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Using Science and Technology Intelligence to Drive Business Results

  • ID: 42927
  • Report
  • September 2001
  • 133 pages
  • American Productivity & Quality Center, APQC
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This Best-Practice Report is the result of a multiclient benchmarking study that identified and examined best practices in using science and technology intelligence (STI) to drive business results. The goal of the study was to enable participants to identify performance gaps or opportunities for improvement by comparing their own STI programs to other STI programs. Building on its successful predecessors and conducted in partnership with the Society of Competitive Intelligence Professionals (SCIP), this study focused on four areas in science and technology intelligence:

1. the justification and role of science and technology intelligence in driving
business results;

2. processes and techniques to collect, prioritize, analyze, and utilize science and technology intelligence across the organization;

3. storing technology intelligence and facilitating its distribution; and

4. measuring and analyzing successful science and technology intelligence programs.

Seventeen organizations participated in the consortium learning forum by
attending a series of planning sessions, completing data-gathering surveys, and/or attending or hosting on-site interviews. Of those 17 organizations, 13 sponsored the study (“sponsors”). Five organizations, including one of the sponsor organizations, were identified as having strong science and technology intelligence programs in place and were invited to participate in the study as benchmarking partners.


Drawing on input from Subject Matter Expert (SME) Dr. John Prescott and
secondary research literature, the APQC study team identified four key areas for research. These areas guided the design of the data collection instruments and were the basis on which the chapters have been developed.

1. The justification and role of science and technology intelligence in driving
business results
- How is science and technology intelligence used to support business decisions?
- How is science and technology intelligence linked to business intelligence?
- What roles are needed to develop a science and technology intelligence program?
- How are these roles linked to corporate strategy, competitive awareness, and
early-warning indicators?

2. Processes and techniques to collect, prioritize, analyze, and utilize science and technology intelligence across the organization
- How do firms conduct early-warning analysis that leads to managerial action?
- How does science and technology intelligence support new product releases?
- What is the role of science and technology intelligence in effective technology management?
- What tools are available to analyze and collect information on technology?
- How do organizations engage in intellectual property protection?
- What are the main sources for technology intelligence and analytical techniques?

3. Storing technology intelligence and facilitating its distribution
- What processes are used to collect and prioritize science and technology
- How do organizations set up the process to monitor science and technology
- Should science and technology intelligence be shared with alliances?
- What IT tools should be used to store and distribute science and technology

4. Measuring and analyzing successful science and technology intelligence programs
- What measures should you use to evaluate science and technology intelligence?
- How do you report these measures?
- How do you track progress?
- What tools are being used, and how do you make technology-related decisions
based on the information you collect?
- What do you do with these measures once you have them?

The following items summarize the focal points for each chapter in this report.

Chapter 1: What is unique about science and technology intelligence?
- Four attributes of STI, together, illustrate a unique context.
- STI holds specific challenges.

Chapter 2: How are STI programs organized?
- The technology intelligence matrix, which depicts relationships
between STI activities and key business decisions, is a tool for
assessing the role of STI programs.
- Four STI models were developed based on the technology intelligence

Chapter 3: How does STI contribute to competitive awareness?
- Competitive awareness increases through the use of analytical frameworks
to produce STI projects, which provide inductive insights that
are communicated to intelligence users.
- STI/CI Web sites and the development of proprietary databases that
reinforce an organization’s STI model increase competitive awareness.

Chapter 4: How does STI flow?
- Information flows ensure that the delivery of STI to intelligence users
is accomplished in a timely manner. Specifically, information flows
can be depicted through the development of intelligence cycle maps.
- Four different types of networks were identified that facilitate the flow
of STI.
- IT is used primarily to collect, store, and disseminate STI.

Chapter 5: How is STI integrated into decision making?
- STI impacts the decision-making process primarily through indirect
input to the strategy formation process.
Chapter 6: Starting and refining an STI program
- A stage model of STI development was created to assist in the launching
of an STI program.


This four-phased methodology was developed in 1993 and serves as one of the premier methods for successful benchmarking in the world. It was recognized by the European Center for Total Quality Management in 1995 as first among 10 leading benchmarking organizations’ models. It is an extremely powerful tool for identifying best and innovative practices and for facilitating the actual transfer of those practices.

Phase 1: Plan
Phase 2: Collect
Phase 3: Analyze
Phase 4: Adapt
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- Sponsor and Partner Organizations

A listing of the sponsor organizations in this study, as well as the best-practice (“partner”) organizations that were benchmarked for their innovation and advancement in science and technology intelligence.

- Executive Summary

A bird’s-eye view of the study, presenting the study focus and the methodology used throughout the course of the study. The findings are explored in detail in following sections.

- Findings

An in-depth look at the key findings of this study. The findings are supported by quantitative data and qualitative examples of practices employed by the partner organizations.

- Partner Organization Case Studies

Background information on the partner organizations and their innovative practices.
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