The Missing Piece

By Hal Reid

(Click for larger image)

At Location Intelligence Magazine we explore location intelligence and business intelligence as disciplines. As a result, we have seen some amazing things in terms of data visualization, the integration of time, and adding the fourth dimension to basic understanding (see this RFID article, for example). There have even been some new applied analytics. IBM uses the term STC for Spatial, Temporal Computing, as a means to understanding multi-dimensional events that occur across space as well as time. In short, we now know more, can understand more, and hopefully apply more to solve multi-dimensional business problems.

As we can integrate location technology with business intelligence more easily, we need to add a third discipline to complete the triad. This last piece of the puzzle is the world of CI, or Competitive Intelligence. CI gives us insight into what the competition is doing, how effective "they" are and the competitive impact "they" have. CI adds the "who" to our traditional "what, where and when."

This knowledge extends beyond just knowing who the competition is – it includes knowledge of the players, their skill sets, and their potential to impact your bottom-line and perhaps most importantly, the resources they have available to make you less competitive.

At LI Magazine, we have seen the potential of integrating location technology with business intelligence software to address competitive intelligence applications. Of interest is the natural relationship these technology providers share (see SCIP conference coverage).

The functionality in a product like Anacubis Desktop - mapping of data relationships in order to see what "they" are doing - is really pure LI; only it is operating in virtual geography.

The relationship, within virtual geographies, between competitive players and their projects (see Starlight), provides a new view into the skill sets, background, and competence of the competition.

Our goal in exploring these three areas (LI, BI and CI) is to provide you with the tools and a different perspective, so that you as an LI/BI practitioner will be able to effectively use these three disciplines in your enterprise.

A big part of my logic for presenting CI as part of the things we should know stems from the belief that we are at a new place in the management of the enterprise where in order to remain competitive, you need to know not only what is happening, where it is happening and when, but as also a thorough understanding of the competitive landscape.

Published Thursday, February 2nd, 2006

Written by Hal Reid

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