“More than ever, effectively seeing through or ahead of the
competition is an art form (as opposed to a totally rational and
structured technique), but one that is very accessible to those
willing to learn its tools, techniques, and concepts. There’s a
creative aspect to taking gobs of loose data and making
sense out of them. Data on the competition does not come in
nice, bow-wrapped, hexa-decimal packages that you can
digest by spreadsheet, regression analysis, or even a well-
written memo. It may appear in the form of a picture, an
observation of the active crowd huddled around a trade show
booth, the pregnant pause of a speaker on the podium in
reaction to a tough question. The observer is the artist here.
He or she needs to catch the important clues, piece this
image together, and create the precious intelligence.”
- Leonard Fuld, The Secret Language of Competitive Intelligence
“Now the reason the enlightened Prince and
the wise General conquer the enemy
whenever they move, and their
achievements surpass those of ordinary
men, is foreknowledge”
- Sun Tzu
Intelligence Analysis is a context-specific
scheme for assessing data thereby
interpreting processes, synthesizing
factuality, generating insights and
“Success for every business, whether it’s a one-
person operation or a Fortune 500 corporation,
increasingly depends on a timely awareness by
key executives of the rapidly changing events
impacting their organizations. Yet in most
corporate settings, executives consistently work
with massive amounts of raw data, small
amounts of value-added information derived from
analysis, and very little intelligence. Competitive
intelligence reverses this traditional trend toward
data and information and redirects it toward
- Shaker & Gembicki, The War Room Guide to Competitive Intelligence
Analysis as a Function of the Larger Intelligent Project Cycle
Source: Craig Fleisher & Babette Bensoussan, Business and Competitive Analysis
Data Collection in Intelligence Analysis
This is normally a two-phase process well-
structured with the aid of Pareto Principle as
Secondary Sources of Data
2) Trade Publications
4) Federal Office of Statistics
8) Transcripts of Speeches
9) Industry Periodicals
11)Government Statements and Reports
15)Vendor’s Promotional Material
18)Subscription News Feeds
Primary Sources of Data
II. Marketplace Surveys
III. Interview with Internal Experts, Industry Professionals,
Customers, Stockbrokers, Journalists, Suppliers to the
Industry, and Sources of Published Reports.
V. Internet Blog
Exploring Web Portals
A web portal offers a broad range of services
and resources while highlighting information
from various locations on the world wide web.
Types of portals include the following:
General Business Portals
Scientific Research Portals
Intelligence weblog provides access to information,
wherefore users can update, add remark and
recommendation based on analysis. It
assembles, synthesizes and disseminates the
information, while providing opportunity for
Market Blog Process
Source: Arik Johnson, Competitive Intelligence Weblogs
Frequency: Daily, Semi-Weekly, Monthly
Sources: XML Newsfeed
Subjects: Companies, Markets, Geographies, Behaviours
Customers: Ranges from Salesforce to Executive Staff
Alert Thresholds: Out-of-Schedule Notifications
Tasks to be Performed by CI Professionals
• •Go beyond internet searches: collect from human
• • Go beyond public databases: collect hard-to-get
information (e.g. private firms) from less obvious sources.
• • Go beyond competitors: analyze whole markets and
• • Go beyond static analysis and current market statistics:
• • Go beyond marketing intelligence: understand finance
and cost accounting.
• • Go beyond marketing, finance, and cost: understand
• • Go beyond strategy: understand risk.
Source: Ben Gilad, CI Education Harvard Style?
Identifying the Problem
The Key Intelligence Topics (KIT) proposed by
Jan P. Herring
Key Intelligence Questions (KIQ)
Identifying the Right Metrics
Analysts must ensure every intelligence analysis is
driven by the right metrics.
Without the right metrics, the analysis would be
Metrics are key indicators of diagnostic or
Data Source Evaluation
Elements in Analysis
Causes of Failure in Intelligence Analysis
I. Problem of Technique
II. Bad application of technology tool
III.Error in data collection
V.Error in identification of Problem
What are the Information Hazards of
Competitive Intelligence Information?
The objective of the Competitive Intelligence Program is to gather relevant information
that is valid and accurate. Incomplete or inaccurate information may jeopardize the
organization's CI efforts.
False Confirmation: There might be instances of false confirmation in which one source
of data appears to confirm the data obtained from another source. In reality, there is no
confirmation because one source may have obtained its data from the second source, or
both sources may have received their data from a third common source.
