Are competitive intelligence researchers introverted?

Competitive intelligence research is often a solitary pursuit, with days on end spent analyzing SEC filings or reading patents. It can be an attractive occupation for introverts, happier dealing with information than with people. The stereotype of librarians (researchers by another name) adds to that image. As do fictional depictions of researchers from Sherlock Holmes to Indiana Jones.

Not that this is a bad thing - there is some renascent appreciation of introverts - for example, this article in The Atlantic, and Susan Cain's book (familiar to the TEDActive book club).

And now there is irrefutable evidence that competitive intelligence analysts are less sociable than the average - using the two pillars of any modern analysis: Twitter and infographics. Estelle Metayer recently wrote about corporate governance tweets, and since she focuses on corporate governance and competitive intelligence, I decided to compare tweets about both topics.

Compared to tweeters about corporate governance, tweeters about competitive intelligence are:

  • less likely to retweet (23% vs 45%)
  • less likely to reply (2% vs 8%)
  • less likely to mention (35% vs 61%)
  • less likely to ask questions (5% vs 12%)

Here are the pretty charts for 'competitive intelligence' tweets:

The conclusion from this rigorous study? Competitive intelligence does indeed attract more reclusive people. Now go forth and tweet this blog post.