Intelligence from Space: Using Geographical Information Systems for Competitive Intelligence

Intelligence from Space: Using Geographical Information Systems for Competitive Intelligence

Paul Hendriks (University of Nijmegen, The Netherlands)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59140-142-1.ch009
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Abstract

The spatial element, which is omnipresent in data and information relevant to organizations, is much underused in the decision-making processes within organizations. This applies also to decision-making within the domain of Competitive Intelligence. The chapter explores how the CI function may benefit from developing a spatial perspective on its domain and how building, exploring and using this perspective may be supported by a specific class of information systems designed to handle the spatial element in data: Geographical Information Systems (GIS). The chapter argues that the key element for linking GIS to CI involves the identification of situations in which spatial analysis may support organizational decision-making within the CI domain. It presents a three-step procedure for identifying how CI may recognize spatial decision problems that are useful to boost the operation of the CI function. The first step concerns identifying relevant spatial variables, for instance by analyzing economic, demographic or political trends as to their spatial implications. The second step involves using GIS for positioning the organization with respect to the identified variables (present and projected position). The third step amounts to drawing strategic conclusions from Step 2 by assessing how the competition in relationship with the own organization would be positioned along the identified spatial analysis lines.

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