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Business Intelligence, Competitive Intelligence, Knowledge Management: What's the Difference?

Fred Hoffman

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September 11, 2018

The Information Age has spurred a whole new set of challenges for businesses. With competitor and industry data accessible at the click of a button, companies are now suffering from information overload. How do you identify, sort, evaluate and interpret valuable knowledge with any sense of efficiency when facing such a vast sea of data to pull from?

The answer: with the three commercial intelligence disciplines, business intelligence (BI), competitive intelligence (CI), and knowledge management (KM). A successful investment in one or all three of these disciplines can keep you from drowning in the massive amounts of available data and chart a clear path forward for your business.

But too often, companies misunderstand and misuse these disciplines, resulting in wasted time, money and effort. Each involve collecting, organizing and analyzing data to aid in business analytics and decision making, and each share some of the same data sources, tools and techniques. It's easy to get them confused, but make no mistake: being able to distinguish between BI, CI and KM is key to effectively applying them to meet your organization's needs.

In order to integrate them successfully into your organizational strategy, you have to know what each is, what they have in common, how they differ, and where they fit together for maximum value to your organization.

Download: Business Intelligence, Competitive Intelligence, Knowledge Management: What's the Difference?

In our latest guide, we dive into the ins and outs of BI, CI and KM, examining each from the following five perspectives:

  1. Orientation: What is the data focused on?
  2. Data sources: Where does the data come from?
  3. Practitioner training, experience and skill sets: What do BI, CI and KM practitioners need to be skilled at to be successful?
  4. The role of IT: How does software and technology aid each discipline?
  5. Techniques and tools: What are key solutions and strategies for performing each discipline?

Once you understand what BI, CI and KM are, how to distinguish between them and what value they can provide to your business, we'll walk you through the process of successfully investing in each for a comprehensive commercial intelligence strategy.

The bottom line: If you want to gather valuable insights, stand apart from the competition and boost your ROI, you need to invest in BI, CI and KM. With this strategic intelligence triad, you can make timely, informed and wise decisions for your business.

But the first step is understanding the differences in the three. Download the free guide to begin learning.

Download Now:   BI, CI, and KM: What's the Difference?

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Fred Hoffman
Fred Hoffman

Following a 30-year career as an intelligence collector and information operations practitioner in the US Army and multiple civilian intelligence organizations, Fred now draws upon his broad experience in worldwide intelligence collection, information operations, corporate personnel and intellectual property protection to support both government and commercial clients.

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