Is there any relation between CI and KM?

When working with both Competitive Intelligence (CI) and Knowledge Management (KM) solutions, the question of how the two disciplines are related often comes up.

Gartner Group has written one of the most frequently used definitions of KM:

“Knowledge management is a discipline that promotes a systematic approach to identifying, capturing, evaluating, retrieving, and sharing all of an enterprise’s information assets. These assets may include databases, documents, policies, procedures, and previously un-captured expertise and experience in individual workers.”

Competitive intelligence is defined by Strategic Competitive Intelligence Professionals (SCIP) as

“Systematic and ethical programs for gathering, analyzing, and managing external information that can affect an organization’s plans, decisions, and operations to enhance market competitiveness.”

The strong link between these two lie in the word “systematic”, both must be implemented in a methodical and organized way to enable information to be accessed by people that need it. Everyone manages information one or another, but only if it done systematically it becomes a discipline in itself.

The difference lies in the fact that CI is a subset or an advanced application of KM in that it focuses on external knowledge of the business market and competitors, while the larger KM discipline focuses on an organizations knowledge assets as whole, often including the location of human expertise.

But there are more similarities than differences as both CI and KM must filter information in a structured way to relevant people and also provide easy ways to find actionable information than helps the organization make better business decisions.

By: Jesper Martell