Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Map Twitter Networks for Market Intel - RSS Friends

Thank's to ReadWriteWeb for this post introducing a new, useful way to track key competitor, customer, supplier execs. Likely to provide insights into activities, influencers, interests, etc. Next time you run a strategic planning or war game exercise, how about posting the influence map of key stakeholders in organizations of interest.

"RSSFriends offers an RSS feed of new people that any Twitter account begins following or anyone that stops following a designated account. Here are three ways I've begun using this service."


Thursday, February 18, 2010

CI and Return on Ignorance (ROI)

Thanks to Twitter post by @myprpro for this idea. ROI might better be used as acronym for Return on Ignorance. Disappointment with this metric usually leads to investment in resources behind CI. What don't you know?

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Careful who you connect with on geolocatable SM

Imagine all the corporate security managers dealing with this one.

"Location-based social networks like Foursquare, Gowalla, Brightkite and Google Buzz...mong the fastest growing new mobile services...all...have one thing in common: they encourage you to share your current location with the rest of the world."

"By doing this, though, you are also telling people where you are not: at home. A new site, PleaseRobMe, plays on this theme and displays real-time updates from Foursquare users who broadcast their check-ins on Twitter"


Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Is the future of CI the "conductor" of a customized search engine orchestra

Musing of the day...

Seems to me that the future of CI will revolve around a select few CI professionals who conduct an orchestra of proprietary search engines -> ones who deeply understand the operations, strategies/tactics, people, processes, mindset, psychology, culture, technology, data, etc. of the organization in a multi-disciplinary enough way so as to be able to direct and "tune" proprietary search engines against internal and external (www, subscription sources, all data formats) to extract and display (e.g. Tableau) actionable insights. As much of this will be qualitative (associations, adjacencies, vocab/neologism nuances, etc.).

Already we have so many enterprise-wide systems, but who is mining the patterns and the successes of their use to unpack them and accelerate search/reapply?

Multilingualism will be critical. Multi-industry understanding will be required as technology draws them together. Personal real-time best-in-class SME networks will be a prerequisite.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Private Company Info in the US

I was reflecting recently on some of the ways to more deeply understand private companies in the US. Here is a summary of some of my thoughts. Be happy to discuss.
At one time or another I have found all of these helpful.

Key sources for private companies include:

1) Local press (local bus specialty press, microfiche local library, chamber pubs, e-zines, blogs/forums)
2) Subject matter experts (SME) - ex employees, suppliers, carriers, partners, customers, consultants, advisers (attorneys, CPAs, bus brokers, insurers, packaging material suppliers who are part of "integrated solution", bus park neighbors, supplier literature)
3) SBA, VC financing disclosures/records
4) Statehouse filings (principals, related names & companies, investors) and economic dev pubs (success stories)
5) Site visits - employment, busyness/shifts, carriers/suppliers, visible capabilities, some cities have traffic density data so you can estimate employment from number of cars, etc.
6) Directories - city, industry,chamber, etc.
7) Investment analysts covering an industry can have insight and networks into key private entities from their networks
8) Shows/events - local/regional/national, multi-industry
9) Adverts in local/trade press and SM presence
10) Building, zoning permits, tax assessments, EPA records, OSHA, water and air discharge permits, collective agreements & union officials...some of this under Federal FOI process
11) Local press reporters
12) What publicly traded companies they typically sell to are saying about their suppliers
13) Local academics/engineers/coops working as consultants
14) Local bus incubators, economic developers and their events
15) Personal networks
16) Bus/company/plant open houses
17) Food, beverage, hospitality, recreation establishments nearby key sites
18) Internal sales force needs to be enrolled and proactively directed
19) Off-shore folks interested in same (trade info)
20) Advocacy groups - e.g. environmentalists
21) Local charitable organizations they are involved with (boards, cont'ns, etc.)

Feel free to grow the list and elaborate any of the above from your experience or insight either privately or to the whole group.

Friday, February 5, 2010

In Praise of Middle Age Brains

From an HBR blog today (Barbara Strauch), this is really encouraging for those of us who realize our brains work if anything better after 2 or 3 decades of professional life in many important ways.

No reason this can't and doesn't apply in full force in the CI space. I have found it to be true allowing me also to easily span multiple industries.

"By midlife our brains have developed a whole host of talents that are, in the end, just as well suited to navigating the modern, complex workplace. As we age, we get better at seeing the possible.

Younger brains, predictably, are set up to focus on the negative and potential trouble. Older brains, studies show, often reach solutions faster, in part, because they focus on what can be done.

By the time we reach middle age, millions of patterns have been established in our brains, and these connected pathways provide invaluable perspective — even when it's subconscious. For instance, some middle-aged managers I've spoken with talked about how solutions seem to "pop'' into their heads "like magic.''

It doesn't come from magic, of course, but from the very real — and often unappreciated — talents of our middle-aged brains."

Thanks Barbara.


IPhone CI - build your filters now

Powerful new technology per Mashable post today: http://mashable.com/2010/02/05/siri-assistant/ Conjures up many scenarios of how employees enterprise wide will be able to self serve. The idea of tuning such apps in the CI context to ensure best sources are filtered for will become important in a VUCA world.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Biz analytics or CI - let the quants do the quants

My terabytes are better than your terabytes...on and on it goes.Technology in processing complex data, non-formated data, powerful visualization, etc. is all wonderful and helpful. Where CI fills the gap is in getting the data or data equivalent before it is written down anywhere. Anything written down is inherently obsolete with a lot of variability in the timeline between awareness, authorship and publication. Much more qualitative. Let the quants do the quants. Use the quants stuff but do the rest too and usually first.