1.1: Definition and Origin of Competitive Intelligence (CI)

Competitive Intelligence (CI) is the process of gathering, analyzing, and disseminating information about competitors' activities, strategies, and weaknesses to gain a competitive advantage. The concept of CI has been around for centuries, with the earliest recorded use of CI techniques dating back to ancient China. However, the term "Competitive Intelligence" was first coined in the 1960s by Hewlett-Packard's management. Since then, CI has evolved significantly, with the advent of new technologies and the increasing complexity of business environments.

CI is not the same as corporate espionage or industrial spying, which involve illegal or unethical practices to obtain confidential information. CI is a legal and ethical process that involves collecting publicly available information from various sources, analyzing it to gain insights, and using it to inform strategic decision-making.