This week we offer you the Competitive Intelligence Thoughts of Lone Star’s Director of Competitive Intelligence, Laurie Young. Lone Star are based in Dallas, United States and more can be found about them here.

1. In your view, what’s Competitive Intelligence?
Legal and ethical collection of data and information that is analysed to provide insights. This analysis enables decision-makers to make business decisions through anticipating competitive behaviour and better understanding the competitive marketplace

2. In your view, what’s the true benefit of CI?
Provides insight and actionable intelligence
Provides alerts and warnings of developments that will directly impact business
Helps decision-makers understand the environment, competitors, customer needs and wants
Assists in the development of strategy
3. How would you advise a company with no experience in Competitive Intelligence to get started?
Identify a CI champion

Set priorities – what do you need/want from CI

Either hire an experienced practitioner or outsource competitive intelligence needs to an established company

4. What analytical tools do you recommend?
Trend analysis
5. Competitive Intelligence is becoming too much about risk mitigation, copying the competitor and the last dataset. And not enough about growth, exploration and creation. It can stop people from being original, risky and creative enough. Do you agree?
It depends on the sophistication of the business. Whether they understand all of the benefits, a CI program can provide. I have worked with some very savvy businesses that use CI very effectively, both tactically and strategically. I agree that there can be an emphasis on avoiding risk rather than thinking outside of the box.

6. Without giving away anything confidential, what’s the best result you have achieved with CI?
Helped a client shape a competition so that they were able to create significant barriers to entry and win a sole-source contract.

7. Artificial Intelligence and platforms will transform CI, and there will be no need for human input in the future. The longevity of the job of a Competitive Intelligence analyst is limited? Do you agree?
No, humans will always be needed to provide the insights required. Gathering HUMINT and interpreting it will remain in human hands.

8. Finally, what’s the one piece of advice you would give a CI analyst?
Be intellectually inquisitive and keep an open mind.

Competitive Intelligence Thoughts of Lone Star’s Director of Competitive Intelligence, Laurie Young
Thank you Laurie. We hope you enjoyed the Competitive Intelligence thoughts of Lone Star’s Director of Competitive Intelligence, Laurie Young.

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