Competitive intelligence jobs: what are they asking for?

There are currently ~110 jobs on that have competitive intelligence in the title (vs 500 for neurosurgeon and 90 for gardener). 

Below are two word clouds for the competitive intelligence jobs that pay over $100K. One cloud for the words in the descriptions of these jobs (i.e. what does the job involve) and one for the requirements (i.e. what qualifications does the employer want). Both have been tidied up - for example, words like competitive intelligence taken out.

1. Word cloud of job descriptions.

competitive intelligence job descriptions.png

Three quick takeaways:

  1. Words like market and strategic, and the absence of words like product, are a reminder that this job is about taking a broad view out to the horizon, rather than focusing on the blades of grass underfoot.
  2. There is a lot of emphasis on working with, and convicing, decision makers. Hence stakeholders, work (which mostly comes from 'work with'), and senior (which mostly refers to working with 'senior management').
  3. The word actionable is significant, but less so than competitive intelligence practitioners might advocate (and less so than analysis and research, which I took out as they are obvious parts of the job).

2. Word cloud of job requirements.

competitive intelligence job requirements.png

Three quick takeaways:

  1. Not surprisingly for $100K jobs, the biggest requirements are experience and management ability.
  2. Related to the job description above, there are clear requirements for interaction: communicating, executives (from 'working with senior executives') and consultative.
  3. There is no requirement for hard skills, such as a CFA, dentist or software engineer would need. Your ability to influence others may be the biggest draw.

For what it's worth, the competitive intelligence people I have met whom I most admire have shared the following skills:

  1. Turning insight into actionable advice. Over time this becomes natural, but it does take some development. It is easy to fall back into just reporting information.
  2. Adopting the audience's point of view. The natural inclination of an analyst is to make 'objective' statements from an outsider's standpoint. A good competitive intelligence manager will take on the point of view of the decision maker, and personalise the recommendations so that the decision maker does not have to re-contextualise them.
  3. Pushing the limits of excellence. Sounds a bit cheesy, but they are people who deliver and execute way above the level at which their peers perform. Good-enough and reasonable were not in their psyche.