For information about competitive intelligence as a discipline, the Strategic and Competitive Intelligence Professionals (SCIP) website is a great place to start. Its website provides a wealth of information resources, as well as opportunities for online networking and conferences. Beyond SCIP, we have a number of other favorite sources that we often recommend to our customers, colleagues, and students. We’ve rounded up a few in this article to get you started.
Connect with People and Groups Using LinkedIn
Rather than starting your inquiry with Google, LinkedIn may be a better choice. You can start by looking at profiles of people in the industry—including Sean Campbell and, Scott Swigart—and see what groups they are part of that might be useful to you. There are dozens of LinkedIn Groups that can help guide you in the right direction, including the SCIP group, which has been rapidly developing in the past year or so.
You are likely to find interesting groups in areas other than competitive intelligence itself, such as market research, strategy and planning, and specific industries. A good approach is to sign up for a number of groups, get more notifications than you want, and then pare the list back to the best groups for you personally.
Branch Out to Useful Organizations and Affiliated Resources
Many of the online groups you will find on LinkedIn and elsewhere have formal organizations wrapped around them, which can lead you to additional resources. Good examples include the Market Research and Intelligence Association, the Association for Strategic Planning, and the Institute for Management Consultants USA. Organizations that focus on source collection, such as the Special Libraries Association’s Competitive Intelligence Division, are also valuable.
These organizations all have opportunities and resources associated with them, including everything from podcasts to conferences and networking events. Note that you can often drill down even further by pairing specific geographic areas and industries with the disciplines such as competitive intelligence or market analysis that interest you most
Beyond Business: Academic and Government Resources
For an illustration of the value of connections within the academic world for competitive intelligence and related disciplines, look no further than the Harvard Business Review Ideacast, a weekly management podcast. There’s also a wealth of opportunity associated with academic programs more directly related to intelligence and related disciplines, such as the Mercyhurst University Institute for Intelligence Studies and Sources & Methods blog.
Likewise, the public-sector intelligence community offers information and other resources that are useful to competitive intelligence practitioners. The CIA’s Center for the Study of Intelligence is probably our favorite, including “What I Learned in 40 Years of Doing Intelligence Analysis,” a paper we find ourselves recommending often.
By Sean Campbell
By Scott Swigart