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The Strategic Value of Corporate Intelligence

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Corporate intelligence encompasses a wide range of strategic security activities including risk management, security consulting, competitive market analysis, and workplace violence.

Some companies provide all source and open source intelligence analyses and products to government agencies and larger corporations with global operations. Nearly every company, to one extent or another, conducts research and analysis on competitors and markets affecting their service or product lines.

There are some common skill-sets that are a must-have for corporate intelligence professionals, including how to effectively and efficiently conduct open source research and analysis, threat assessments, applied critical thinking and logic, as well as effective report writing.

What is true for foreign and national intelligence analysts employed by Government is true for intelligence analysts employed in the private sector; they must both understand the fundamentals of how to collect, process, evaluate, and validate information as well as develop and utilize adequate and appropriate sources and methods.

Companies may supplement in-house research by outsourcing their competitive intelligence (also known as market intelligence or business intelligence) needs to third-party entities that may focus exclusively in corporate intelligence collection and analysis.

Major corporations may also have their own "intelligence" units that focus on mapping industry trends, identifying risk factors for new or ongoing initiatives, as well as understanding future needs and requirements of customers (which may range from individual consumers to large government agencies).

In the case of the later, companies may hire former military intelligence officers or civilian intelligence professionals (analysts, collectors, managers, etc.) as research analysts and intelligence specialists.

There are a multitude of dynamic corporate intelligence jobs that require a wide-range of intelligence skills and in-depth knowledge. Some corporate intelligence job positions from top companies and prime government contractors that offer paid intelligence services to the government include:

* Booz Allen Hamilton

* Boeing

* General Dynamics

* BAE Systems

* CACI International

* Lockheed Martin

* Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC)

* SRA International

* Northrop Grumman

* Accenture

* And many others...

Corporate intelligence positions are highly competitive and quite often call for advanced degrees in fields directly related to the position requirements. A dynamic corporate intelligence professional will possess both intellectual curiosity, a penchant for asking the right questions (much like a journalist), solid writing and critical thinking skills, as well as subject matter expertise in the area or industry most relevant and impactful to their employer (CISCO or Hewlett-Packard research analysts will likely need to possess advanced knowledge of networks and information technology to be truly effective in their positions; likewise, a market intelligence analyst for Lehman Brothers or Goldman Sachs should have broad understanding of finance, investments, and banking).

In summary, a successful intelligence career may be characterized by various corporate intelligence jobs. Those in this field are reactive, intelligent, and eager to learn. The field is constantly changing and one must adapt over time to remain successful. Often a degree in intelligence is a good way to enhance your skills and talents. If you are committed to this career, you can go far.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: DANIEL SOMMER
Daniel Sommer is marketing director of Henley-Putnam University, a leader in the field of strategic security. For more information on corporate intelligence jobs or an intelligence career. visit http://www.Henley-Putnam.edu

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