Laurie is Director of Competitive Intelligence at Lone Star Analysis, a provider of predictive and prescriptive analytics and analysis in industrial markets. Laurie and her 3-person team support the 15-person strong Competitive Differentiation team. She has over 20 years of experience in competitive intelligence, industry and market analysis, win-loss analysis and direct sales support. She's also Chair of the SCIP Dallas Chapter. We recently spoke with Laurie about the best career advice she's ever received, and how her background in history has been helpful in connecting insights to strategy.
"Big Data – what is it? How big is big? Why do I care? Is there a clear advantage if I use big data? How do I incorporate “big data” in my analysis? In my opinion, big data is another buzz word that is meaningless without the ability to gain actionable insights."
What's been the best piece of career advice that you've received?
Never forget to thank people and acknowledge their work. People are too quick to criticize, but are very hesitant to say thank you or to say “good job.” One of my favorite people always makes an effort to introduce himself and learn the names of people who are often invisible, like support staff. He never fails to receive a smile because people really appreciate that kind of interest and attention.
What was the reason that you got into CI/Intelligence?
I am the nosiest person I know. I love to learn and share what I have learned. I started doing this in the early 90’s when my company was surprised by a significant world event. I was given permission to begin to track our competition in order to predict how they would behave. That was the beginning. My background in history has given me an understanding of the importance of strategy and how intelligence can provide actionable insights to impact behavior.
How do you see CI evolving over the next 5 years? What skills will be important?
I am still mystified by social media, but I believe the ability to mine various internet sites will yield tremendous value. LinkedIn is already an excellent source of intelligence. Analytical skills will continue to be important, as will the ability to write and communicate. The use of AI and machine learning will be better understood. The ability to translate data into actionable insights will continue to be a critical skill.
What can CI leaders do to raise their influence and impact?
We are very transparent with our sources of data. We openly collect information at conferences and trade shows, always identifying ourselves as analysts. CI is a critical part of my company and influences decisions and outcomes.
What's a productivity tip or lifehack that you use often?
I have started taking pictures of all receipts when I travel. I keep a folder on my phone for expenses and it makes it easier to consolidate when I need to fill out expense forms.
How has SCIP helped your career?
I have been a SCIP member for over 6 years and the Chairman of the Dallas SCIP Chapter for over 5 years. I look forward to the conference every year. It is an opportunity to exchange ideas and learn best practices. The networking opportunity as a SCIP member has been great. The ethical backbone of all that SCIP represents provides me with additional credibility with my clients and colleagues.
One of greatest values of SCIP is the power of our member community. The experience, knowledge, and intellect of our members are unparalleled. To build off these strengths, SCIP is launching a program to highlight our members and the great work that they do. Are you interested in sharing your story? Please contact us to nominate yourself or a colleague.