Introduction (Toni Wilson – Chair, SLA CI Division)
There is a great deal of discussion this week regarding the value of analysis – the exercise that turns information into intelligence. In today’s blog post, Emily Rushing emphasizes the importance and value of analysis and offers some practical ideas for accomplishing this important step in the competitive intelligence process, ultimately helping ourselves and our organizations become future ready.
by Emily Rushing, Texas Chapter, Competitive Intelligence and Legal Divisions
“Sign, sign, everywhere a sign…”
- Signs, Five Man Electrical Band, 1971.
In keeping with this week’s Competitive Intelligence (CI) theme, I’d like to offer a comment on some favorite topics of mine: using CI to predict the future by reading the signs, and the value of intelligence analysis. I do so with apologies to readers of the 3 Geeks and a Law Blog who may have recently seen our post on “Applaud the Jellyfish.”
Many of us regularly engage in CI work and one of the most common, and most valuable, services we provide is the analysis of data. This analysis typically occurs when you’ve done the research, assembled an intimidating pile of data, and now need to sort through, sift out the meaningful stuff, and turn that into answers.
The process of providing that analysis helps us derive meaning from the signs. Or, to phrase that another way, to turn data into intelligence. A smart organization, with savvy library and information professionals, becomes future ready by watching for the signs, understanding what they mean and then using that intelligence to make good decisions.
So, we librarians and information professionals can demonstrate our future readiness by continuing to find and create innovative ways to add the analytical value to our work.
This analysis may be supported by exciting new predictive search tools, or temporal analytics, or just good, old-fashioned environmental monitoring. The processes may be improved with efficiency measures or with new and better technologies.
Whatever the latest techniques, as long as we are effectively turning signs into meaning, and data into intelligence, we will be future ready.
Emily is the Competitive Intelligence Manager for Haynes & Boone, LLP. Her interests include competitive intelligence, business and financial intelligence, legal and business research, business development, strategic planning, knowledge management, and information technologies. Emily has written and presented on competitive intelligence, research and technology. A Dallas native, her hobbies include reading, cooking, and reading about cooking.