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Articles: Business intelligence

Using business intelligence for competitive advantage
Author:Mark Davis


The Japanese are masters of business intelligence, and some American companies were founded on the eyes and ear's culture. Business intelligence is rapidly becoming a major source to achieve competitive advantage. This innovation is a legitimate business function, and businesses over time have collected data about a whole range of issues - mostly about their competitors. According to Greene (1966) business intelligence is processed information of interest to management, about the present and future environment in which the business is operating.

The latitude of business intelligence can be as wide or narrow as the corporation determines, with needs balanced against resources. Stoner et al (1985) suggest that corporate goals and existing strategies provide a framework for analysing its resources. This analysis is necessary to identify competitive advantages and disadvantages. Competitive advantages and disadvantages are the strengths and weaknesses of a corporation relative to its present and likely competitors .

The overall business intelligence concept is dependent on a process to manage information, using a methodology that integrates with the corporation's functionality and automation. Gilad and Gilad (1988) believe that with structured Business Intelligence programs corporations are better able to:

  • track current and potential competitors,

  • analyse markets,

  • develop profitable new products,

  • determine likely candidates for acquisition or merger,

  • monitor technological developments, and keep abreast of a broad range of political, economic, social and legislative trends with significant impact on a company's future.

  • The Process >>