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Glossary of terms used in competitive intelligence and knowledge management  

By Vernon Prior

NB: Entries marked with an * are new or modified entries with effect from 12 July 2009

A - B - C - D - E - F - G - H - I - J - K - L - M - N - O - P / Q - R - S - T - U - V - W / X / Y/ Z

P - Q

Pareto principle was formulated by Italian statistician and economist, Vilfredo Pareto (1848 Ė 1923).  It states that: In any series of elements to be controlled, a selected small fraction in terms of number of elements almost always accounts for a large fraction in terms of effect.  This was subsequently developed into the 80/20 rule and applied to real-world situations in which there is a question of effectiveness versus diminishing returns on effort, expense, or time.   

Parkinsonís law (also known as the Rising pyramid) states that: Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.  This law was proposed by C Northcote Parkinson (1958). 

Passive disinformation, see Disinformation

Password is a Code used to gain access to a secure system.  It may take the form of a word or phrase, or any combination of numbers and letters (in both upper and lower case).  See also: Authentication, Corporate security

Patent is a government authority to an individual or organisation conferring a right or title to make, import, use, offer for sale, or sell an Invention or discovery made in the natural world.  It gives the patentee the right to take legal action against unauthorised used of the invention (known as infringement) for a fixed period.  A patent cannot be granted for the following:

         an aesthetic creation, such as a literary, dramatic, or artistic work;

         a computer program;

         a discovery not made in the natural world;

         a mathematical method;

         a scheme or method for performing a mental act, playing a game, or doing business;

         a scientific theory;

         the presentation of Information

See also: Copyright, Intellectual property, Patent specification

Patent specification is a Document that describes an Invention.  See also: Intellectual property, Patent.   

Periodical is a publication that is issued at regular or stated intervals, such as a Journal or Magazine

Personal mobility is the term given to recent developments in personal communications, including mobile telephones, facsimile machines, and networks; the ultimate aim being to provide each individual with one unique, universally applicable contact number.  See also: Network

Personalisation is a search engine information retrieval technique in which results are based on the individualís past search behaviour.  It is the current equivalent of Selective dissemination of Information (SDI).   

Personality profiling, see Individual profiling

Phase-frequency analysis reveals the pervasive themes of a Database.  See also: Data mining

Phase-proximity analysis discloses the relationships among pervasive themes in a Database.  See also: Data mining

Phishing is the fraudulent use of email to persuade recipients to disclose personal information, such as bank account numbers and passwords.  See also: Corporate security, Electronic mail, Password

Planning is the process of synthesising a goal or set of intentions into a sequence of steps, formalising those steps so as to facilitate their implementation, and articulating the anticipated consequences of each stage in the process.  Planning uses the left brain, involving logic, reasoning, and rational thinking.  See also: Business plan, Mind maps, Operational planning, Scenario planning, Strategic planning, Tactical planning

Point-to-point protocol (PPP) is a means whereby an individual computer communicates with an Internet service provider (ISP). 

Portal is a Web site that acts as a Gateway to the Internet by providing a broad and diverse range of services, including directories, Search engines or, links, email, reference tools, forums or chat facilities, access to online shopping and banking, games, entertainment, and so on.  See also: Directory, Electronic mail, Mega-portal, Vortal

Portfolio analysis provides a framework to assess relative Opportunities and to enhance the return on investment (RoI) in a company's portfolio of businesses.  It is used to optimise the allocation of available resources among strong and weak products, brands, or business units.  See also: Predictive analytics

Precis is an abridged, impartial version of a Document designed to offer clear, concise material for rapid, easy assimilation, usually to clarify obscure or involved argument.  Comment, interpretation, implications, or opinion may also be included, but should be identified as such.  See also: Report

Precision refers to the number of relevant items retrieved as a proportion (per cent) of the total number of retrieved items in an Information collection.  See also: Recall

Predictive analytics is the use of relevant software for the Analysis of large data collections employing statistics, Neural networks, decision trees, Visualisation, pattern-matching algorithms, Data mining, Artificial intelligence, and similar techniques (concerning, for example, the demand for products or services, customer behaviour, business transactions, and market dynamics) in order to suggest decisions for optimum results.  Applications include: brand management, campaign enhancement, cost reduction, customer support, fraud detection, investment, just-in-time inventory control, process improvement, product or service differentiation, and risk management.  See also: Algorithm, Data warehousing, Decision tree, Informetrics, Just-in-time manufacturing, Portfolio analysis, Product differentiation. 

Premium market is one in which the market leader has more than 41.7% of the Market and at least 1.7 times the share of the second company.  See also: Market share

Pretexting refers to a specific form of Deception in which the perpetrator acquires personal (usually finance-related) information through false pretences - that is, by making false statements, through misrepresentation, or by fraud - and subsequently uses it for some form of gain, or to avoid legal process.  See also: Social engineering

Privatisation is the partial or total sale of government business to the private sector.  See also: Corporatisation

Product differentiation is that which makes a company's products different from those of its competitors.  See also: Market, Predictive analytics

Production network is formed when two or more enterprises cooperate in the production of goods by making the best use of their combined resources and skills, including people, production capability, technology, and Information.  In this way the enterprises are able to achieve a level and range of production necessary to enter new markets.  See also: Alliances, Cluster, Joint venture, Lead-firm network, Market, Networking, Service network, Strategic alliance

Professional associations comprise groups of people concerned with a particular craft, trade, profession, or industry.  See also: Networking

Professional services automation (PSA), see Enterprise resource planning (ERP). 

Proposal is a Document used to seek approval for a specific course of action.  Its content should normally:

         describe the aim or purpose, and the anticipated benefits;

         outline the means of achievement;

         nominate the individuals responsible for carrying it out;

         list the needed resources;

         note any constraints;

         provide an accurate estimate of the cost and time to completion.        

Proprietary information, see Trade secret

Prospective hindsight is a technique for evaluating the effect a likely future event may have upon the organisation. Results may be achieved by comparing the probable reasons why an event may take place with the reasons why it did take place - by assuming that the event has already occurred.  Alternatively, an ideal outcome may be proposed and, by working backwards, the optimum means of achieving that outcome may be extrapolated.  See also: Scenario analysis, Scenario planning

Proximity operators are used in full-text searching to identify semantic or contextual relationships between words in a Document.  They enable a searcher to specify where one term in a document must be in relation to another term: for instance, adjacent to, within a certain number of words, or in the same sentence or paragraph.  See also: Boolean algebra

Psychographics refers to the attempt to evaluate the purchasing intentions of consumers from a study of their emotional and psychological responses to qualitative surveys.  The aim is to match standard demographic Data (such as age, income, marital status, socio-economic group) to more amorphous characteristics (such as values, interests, self-image).  See also: Market intelligence

Push technology, currently referred to as Personalisation, is a colloquialism for Selective Dissemination of Information (SDI).  

*Quarterback technique applies to external events, such as trade shows and conferences, in which a Competitive intelligence team is managed to maximum effect through the use of specific, predetermined information and analytical needs and the optimum selection of known or anticipated information sources.  The activity calls for rapid reaction to changing circumstances, considerable flexibility in handling resources, and frequent discussion throughout the event.  Coordination may be best achieved through the use of an on-site War room, together with senior executive input.  See also: Trade show intelligence.



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