“Inside outside, nowhere is home”

October 28, 2015

I recently reviewed the program of the recent PharmaCI USA Conference & Exhibition (2015). No, I really do have a life, but I find it useful to do some competitive intelligence for my firm’s own benefit. So that makes me a DIYer too.

I spotted of a couple of offerings that touched on a project I have been working on – the nature of the Ecosystem of competitive intelligence. Among the things that this working model of the CI Ecosystem illustrates is the importance of CI researchers and analysts accessing, directly and indirectly, all elements of the CI Ecosystem. It also shows that, among all of these elements, only 4 are capable of providing finished competitive intelligence, as distinguished from raw data or other inputs: (inside) centralized CI function, (inside) decentralized CI function, (inside) embedded CI personnel, and Outside CI specialists.

At the PharmaCI Conference, there were several events that touched on the systemic importance of Outside CI Specialists:

  • “Commercial Competitive intelligence [at conferences] in the pharmaceutical industry…is highly specialized in many respects, facing flexible demand, and often extends certain limits most ethical pharmaceutical companies have subscribed to[1]. All of which is reason for much CCI activity to be performed by third-parties retained by pharmacos, as opposed to the pharmacos themselves.[2]
  • “Collecting CI at a medical conference is too important a task to be left to the CI department and resources are too scarce to not include your entire congress team in the collection effort…. [T]he session will also discuss how to integrate a third party into the collection process.[3]
  • “Key areas of focus will include…Understanding how secondary CI vendors and/or sources can be used to triangulate primary CI? The role of secondary CI vendors in driving primary CI strategy?[4]

These presentations support my rough cut of the CI Ecosystem stressing the critical role of Outside CI Specialists. The question is whether there a growing recognition that, no matter how good an internal CI function, CI personnel, or even CI DIYers are, the smart use of Outside CI Specialists is essential to the production of first rate, actionable CI? I think so.

——

The title’s lyrics are from the album “Quadrophenia” by The Who.

[1] This probably refers to pharmaceutical firms that prohibit their employees from talking with employees of direct competitors, which eliminates the ability to do any elicitation interviews. Needless to say, it paralyzes much activity at industry conferences and meetings.

[2] Peter Barschdorff, VP Business Insights, Bayer.

[3] Erik Glitman, CEO, Fletcher/CSI LLC.

[4] Duncan Emerton, Ph.D., Senior Director, Syndicated Insights & Analysis, FirstWord.


One Comment on ““Inside outside, nowhere is home””

  1. […] Ecosystem of competitive intelligence. Among the things that this working model of the CI Ecosystem illustrates is the importance of CI researchers and analysts accessing, directly and indirectly, all elements of the CI Ecosystem. It also shows that, among all of these elements, only 4 are capable of providing finished competitive intelligence, as distinguished from raw data or other inputs: (inside) centralized CI function, (inside) decentralized CI function, (inside) embedded CI personnel, and Outside CI specialists.  […]


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