Business Intelligence vs. Competitive Intelligence

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BI practitioners belong to the more tech-savvy group.

How powerful is knowledge in today’s competitive business environment? Knowing all your business numbers and data, carefully looking at what your rivals are doing, and thoroughly analyzing the market environment will help you stay ahead of the competition.

Running a business in today’s fast-paced world is getting more and more challenging. But thanks to modern technology, many tools are now available to help entrepreneurs analyze not just their own data but how their competitors perform as well. This initiative helps a lot in designing intelligent marketing strategies that will give your company a competitive edge.

Two popular business tools that are proven helpful to any business have emerged – business intelligence (BI) and competitive intelligence (CI). They may seem similar, but they perform different functions and analyze two disparate sets of data.

Understanding the difference between these two important tools will make a difference in optimizing their usage.

Business Intelligence

Business intelligence covers all the company’s internal data, from production to profits and losses. The process involves converting all the business data into actionable information by using tools, software and methodologies. This process results in having meaningful information that helps the company leaders make sound business decisions and take prompt actions not only to boost business performance but also to stay on top of the game.

Corporate executives can identify and cultivate new business opportunities with the use of BI tools, such as dashboards, key performance indicators, and other business analytics. BI also helps entrepreneurs improve their existing business processes, products and services to achieve their business goals.

With many business applications available, you will be able to cover all areas such as product development, pricing, process improvement and strategic planning.

Competitive Intelligence

Competitive intelligence focuses on the external data that affects the business operations, such as market condition, business trends, competitors’ strengths and weaknesses, and potential threats.

While business intelligence analyzes internal data to produce actionable insights, competitive intelligence processes external factors that are publicly available and turn them into valuable insights to answer highly targeted and analytical enterprise questions.

CI is more than just knowing the market where your business operates. In order to successfully penetrate the market and gain competitive advantage, you must turn the market data you’ve gathered into actionable insights. You should utilize competitive intelligence if you want to improve your business status.

Combined Intelligence Power

Despite their difference, business intelligence and competitive intelligence go hand in hand in making sound business decisions.

Nevertheless, these two areas require different skill sets for them to be meaningful and useful. Because business intelligence is technology-driven, BI practitioners belong to the more tech-savvy group. They have extensive know-how on data management, database design, and other technical functions. Competitive intelligence professionals, on the other hand, have more analytical and strategic business skills.

As the competitive business climate continues to evolve, you need to equip yourself not only with the right business attitude and thinking but also with the necessary, useful business tools.

Be more prepared in facing business competition. Contact Four Cornerstone now and our Oracle Consulting in Dallas will show you how business intelligence and competitive intelligence will make a difference in your organization.

Photo by deepak pal.

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