Common Questions

What does ‘Clew’ mean?

In mythology, the Clew was the ball of yarn given by Ariadne to Theseus to help him find his way out of the labyrinth. The word evolved over time into today’s common spelling, ‘clue,’ though we prefer the old spelling. It’s also a nautical term, but that wasn’t what we were after.

What is Competitive Intelligence?

Competitive intelligence is the legal, ethical and systematic method of gathering meaningful and often hard-to-obtain data and, through analysis, transforming it into intelligence that is actionable. Strong companies have long used intelligence to guard against competitive threats and to identify opportunities. CI enables senior managers in companies of all sizes to make informed decisions about everything from marketing, R&D, and investing tactics to long-term business strategies. Effective CI is a continuous process involving the legal and ethical collection of information, analysis that doesn’t avoid unwelcome conclusions, and controlled dissemination of actionable intelligence to decision makers.

Do the people you call know who you are, or who you’re working for on a project?

There is no duplicity in our processes, nor do we ever misrepresent our identities or general objectives. Under no circumstances do we ever reveal the identities of our clients nor do we respond to sources who guess at such information. In some instances, clients request that they be identified, though this is unusual.

Are your practices unethical, or do they involve ‘spying’ on other organizations?

Clew, LLC is a member of The Society of Competitive Intelligence Professionals, a global nonprofit membership organization for individual CI professionals from 55 countries around the globe. We adhere to the strict Code of Ethics developed by SCIP to govern behavior within our industry. Additionally, Clew founder David Carpe is a contributing author to SCIP’s own guideline book for ethics.

What is HRCI – Competitive Intelligence for Strategic Human Resources?

Competitive Intelligence for Strategic Human Resources (HRCI) is the method of applying competitive intelligence research, consulting and analysis to a world-class human resources organization. As the role of HR executive continues to evolve from ‘personnel manager’ to ‘strategic business partner,’ HRCI is fast becoming the approach of choice for newly minted HR thought leadership. The burgeoning use of HRCI is a marked trend, as a recent HR Executive Magazine reports: “…a credible way for HR to gain a much-needed information advantage,” and, “something that needs to happen.”

How long are typical Clew engagements?

Our projects are designed for and delivered to a single client. We tailor our services to the individual client and the unique elements of the project. Our engagements range from multi-month / ongoing research and monitoring services to brief, intensive multi-day engagements.

What is Primary Research and what is Secondary Research?

Our approach to research places tremendous emphasis on primary research. Primary research is generally known to our industry as in-depth interviews, primarily by telephone, with industry and association sources likely to be knowledgeable about competitor activity, including the competitor’s own employees.

Secondary research is generally known to our industry as research through secondary resources including magazines and periodicals, library resources, online and offline databases as well as any published or in-house research already in existence.

How do you charge for Clew consulting services?

Clew bills projects according to a time and materials basis. We provide firm estimates and never bill beyond these estimates without prior client consent and approval. Rates and complete details are included in all client proposals.

Are you hiring?

Please visit our careers section to learn more about opportunities to work closely with Clew, LLC.

How may we help you?

To discuss how we can help your organization, call 781.674.2539 or send us an email.

Clew is headquartered in historic Lexington, MA just outside of Boston.

Clew, LLC is a member of the following organizations:

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