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Where do we draw the line between Business Intelligence and Industrial Espionage - Research Paper Example

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Where do we draw the line between Business Intelligence and Industrial Espionage

organized by an enterprise to collect, store, access and analyze information about the market and competitors so that better business decisions are made possible (Biere, 2003; Scheps, 2008). These corporate databases (Loshin, 2003, p. 1) of information have turned raw data into valuable business information asset that has enabled the enterprise users to look at and manipulate information in a different way leading to fruitful business decisions that are in corporate benefit. Moss and Atre (2003, p. 4) have listed activities which are assisted by BI decision-support programs. These include Online Analytical Processing (OLAP), data mining, forecasting, business analysis, analytic analysis, knowledge management and so on; and, BI decision support databases include data mining databases, operational data stores, operational marts, web warehouses, and etcetera. To monitor BI activities and databases and companies organize BI groups within the organization and also hire professionals from outside who analyze the company’s performance, strengths and weaknesses, and compares the gathered information to predict where the company stands in the market. This helps increase profitability, reduce costs, improve customer relationship management, and decrease business risks (Loshin, 2003, p. 2). Research by Subramanian and IsHak (1998) also found that US companies who used advanced BI systems for competitor analysis enjoyed greater profitability than the companies which did not.
Guttman (1995, p. 26) has defined Industrial Espionage (IE) as an “act of gathering proprietary data from private companies or the government for the purpose of aiding other company(ies)”. Companies may get involved in IE for their competitive advantage and governments may use IE to support other companies. Whatever, the case, the information has to be processed through computers and thus it becomes liable to threats regarding information security. The biggest threat employee sabotage, that is, the ...Show more


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