Interest in competitive intelligence wanes

Eric Garland Intelligence Analysis 15 Comments

I asked Google what the trends were around the interest in competitive intelligence, a common strategic discipline based on scanning the external environment.

What I learned was shocking.

Competitive-intelligence-search-trendsSearch volume for competitive intelligence drops

Searches for “competitive intelligence” have dropped off 82% in the last decade. And note: there’s no bump after the crash of 2008. Even when the market plummeted, the traditional analysis done to support strategy had no discernible increase in interest.

But what Google tells us about futurists versus competitive intelligence is even more shocking – there is more interest in futurists than CI professionals:


That red line is the search volume for futurists – also falling at the same rate as competitive intelligence, but from a higher base.

UPDATE! In response to questions from the community, Let’s add a third comparator – CI and futurists vs. “Big Data.”


When you compare the techniques of the 1980s and 90s to the analytical methods of tomorrow, it doesn’t even look close.

What is it about the last decade that made people lost interest in those organized approaches to strategy?

Did people lose faith in these techniques from the 1980s?

Is it all too complex?

Do leaders just use guesswork and superstition now?

I want your best analysis in the comments section.