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The first question to ask in your CI information strategy is…

What content should be published and by whom?

The first key question to ask when defining your Competitive Intelligence (CI) information strategy is what information to include in order to satisfy the intelligence and knowledge requirements of the organization.

Content can either be acquired by external sources or internal publishers, so both these providers should be considered.

External Sources – There are numerous content providers of news, research, analysis and reports. Depending on what is offered, some are free and some are very expensive. To save costs, these external sources should be coordinated and well managed.
Some of the more detailed questions that should be answered are: Which sources are specialized and reliable in our line of business? What are the most popular sources in our organization? How much do different sources cost? Can the external source be delivered in a format that suits our organization?

Internal Publishers – There are surely many knowledgeable persons within every organization that could contribute by publishing content. However, many of these are not as easily motivated as the external sources are (i.e. by cash…), so you must think of ways to make them active contributors.
Some of the more detailed questions to ask are: Who are the experts and analysts in our organization? Do they cover all the areas we are interested in or are there any white spots?

Approval?
Once you have your content you consider if all content is welcome (do you trust all the contributors??) or if there needs to be some kind of approval process in Place. Should everyone or only the experts be allowed to publish? Should someone review, quality check, edit and approve what is added before others can read it? If so, who are the editors or “approvers”?

As you can see these are not easy questions to answer and the answer varies from organization to organization, but if you dont ask them you are sure to end up in an even worse position with your CI content going all over the place…

By: Jesper Martell