ESIG – Ethically Sourced Intelligence Gathering

If you watched Impeachment: American Crime Story, you probably remember Episode 3 where Matt Drudge digs through the trash at CBS in search of what turns out to be his first big scoop (he was a CBS gift shop employee at the time). He was “dumpster diving,” or in other words engaging in an activity associated with corporate spying, which is not to be confused with the practice of competitive intelligence. Competitive intelligence professionals ensure that only information that is publicly available is used and has been gathered in a transparent and ethical manner.

In this enlightened age of widespread ESG adoption, and specifically in the world of procurement and supply chain, there is acute awareness of the need to source services and products in a highly transparent and ethical manner. Information and intelligence gathering should be no different. Here is an informal listing of points to consider for ESIG – Ethically Sourced Intelligence Gathering.

  • Be constantly mindful about where and how you get the information and data you use for intelligence gathering.
  • When calling to interview a potential source, always be 100% transparent about who you are and exactly why and how you will be using the information.
  • Respect other’s research and work by citing and giving credit for any thoughts used, regardless of type of media.
  • Only use sources that can be traced back to the original content and cite and/or provide a link.
  • Use research from third party resources where there is a clearly defined methodology for how the information was gathered and/or a sources cited listing.
  • Use resources that are responsibly priced and utilize fair subscription practices. Be leery of resources that are priced so high that you are limited by budget constraints in being able to use other resources to get differing viewpoints, to triangulate, and to see emerging patterns.
  • Respect and comply with all copyright licensing. This is not just for data, but for all types of media.
  • Check your own self-bias in approaching and representing your research and findings.

Note: For a complete list of standards to use to ensure the applicability and veracity of information that may influence business decisions, click here to access the document via ProcureSearch.

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