Where are you going tomorrow?
How Intelligence software can help top managers be prepared for tomorrow
What do CEO’s and executives really base their decisions about the future on? Roll of the dice gut-feeling, advice from “management-gurus”, same as yesterday, by accident or by careful, initiated analysis? “Intuition” is, and will remain, a key component of executive decision making, but in order to stay ahead of competition, executives also need to take into account what is happening in the world around them in a more structured and analytical way, interpret this and then make their decisions.
The CEO’s Mission Impossible
Today it is mission impossible for any CEO or top manager to stay abreast of all events in their business environment. CEO’s simply do not have the time to efficiently get the right information from today’s vast information flow without qualified support.
How many military commanders would dare to make decisions without consulting their intelligence sources first? Probably none, yet too many business CEO’s still gamble and make decisions without consulting their intelligence officers. Sure, decisions are made with or without Competitive Intelligence, the question is how much longer companies can afford to do without…
Competitive Intelligence needs to be done by the highly qualified individuals, supported by the best software tools available. Only humans (e.g analysts) can deduce what information means in particular circumstances and put it in perspective of their own organization. But if humans do the thinking and analysis, what is Competitive Intelligence (CI) software needed for?
Efficient Competitive Intelligence software helps by acting in the following three ways:
1. The Harvester: collects the best sources in one place
Media is full of disinformation; sometimes deliberately, sometimes by accident. Whatever the reason, media cannot be trusted as the sole source upon which to make decisions. Each source must be critically examined and evaluated. An intelligence portal will allow you to select and review sources and thereby place a quality stamp on the content that is used for analysis.
Software is also capable of automatically filtering and indexing huge quantities of “raw”, unstructured information. This includes both external sources, such as news, analyst reports and web sites, but more importantly internal sources such as Word documents and e-mail. It is not uncommon that employees in possession of valuable business information do not know where to send such information or who else needs it – competitive or market intelligence software can handle this.
Using software to automate the content retrieval process will free up time for analysts and allow them to add their valuable insights and analysis instead of just compiling information.
2. The Radar: displays patterns and gives early warning signals
Once you have all your trusted sources in one place, what do you do then? CI software can filter through the information to find irregularities and patterns that are difficult to observe otherwise.
An intelligence system must provide a means of visualizing information in new ways, so that analysts can spot early warning signals easily and quickly.
3. The Irrigation System: delivers intelligence where it is needed most
Competitive Intelligence should be available just when it is needed. In a fast moving world, many crucial decisions are taken outside of the board rooms, at the frontiers of a company (often by sales and customer service personnel). However, these people seldom have access to any structured Competitive Intelligence. State-of-the art software must ensure that relevant market and competitive intelligence is distributed to those who can actually act upon it to directly increase revenue; the sales people.
Information moves too fast for any organization to be able to afford to have gate keepers – everyone in the organization needs to know the company’s strategy, look out for opportunities and beware of threats. CI software should give this power to the whole organization.
To summarize; intelligence software (together with qualified analysts!) will help not only CEO’s to feel confident about where they are going tomorrow, but also to share this with the entire organization: Harvest Best Quality Content – Monitor Radar for Signals – Irrigate Employees with Knowledge