourite CI managers wrote to me yesterday saying the Strategy Director in her company asked her to put it in her team’s scope to also include “and what should our company do!”