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What is a conceptual model of Competitive Intelligence?

Defining a conceptual model for your organization is the main task you need to do if you want to practise Competitive Intelligence in an efficient way. A company which has not defined a conceptual model of CI will incur many problems related to the lack of context of Competitive Intelligence and its process.

What is a conceptual model of Competitive Intelligence?

Some examples of the absence of a clear model of CI in an organization are:

  • lack of strategic alignment of the company with the activity of CI,
  • lack of clear goals,
  • non-well defined resources,
  • absence of responsibilities,
  • unsuitable definition of Critical Surveillance Factors,
  • etc.

Companies lacking these conceptual models fail their goals when launching the CI activity or launch a CI unit. The obtained results are undervalued, and the project often fails. It is true that defining a CI model is a daunting task, but not an impossible one. The larger and more global your company is, the more complex the model of Competitive Intelligence will be. If you are an SME or a medium enterprise, the conceptual model will be simpler and easier to define and to implement.

For INNGUMA, the CI model is defined by three fundamental concepts: The Framework, the System and the Process.

1. Framework: The organization should define the strategic requirements of the system and detect, continuously, the gaps that exist in the organization for organizational decision making and mechanisms to make managers and people working aware in the operational cycles of the CI. To define the framework, it is essential to make a diagnosis and awareness-raising actions about the concepts that define the CI models, so that the organization will generate the necessary culture for its definition and implementation.

2. System: The organization should define and implement the CI system needed to transform the data collected during the CI process and generate the necessary knowledge for business decision making. To do this, INNGUMA proposes identifying those key processes in the organization such as: creating new products / services, strategic thinking processes, market plans / product innovation plans, etc. and define and implement actions to analyze, share, interpret, combine and perform information and knowledge to assist decision making in these key processes of the organization.

3. Process: The organization should define and implement the necessary actions to capture, filter, sort, organize and synthesize relevant data and text for the organization. The definition and implementation of the CI process should address actions in the operating cycle of CI (Phases, Critical Surveillance Factors, resources, etc.), in the software tools and in the training of people involved in the process.

INNGUMA has developed the COMPETE® methodology as a roadmap to define and implement CI units in organizations. Although much of the success of this definition and implementation process depends on individual factors of each organization, COMPETE® is a valid methodology that provides simple guidelines for companies to define and implement CI units relatively quickly. The methodology takes actions on the three fundamental levels that define the CI model: Framework, System and Process.

If you have questions about how to start your competitive intelligence project and need professional support, please contact the INNGUMA team and we will gladly help you. Also, you can try for free INNGUMA if you request a demo on our website.