Economic intelligence in entrepreneurial processes
This essay attempts to define economic intelligence as a stand-alone part of the overall entrepreneurial equation. It also focuses on how it does facilitate entrepreneurial processes. In business like in the army, the role of information is crucial. In war time, all means are used so as to get information on the enemy, the number, his arms and his strategy and so on. In business, information on competitors, their strengths, their weaknesses, their strategy, etc. is necessary so as to define his own strategy. Like in the war, it is a question on death or survival. A business can grow or can fail. Having useful and timely information on a business environment (customers, suppliers, competitors, regulations, economic, social, etc.), helps to take a good decision and helps to survive and remain competitor. The first part describes economic intelligence. The second talks about the information and the last part the usefulness of economic intelligence in entrepreneurial processes.
Economic intelligence is based on competitive environment’s surveillance system of the economic agents and the action on it, with the purpose of detecting the threats and exploiting the opportunities. Economic Intelligence aims to take advantage of the opportunity to develop better methods for the identification of relevant sources of information, the analysis of the collected information and its manipulation to provide what the user needs for decision making (Minodora & Mihai,2014). Corporate data, like customer information, supply chain information, personnel data, manufacturing data, sales and marketing activity data as well as any other source of critical information, need to be brought together into a single coherent framework for real-time reporting and detailed analysis within the enterprise, (Muntean,2012). Economic intelligence (EI), aimed at providing timely, accurate information to the right people, at the right times, to enable and improve business decision-making, (Clark,2010). EI provides information required in the process of decision making. For instance, when the analysis of sales trends shows a decrease, the manager will question about the cause of the situation and then takes actions to increase the sales. Or when the information shows that there a new competitor entry on the market, he must adjust his strategy so as to compete with him. BI involves the process of exploring, analyzing, and developing information in a way that leads to a better understanding of how the decisions are taken,( Hani, Abdallah, Shadi &Amineh,2016). EI aims to provide useful information through the analysis of available data/fact.
In business, information can be collected from suppliers, customers, competitors, partners, industries, etc. (Alex, 2016). He added that the combination of skills, experience, and information leads to knowledge. Information provides knowledge, that it modifies the state of knowledge of those who receive it,(Olimpia,2004). Dirk (2013), considered information as anything that an agent can sense, detect, observe, perceive, infer or anticipate. The use of information can lead to development of new products, enter on new markets, increase customer loyalty, attract new customer, increase sales (Alex, 2016). Information is needed at all steps of decision-making: identify and diagnose the problem; finding alternative solutions; evaluating alternatives, choosing an alternative; implementing the decision and then evaluating the outcome of the decision(Willy et al. 2015).
The main role of the information is to reduce uncertainty. Then, without information one makes a decision and find out what happens, but with information one finds out what will happen then decide what to do. The value of information is due to its ability to change the decision. The final factor to consider is the quality of the information being accessed / provided / used; no information is complete or perfect (Mosaic, 2016). Information is obtained through four steps: the expression of needs, the collection, the treatment and the analysis, and the dissemination, (Bel & Aouadi, 2014).
Economic intelligence in entrepreneurial processes.
Each step of entrepreneurial process requires information gathering, analyzing, sharing and decision making. Vânia, Alexandre and Newton (2010) found the entrepreneurial process as follows: Innovation includes generating the idea, innovation, identifying a market opportunity, information search, conception, screening ideas for feasibility, identifying where to extract value and the development of the product or service. Triggering event, which includes gestation, the motivation to start a business, the decision to proceed, the business planning, identifying the different resources required, risk assessment, resource acquisition and assembling. Implementation, includes infancy, incorporation, setting up and launching the new venture, business strategy, implementing the business plan, running the business, deploying of resources, building success and managing the venture. Growth which includes adolescence, maximizing profits, harvesting the rewards and continually growing the venture to include other opportunities.
Fabiola and Sonia (2014) said that entrepreneur’s role is essentially creative, develops new information where he perceives that there is a profit opportunity. The literature on the economic intelligence unanimously highlighted the role of the actions related to the collection, the treatment and the analysis, the dissemination, the protection of the information and the entrepreneurial orientation, (Bel & Aouadi,2014).
We can conclude that economic intelligence as a process of finding information that helps in decision making is the basis of entrepreneurial process. A better use of economic intelligence will sustain entrepreneurial process as it will help to identify new ideas and opportunities from the changing environment. Economic intelligence is great tool for every entrepreneur small or big as it provides useful information for a better decision making.
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- Antoine Niyungeko (Author), 2020, Economic Intelligence and Entrepreneurial Activities. The Crucial Role of Information, Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/956963