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Kimberly Bauer: Building a Competitive Intelligence MBA Curriculum with Klue

From the day I was told I would be taking on a brand new competitive intelligence role — two careers ago — I’ve been infatuated. The dynamic nature and constant state of learning in competitive intelligence is what inspires me every day.

Although there is certainly an emphasis on proactive and cyclical research practices, no day/week/month is ever the same for those of us in CI.

Incoming competitive insights, corporate strategy initiatives, and increasing market demands can shift focus quickly for us. All of which demanding that we learn quickly, as we have to maintain our brand as a trusted advisor for nearly every function within our organization — C-Suite included!

Competitive intelligence jobs

Forming and norming a competitive intelligence program

Structuring a CI program that is trusted, operationally sound, and measurable is no easy feat.

That’s why I was excited to learn that the University of California, Irvine Paul Merage School of Business MBA program offers a Competitive Intelligence for Managers course, as a well-populated elective course.

Not only does this course fill up fast, but it’s full of highly engaged leaders looking to develop strategic competitive intelligence programs within their organizations. I have had the honor of being part of teaching these leaders, while sharing my own experiences in building out a world class competitive intelligence team.

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As part of the lecture, we spend a lot of time discussing competitive analysis methods. The students spend the quarter learning key components of research, ethics, analysis, and strategy that all build toward a war game at the conclusion of the course.

We leverage Klue as a mechanism for collecting and centralizing research insights for this war game — from news alerts, company statistics, website/page monitoring, marketing metrics and so much more. 

A platform for learning and competing

The second the students go hands-on in Klue, the battlecards are created almost instantaneously – flying onto the screen faster than I can refresh our dashboard. Although they are still in the throws of the research phase, they immediately start tracking trends and highlight critical insights.

Just as the student becomes the master, they start asking questions about the platform and have resulted in me unlocking new levels of understanding of what Klue can do. Of course, our friends at Klue get the benefit of this – as we learn new ways to leverage the intelligence we surface. 

I still don’t feel worthy of teaching this course as I have so much to learn about the world of competitive intelligence. There is no one-size fits all approach, and I love building out the pieces of the puzzle.

For me, Klue will always be a critical and central piece of that puzzle.

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