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Using Guidelines to Reduce Risk and Ensure Effectiveness in Competitive Intelligence Groups

CHAPEL HILL, N.C., July 7, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Creativity and innovation in collecting, analyzing, and disseminating mission-critical data often drive the success of pharmaceutical Competitive Intelligence groups. While there are many approaches to collecting data, CI groups must operate within and adhere to professional guidelines and company policies that reduce corporate risk. Leading organizations understand that effective guidelines strike a balance between reducing exposure to risk and not inhibiting the gathering of critical information.

To help organizations navigate this challenging task, Best Practices, LLC has published "Best Practices in Competitive Intelligence: Establishing Policies & Guidelines that Reduce Corporate Risks." This research study explores CI organizational structure, information sources, data collection methods and operating guidelines utilized by CI groups at leading pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies.

This 52-page report will help organizations understand:

  • How organizations can optimize their CI operations while working within defined guidelines.
  • How CI organizations work with Legal to develop policies and guidelines.
  • Practices for collection, use and sources of primary data —including use of third party vendors for primary data collection.
  • Current approaches to CI resources, staffing and structure.

In terms of managing risk, two-thirds of the organizations that participated in the study said they have formal guidelines and policies in place that govern primary CI data collection. CI leaders who developed guidelines with their legal teams found that they had to educate colleagues in legal about the purpose of the CI function in order to alleviate concerns that competitive activities put their company at risk.

"One of the things that helped them understand was a diagram of a balance that weighed the risks of collecting competitive information against the risks of not employing our fiduciary responsibility to keep the company competitive and deliver share-holder value. They came to understand that turning a blind eye because we didn't want to address the question of how to do it legally and ethically was actually putting the company at greater risk and the longer we waited, the further we were behind competitively," said one senior director who participated in the study.

Twenty-seven leaders of Competitive Intelligence and related functions at 22 leading pharmaceutical companies participated in the research project, which included field interviews. CI leaders can use this research to help create or maintain policies and guidelines regarding CI operations as well as to compare their data collection practices and resource/structural benchmarks with those of leading organizations.

To learn more about this report, download a complimentary report excerpt at For related research, visit our Best Practices, LLC Web site at


Best Practices, LLC serves 48 of the world's 50 top pharmaceutical companies.  For more than 17 years, we have conducted work based on the simple yet profound principle that organizations can chart a course to superior economic performance by studying the best business practices, operating tactics and winning strategies of world-class companies.

SOURCE Best Practices, LLC
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