For the first two installments, please click here: Part 1 and Part 2.
So the question we try to answer here is why not all of us operate as a white mage of business information, despite the fact that the application of ethical and legal business intelligence system in a company, especially in an innovative firm seems to be of crucial importance.
Hedi Nasheri, a professor at the University of Kent, has written a book on Economic Espionage and Industrial Spying. He pointed out that industrial spies are mostly creative individuals, capable of analyzing large amount of information quickly. He demonstrated that the second greatest problems with information right after the problem of acquiring the information is the problem of efficient processing. Other professionals arrived at the same conclusion, as can be seen in these two quotes:
“You can have data without information, but you cannot have information without data.”
Daniel Keys Moran (Business architect, database guru, writer of The Ring, and The Long Run)
“Getting information off the Internet is like taking a drink from a fire hydrant.”
Mitchell Kapor (First head of Mozilla Foundation)
The last quote may give a hint as to why firms tend not to use internet as a source of business information, even though it’s not a valid reason. The world-wide-web may be huge, its data unstructured, and somewhat untrustworthy. But as Winston Churchill, the British prime minister said “true genius resides in the capacity for evaluation of uncertain, hazardous, and conflicting information”.
Even though not every company can afford to hire top semantic web-search gurus and experienced, professional data analysts, they have to be able to reduce the complexity of the problem down to a level they are capable to handle. In other words: You have to be able to find trustworthy and structured databases, and limit your research to those. This way data collection time is reduced, the source of information is solid, and no significant data processing is required. Focused research on pre-selected data also reduces the requirements for analytical skills you need to have in order to get meaningful results out of the mass of information, so the usual personnel of even an SME may profit and make great use of business intelligence.
With such a system integrated into their operational routine, companies discover available business information, capture and use them effectively on a professional level, and thereby improve the quality and efficiency of business decision making via:
- effective analysis of their business environment
- a better understanding of market conditions and technology trends
- more effective decision making
- generation of alternative revenue models
- search and initiation of new partnerships
- avoidance of lawsuits and legal sanctions
- protection of their innovation endeavors
It will also help them to access technology focused sources of business information, enabling them to:
- assess and improve the technology development via learning about current innovations, state-of-the-art solutions, in a cost efficient, timely, and highly structured manner.
- effectively protect their successful innovations
If you are interested in learning more about this topic, please also refer to our Commercialization Support Training.