Join CIA

Once, for fun of it, I asked someone to list me the type of information they though CIA (or any other similar organization) would want to have on any single individual and how they would collect this information. I was surprised with the ease this person produced this list on the spot… Here is a resumed version of what I was told:

Type of information

–        Basic profiling information:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Ethnicity
  • Date of birth
  • Place of birth
  • Nationality
  • Telephone number
  • Emails

–        Education
–        Work related information

  • Salary
  • Places of work
  • Positions

–        Place of living (past and present)
–        Friends and associates

  • Relationships, etc.

–        Financial information:

  • Bank accounts number
  • Legal ownership information

–        Other information

How to collect this information

–        Some of this information people provide themselves on Internet, on sites like social media (e.g., FB and LinkedIn) and anywhere else where we have decided to leave this information (e.g., blogs and forums)
–         Conduct a market research, by for example, hiring a professional to collect information for you
–        Buy existing databases (people often forget about this option).

So why do I bring CIA profiling here? Well, because firms also build huge consumer databases, where they keep a lot of related information, as they plan to use this information for the purpose of strategic decision making and their marketing activities.

The reason to have databases is straightforward: get clients / perspectives, conduct benchmark analysis, identify opportunities/threats, etc.

The bottom line is that databases are sources of revenue, so why not just invest some time / money to organize yours?

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