© 2008 -2010 by Nwankama W Nwankama | www.allhandsmgt.com
Differences Between Business Intelligence (BI) &
Competitive Intelligence & Predictive Analytics
In business, competition, which has become a veritable corporate world war, has become a science
– a real, tough, hardcore science.
Analytics (computer and human) is at the very core of this science.
Rules of thumb, intuition, tradition, and regular financial analysis are no longer sufficient for
addressing many decision challenges encountered in our highly sophisticated and fiercely
competitive world of today.
All businesses require living and artificial analytic dexterity in all sectors of their operations.
No less a magisterial authority on business matters than the Financial Times stressed this
imperative in its edition of April 18, 2007, as World business authorities heralded the epic blueprint
by top researchers, led by Professor Thomas Davenport of Harvard Business School and entitled
"Competing on Analytics: The New Science of Winning".
Financial Times stated; “the traditional ways of seeking competitive advantage are redundant.”
The paper added that, for any business, “the future lies with the ability to analyze the very
considerable volumes of data it amasses…” The same day, the equally venerable Wall Street
Journal projected that “analytics…seems likely only to grow in importance.”
These commanding verdicts invite two broad questions:
1. How does a business best acquire the necessary data, and
2. How does it properly analyze the data it acquires in order to create and sustain competitive
Businesses perform various forms and degrees of analysis. Some call it Business Intelligence and
others call theirs Competitive Intelligence. Consequently, business Intelligence has sometimes been
mistaken for Competitive Intelligence – which provides the bedrock for Competitive Intelligence &
Predictive Analytics (CIPA). Both BI and CIPA involve tools for decision support, but are not