SCIP Insight eBulletin


CI Must-Reads 2009-2010

  Reviewed by Bonnie Hohhof
Director of Competitive Research

One way to keep your competitive intelligence knowledge current is to learn from the experiences of others. In addition to reading articles in SCIP’s Competitive Intelligence Magazine, here are 12 recent books with different perspectives, thoughts and information that can help you keep your skills up-to-date.

Competitive Intelligence Advantage: How to Minimize Risk, Avoid Surprises, and Grow Your Business in a Changing World.

Seena Sharp 2009. 304 pages, John Wiley & Son, hardcover and Kindle edition


This is a practical guide that explains what CI is, why data is not intelligence, why competitor intelligence is a weak sibling to competitive intelligence, when to use it, how to find the most useful information and turn it into actual intelligence, and how to present findings in the most convincing manner. Importantly, Sharp argues that businesses would benefit from shifting their perspective on CI from viewing it as a cost to viewing it as an investment that saves money and provides immediate value.

Go Beyond Google: Gathering Internet Intelligence.

Sean Campbell and Scott Swigart 2010, Kindle edition


As competitive intelligence professionals, we use Google and a wide variety of other Web-based tools to find very specific pieces of information, answer critical business questions, and support broader marketing and sales initiatives. In short, we help companies accelerate their sales and overall market share in their niche or industry. We’ve written this book because everyone who goes to work and finds themselves staring at the search box can use our techniques to “Go Beyond Google” and get much more out of the Web in far less time. (From introduction)

Structured Analytic Techniques for Intelligence Analysis

Richards J. Heuer Jr. and Randolph H. Pherson 2010, 343 pages,
CQ Press

This book takes the relatively new concept of structured analytic techniques, defines its place in a taxonomy of analytic methods, and moves it a giant leap forward. It describes 50 techniques that are divided into eight categories. By defining the domain of structured analytic techniques, providing a manual for using and teaching these techniques, and outlining procedures for evaluating and validating these techniques, this book lays a common ground for continuing improvement of how analysis is done.

Critical Thinking and Intelligence Analysis

David T. Moore 2010. 140 pages, Joint Military Intelligence College, Occasional Paper Number Fourteen

To be most effective, analysts need an overarching, reflective framework to add structured reasoning to sound, intuitive thinking. Critical thinking provides such a framework and goes further, positively influencing the entire intelligence analysis process. This paper defines critical thinking in the context of intelligence analysis, explains how it influences the entire intelligence process, explores how it toughens the art of intelligence analysis, suggests how it may be taught, and deduces how analysts can be persuaded to adopt this habit.

Competitive Intelligence Anthology

Bonnie Hohhof (editor) 2010, 222 pages, SCIP, paperback


Competitive Intelligence Anthology is a compilation of keystone articles selected from SCIP's Competitive Intelligence Magazine and published over the last seven years. The authors of these articles present the combined knowledge of hundreds of years of experience, and provide you an overview of the significant issues and solutions that face competitive intelligence practitioners. In addition, each has written an introduction which updates the subject under discussion, provides background on why the article was written, and illustrates the value the article provides to a competitive intelligence practitioner.

Strategic Intelligence: A Handbook for Practitioners, Managers,
and Users

Don McDowell 2009, 286 pages, Scarecrow Press, paperback


The revised edition of Strategic Intelligence: A Handbook for Practitioners, Managers, and Users is a primer for analysts involved in conducting strategic intelligence research. Author Don McDowell begins with an overview of what is strategic intelligence and analysis, the functions it performs and outcomes it delivers. McDowell then outlines a proven methodological approach to planning and implementing a strategic research project useful in any setting whatsoever.

Handbook of Scientific Methods of Inquiry for Intelligence Analysis

Hank Prunckun 2010, 248 pages, Scarecrow Press, paperback


This book acquaints the reader with how intelligence fits into the larger research framework. It covers not only the essentials of applied research but also explains the function, structure, and operational methods specifically involved in intelligence work. For instance, it looks at how analysts work with classified information in a security conscious environment, as well as obtaining data via covert methods. The reader is left with little doubt about what intelligence is and how it is developed using scientific methods of inquiry.

Piecing the Puzzle: The 9 Factor Framework for Building and Managing World-class Competitive Intelligence

Alessandro Comai, Richard Wheeler, and John E. Prescott 2009, 256 pages, John Wiley & Sons, hardcover


Competitive Intelligence represents a “formalized,” yet continuously evolving process by which the management team assesses the evolution of its industry and the capabilities and behavior of its current and potential competitors to assist in maintaining or developing a competitive advantage. CI is still an evolving art, so there is a strong need for this book. Working with 20 best-in-class CI organizations, the authors developed metrics for each factor that provides a road map of the key choices necessary to develop a world-class CI program.

Competitive Intelligence: Competitive Advantage through Analysis of Competition, Markets, and Technologies.

Rainer Michaeli November, 2010, 400 pages, Springer, hardcover


This book offers a fundamental and practical introduction to the conceptions, techniques and practice of competitive intelligence. A number of case studies on international companies highlight the different aspects of CI in practice. The book looks at methods of resolution and ideas and techniques—including how to carry out research affectively, manage information overload and use analysis tools intelligently. This book is a practical introduction to the concepts, techniques and uses of CI.

Hyperformance: Using Competitive Intelligence for Better Strategy and Execution.

T.J. Waters 2010, 272 pages, Jossey-Bass, hardcover and Kindle edition


The book describes a practical process from planning (identifying competitive threats and determining the resources needed to counter them, through implementation (creating an organizational strategy) to execution (collecting key information and turning it into bottom-line results). Hyperformance is filled with illustrative examples of companies from start-ups to multi-nationals that have used similar strategies successfully.

Business Intelligence Using Smart Techniques: Environmental Scanning Using Text Mining and Competitor Analysis Using Scenarios and Manual Simulation, Revised Edition

Charles Halliman 2009, 230 pages, Information Uncover Paperback


Business intelligence, text mining, environmental scanning, scenario planning, competitor analysis and actionable information are terms often heard in the business world. This book pulls these terms together so that they take on lucid strategic meaning. Business Intelligence Using Smart Techniques is a book about using text mining to perform environmental scanning, and using scenarios and simulation to perform competitor analysis. The author considers business intelligence to be at the heart of strategic management.

Analytics at Work: Smarter Decisions, Better Results

Thomas H. Davenport, Jeanne G. Harris, and Robert Morison 2010, 240 pages, Harvard Business Press, hardcover


The authors show how many types of analytical tools, from statistical analysis to qualitative measures like systematic behavior coding, can improve decisions about everything from what new product offering might interest customers to whether marketing dollars are being most effectively deployed. Based on all-new research and illustrated with examples from companies including Humana, Best Buy, Progressive Insurance, and, this implementation-focused guide outlines the five-step DELTA model for deploying and succeeding with analytical initiatives.

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