Roles that make up a Competitive Intelligence system
- Competitive Intelligence
This article analyses the different roles that form part of Competitive Intelligence and the most common tasks typically performed.
For a Competitive Intelligence system to work it you don’t need a whole load of fully committed people. In fact, it suffices to include CI tasks in your usual activities (weekly, for example) to obtain a methodical and continual approach.
First of all, we will define the types of roles that make up a Competitive Intelligence Unit:
Within an organisation, the competitive intelligence analyst is the person in charge of collecting, filtering, selecting, disseminating and facilitating the understanding and interpretation of information of interest so as to facilitate decision-making by the people in charge. The analyst requires adequate IT applications to perform this tasks.
We have posted a video about an analyst made by SCIP (Strategic and Competitive Intelligence Professionals).
in an organisation, a facilitator belongs to the competitive intelligence system, supervises the system and ensures the alignment of information and CSF (Critical Surveillance Factors).
This person is in charge of overseeing the work of analysts as well as receiving and transferring information needs. He/She provides support to the analyst, solves any doubts and vouches for the interest of certain information.
In addition, the facilitator must inform the analyst of any one-off or specific information needs and on the whole this person is responsible for exploiting such information in decision-making forums.
Head of CI Unit:
The person responsible for the CI unit vouches for the proper operation of the unit. He/She coordinates the team and establishes and monitors the system indicators. Furthermore, he/she assesses the activities of the CI unit and reports the findings to management.
If necessary, he/she must take corrective action to correct any deviations or flaws in the system. As well as that, budget control and assessing the return of the CI unit fall under his/her responsibilities.
Of the three roles that have been defined above, the analyst is the person most involved in the CI unit as he/she is in charge of the system. The facilitator and Head of the CI Unit will participate occasionally when their knowledge and judgement is required.
In some cases, the facilitator also acts as an analyst, and exceptionally the head of the CI unit will take on that role as well, even though the latter is unusual and we do not recommend it.
The following tasks form part of the responsibilities of an analyst:
o understand the CSF (Critical Surveillance Factors) and respond to information needs
o select and keep information sources up to date
o establish and update filters
o search and elicit information
o share information
o analyse information
o disseminate information
o appraise information
Even though there are staff members with clearly defined functions for CI tasks, this does not exempt other staff from participating in CI activities. On the one hand as consumers who receive alerts, and on the other as collaborators of the system, in the so-called "active listening", providing information on their areas of interest and helping to make the system work better as they form an important link in the system.
If you wish to train as a CI analyst, or if you have any questions about how to set up a CI unit, you can contact us. You can also try for free a professional software like INNGUMA by requesting a demo.