From Business Intelligence to Market Solutions

Business Intelligence vs. Other Intelligence

Over the past two weeks, colleagues have been working with clients to provide clarity on the differences between business intelligence and other research. To share a perspective on what may be useful to helping businesses, I have provided the descriptions below.

Business intelligence (BI) is a targeted approach to analyzing and understanding the overall performance of one’s own company. This includes financial, operational, product development and launch, technology utilization, people development, and more.

Competitive intelligence (CI) is about focusing on the current competitive environment based on the actions and behaviors of one’s competitors. This could include be new entrants, potential disruptors, or traditional players. In short, CI is using in-depth research to monitor events that can have a direct impact on your company’s competitive position.

Market intelligence (MI) is the more holistic view of the industry in which your company is competing. MI encompasses a broader range of issues, forces, and trends to perform a deep dive analysis on them to describe the overall state of the market. The information analyzed covers what is going on with your company, industry clients, emerging technologies, and competitors.

To summarize, the core differences can be stated as follows:

  • BI is about what your company is doing.
  • CI is about what your competitors are doing and how you fare against them.
  • MI is about tracking what factors are influentially impacting the industry.
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