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Information Evaluation by Philippe Capet, Thomas Delavallade

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Foreword

One of the distinguishing features of the 21st Century is the extraordinary expansion of information in all its forms. The possibilities that each and every one of us now has at our fingertips for acquiring knowledge and for keeping track of events would, only a few years ago, have been utterly unimaginable. Long gone are the days of Giovanni Pico della Mirandola, or of the humanist scholars at the University of Paris, who dazzled their contemporaries with the extent of their erudition. Today, with the help of the Internet and a few good technical practices, any student is capable of throwing up open sources of information which would enable him to adequately respond to nearly all the questions posed to those academic giants of yesteryear.

In France, the awareness of the advantage of having the maximum possible amount of data available in order to make the best possible decision has gradually progressed from the military to other spheres since the publication of the Livre blanc de la défense et de la sécurité nationale (White Paper on Defense and National Security). In numerous domains of activity, the reading of Sun Tzu’s work and the methods and practices of competitive intelligence have revealed that which seemed obvious: mastery of the cycle of selection, acquisition and processing of knowledge useful to a decision-maker provides a defensible – and, above all, long-lasting – competitive advantage. From sporting intelligence to judicial, touristic or cultural intelligence, ...

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