Based on an exhaustive literature review, this paper presents an overview of the evolution of different methods useful for defining competitive intelligence needs, where the information helps the firm to justify its strategic decisions, the analysis of the early warning topics and the elements of the competitors' environment and the actors influencing the organization or its value system, and their categorization. These findings are part of a doctoral study aiming at identifying the usefulness of data coming from open intelligence. The researcher presents, on one hand, a categorization of competitive intelligence needs, and on the other hand, a synthesis model that assists managers in defining competitive intelligence needs. It also aims to show how to foster innovation.