Competitive Intelligence

Loading the player...

What is 'Competitive Intelligence '

The process of collecting and analyzing information about competitors’ strengths and weaknesses in a legal and ethical manner to enhance business decision-making. Competitive intelligence activities can be basically grouped into two main types – 1) Tactical, which is shorter-term and seeks to provide input into issues such as capturing market share or increasing revenues; and 2) Strategic, which focuses on longer-term issues such as key risks and opportunities facing the enterprise. Competitive intelligence is different from corporate or industrial espionage, which use illegal and unethical methods to gain an unfair competitive advantage.

BREAKING DOWN 'Competitive Intelligence '

Competitive intelligence means different things to different people within an organization. For example, to a sales representative, it may mean tactical advice on how best to bid for a lucrative contract. To top management, it may mean unique marketing insights to gain market share against a formidable competitor. The ultimate end goal of competitive intelligence is to help make better decisions and enhance organizational performance.
 
While most companies can find substantial information about their competitors online, competitive intelligence goes way beyond merely trawling the Internet, on the premise that the most valuable information is seldom – if  ever – easily accessible online. A typical competitive intelligence study includes information and analysis from numerous sources. These include the news media, customer and competitor interviews, industry experts, trade shows and conferences, government records and public filings.
 
In acknowledgement of the growing importance of competitive intelligence, the Society of Competitive Intelligence Professionals (SCIP) was founded in the U.S. in 1972. It underwent a name change to Strategic and Competitive Intelligence Professionals in 2010.
 

RELATED TERMS
  1. Intelligent ETF

    An exchange-traded fund (ETF) that employs an active investment ...
  2. Industrial Espionage

    The theft of trade secrets by the removal, copying or recording ...
  3. Perfect Competition

    A market structure in which the following five criteria are met: ...
  4. Price War

    When companies continuously lower prices to undercut the competition. ...
  5. Bull/Bear Ratio

    A market-sentiment indicator published weekly by Investor's Intelligence ...
  6. National Diamond

    A theory of competitive advantage developed by Harvard Business ...
Related Articles
  1. Professionals

    How Intelligence Relates To Wealth

    Being smart doesn't necessarily mean you'll be wealthy, but there are many ways intelligence can influence how much money you earn.
  2. Trading

    Competitive Advantage Counts

    What's the best indicator of a company's future success? Its ability to succeed when others fail.
  3. Personal Finance

    Investors Turn to Artificial Intelligence (GOOGL, FB)

    Since the Alan Turing developed the Turing Test, scientific researchers have worked to develop a computer with the ability to function like a human brain.
  4. Markets

    What's a Competitive Advantage?

    A competitive advantage is an advantage a firm has over its competitors.
  5. Retirement

    How To Profit During High Inflation

    Some companies are better than others at pivoting their strategies to overcome inflation or other cost-increasing concerns. The best companies can push cost increases out to the market quickly ...
  6. Markets

    Perfect Competition

    Perfect competition is an economic idea that does not exist in the real world but can be used as a standard to measure the efficiency and effectiveness of real world markets.
  7. Financial Advisor

    Schwab Goes 'Robo' with Intelligent Portfolios

    Charles Schwab has launched Schwab Intelligent Portfolios, its online financial advisor (or robo-advisor). Here are some key features.
  8. Markets

    Business Intelligence for Dummies

    An overview of the Business Intelligence industry and what opportunities it presents for investors.
  9. Financial Advisor

    Asset Manager Ethics: Acting Professionally and Ethically

    To aid managers in understanding the requirements for ethical and professional behavior, we offer some basic guidelines.
  10. Markets

    China Reports Lowest Growth Figures Since 1990

    The Chinese government reported the country's GDP figures for last year yesterday and they don't look good.
RELATED FAQS
  1. What are some common methods of gathering CI (competitive intelligence)?

    Read about some common methods of acquiring competitive business intelligence, and discover what a good intelligence analysis ... Read Answer >>
  2. What does a company use CI (competitive intelligence) for?

    Take a brief overview of the art of competitive intelligence, or CI, and how companies compete with one another for information ... Read Answer >>
  3. What is the difference between business intelligence and business analytics?

    Find out what differences, if any, exist between business intelligence and business analytics, and learn the role of each ... Read Answer >>
  4. What happens when a country focuses exclusively on its competitive advantage?

    Find out what happens when a country intentionally focuses solely on its most competitive factors of production or industries ... Read Answer >>
  5. Do all economists believe in perfect competition?

    Find out why neoclassical economists use unrealistic perfect competition models, and learn why other economists criticize ... Read Answer >>
  6. What is the best software to use for business analytics?

    Review a snapshot of some of the most reputable business analytics software providers in the business intelligence space, ... Read Answer >>
Trading Center