The Navy Analogy for a Commercial Intelligence Strategy
The framework for a commercial intelligence strategy can be easily understood through the example of a Navy ship, its Captain, and protocols.
To be successful, the Captain needs to understand his/her own ship’s capabilities and limitations, the external environment the ship is operating in, and the capabilities and intentions of the adversaries out at sea. In the business world, this is considered a commercial intelligence strategy.
A commercial intelligence strategy is comprised of three primary disciplines, known as the "strategic intelligence triad." They are: Business Intelligence, Market & Competitive Intelligence, and Knowledge Management.
Business Intelligence focuses on internal data from within the company’s own operations. On a ship, this would be similar to gauges that monitor engine performance and ensure the ship is running smoothly.
Market Intelligence uses data about customers and prospects to develop and execute a go-to-market strategy in the same way that the ship uses satellites and other on-board instruments to detect changes in the weather that may impact its voyage plan.
Competitive Intelligence goes a step further than Market Intelligence and uses data about competitors at play or emerging in the market to inform a competitive strategy in the same way that radar and sonar are used to track the movements of enemies nearby and adjust the course of the ship.
Knowledge Management, or access to previously acquired data, information, and knowledge that can be rapidly accessed, equates to the automated databases and past experiences sailors use to advise the Captain about the presence and presumed intentions of friendly forces, civilian shipping, and potential threats to the ship.
This combination of data, information, and knowledge enable the Captain to make timely, informed decisions.
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