Disinformation: The data generated may be flawed because of disinformation, which is
incomplete or inaccurate information designed to mislead the organization's CI efforts.
Blowback: Blowback may occur when the company's disinformation or misinformation
that is directed at the competitor contaminates its own intelligence channels or
information. In all such cases, the information gathered may be inaccurate or incomplete.
Source: Yogesh Malhotra, Competitive Intelligence Programs
Four-Level Hierarchical Model of Analysis Failures
Level Nature of Problem
Individual Analyst-Level Failures
Analysis Task-Level Failures
Internal Organizational-Level Failures
External Environmental-Level Failures
Different natural analytical abilities
Naturally limited mental capacities
Cognitive biases and perceptual distortion
Insufficient understanding and application of analysis tools and
Part of larger task
Unsatisfactory data inputs
Disconnects from decision making
Imbalance among key task facets
Some decision makers don’t understand and appreciate analysis
Clients cannot specify their critical intelligence needs or questions
Under-resourcing the analysis function
Lack of analysis-specific IT support
Lack of thinking time
Organizational culture and politics
Time and trust
Invisibility and mystery
Misconception that everyone can do analysis
Growing range of competitive factors
Complexity and turbulence
Source: Craig Fleisher & Babette Bensoussan, Business and Competitive Analysis
“The best intelligence in the world is of little
use if it is not presented in a manner that
makes it credible, compelling and relevant
for senior executives.”
- Outward Insights
Ten Commandments of Competitive Intelligence
1. Do not lie when representing yourself.
2. Observe your company’s legal guidelines.
3. Do not secretly record an interview if it is against the law.
4. Do not issue a bribe.
5. Do not use eavesdropping devices.
6. Do not mislead anyone in an interview.
7. Do not swap price information or capacity with a
8. Do not distribute or exchange misinformation.
9. Do not steal a trade secret.
10. Do not knowingly pump someone for information that
could sacrifice that person’s job or reputation.
Source: Fuld and Company
Dr Elijah Ezendu is Award-Winning Business Expert & Certified Management Consultant with
expertise in Interim Management, Strategy, Competitive Intelligence, Transformation,
Restructuring, Turnaround Management, Business Development, Marketing, Project & Cost
Management, Leadership, HR, CSR, e-Business & Software Architecture. He had functioned
as Founder, Initiative for Sustainable Business Equity; Chairman of Board, Charisma Broadcast
Film Academy; Group Chief Operating Officer, Idova Group; CEO, Rubiini (UAE); Special
Advisor, RTEAN; Director, MMNA Investments; Chair, Int’l Board of GCC Business Council
(UAE); Senior Partner, Shevach Consulting; Chairman (Certification & Training), Coordinator
(Board of Fellows), Lead Assessor & Governing Council Member, Institute of Management
Consultants, Nigeria; Lead Resource, Centre for Competitive Intelligence Development; Lead
Consultant/ Partner, JK Michaels; Turnaround Project Director, Consolidated Business
Holdings Limited; Technical Director, Gestalt; Chief Operating Officer, Rohan Group; Executive
Director (Various Roles), Fortuna, Gambia & Malta; Chief Advisor/ Partner, D & E; Vice
Chairman of Board, Refined Shipping; Director of Programmes & Governing Council Member,
Institute of Business Development, Nigeria; Member of TDD Committee, International
Association of Software Architects, USA; Member of Strategic Planning and Implementation
Committee, Chartered Institute of Personnel Management of Nigeria; Country Manager
(Nigeria) & Adjunct Faculty (MBA Programme), Regent Business School, South Africa; Adjunct
Faculty (MBA Programme), Ladoke Akintola University of Technology; Editor-in-Chief, Cost
Management Journal; Council Member, Institute of Internal Auditors of Nigeria; Member, Board
of Directors (Several Organizations). He holds Doctoral Degree in Management, Master of
Business Administration and Fellow of Professional Institutes in North America, UK & Nigeria.
He is Innovator of Corporate Investment Structure Based on Financials and Intangibles, for
valuation highlighting intangible contributions of host communities and ecological environment:
A model celebrated globally as remedy for unmitigated depreciation of ecological capital and
developmental deprivation of host communities. He had served as Examiner to Professional