At the Special Libraries Association conference in Denver, CO, last June, I heard the term "competitive intelligence" uttered more than "Who's giving away the free cookies?"
CI, as it's called, is not exactly in James Bond's arena, but even he would agree itâ€™s helpful to know what the competition is up to. It's an imprecise practice that consists of Internet research, networking at events and even eavesdropping in elevators to see what you can learn about similar organizations.
It's not a question of if it will happen, but when. For me, I lost all my data about two weeks ago when my hard drive melted down. I very nearly lost it all, and had to rebuild quite a bit of data. Thankfully, I have a network of little safety devices that cover up my natural human stupidity. Here are three friendly tools within the grasp of any small business or nonprofit, which will help avert disaster: