5 Questions to Answer When Evaluating Your Competitive Intelligence (CI) Platform

There’s no denying the importance of having a competitive intelligence (CI) platform in the “New Normal”. Without it, organizations are unable to surpass competitors, overcome key challenges, and spot critical opportunities. But most CI programs leave people drowning in data and starving for insight. With the variety of competitive intelligence (CI) platforms and solutions available, almost every need is filled, whether it is market research, competitive landscaping, trend analysis, customer insights, or anything in between. Are organizations getting the most out of their competitive intelligence platforms?

Competitive Intelligence (CI) has been on the rise for a while, however, the introduction of Covid-19 has catalyzed companies’ implementation of CI platforms. Before choosing which platform to invest in, you need to determine which competitive intelligence platform is able to provide you with the best insights in one single platform. Many organizations rely on multiple traditional competitive intelligence platforms that are hampered by disparate, stagnated, and siloed insights. 

Most practitioners want a platform that turns thought into action and helps them achieve business goals. They look for:

  1. Real-time Insights
  2. Unified View
  3. Early Trend Detection
  4. Advanced Search
  5. Ease of Sharing Insights
  6. New Market Opportunities

To choose the most impactful competitive intelligence platform for your strategy, here are the 5 most crucial questions to ask in a platform evaluation. 

Are real-time insights and key players identified?

When building the perfect competitive intelligence platform, it is important to look at industry dynamics—products, organizations, and ideas that are currently driving markets. There is no organization that operates in a vacuum, however, obtaining information about industry dynamics is a challenge.  Organizations have to sift through mounds of information, so the speed is key. Traditional platforms gather information for the user but do not provide specialized guidance that is customized to the organization.

When looking to understand industry dynamics, practitioners want a platform that provides clear and up-to-date insights that can be translated into action. To cover the complexity of industry dynamics, a platform should offer:

  • Real-time insights on sector and key players that highlights the disruptors and dominant players in the industry through intelligence curated from multiple sources and real-time inputs. 
  • Identified distressed businesses that are based on distinctive indicators such as bankruptcy, insolvency, restructuring, and low rating so that organizations can understand what is needed.

Is a unified view of the competitive landscape offered?

Obtaining a clear and consistent image of the competitive landscape is key to planning critical strategies that put you ahead of the competition. If the competitive landscape is not clear to the organization, then the strategies that they create run the risk of being ineffective and fruitless. Traditional platforms use inadequate metrics such as psychological profiling and benchmarking that do provide a clear picture of the competition.

When creating a cohesive image of the competitive landscape, practitioners look for platforms that bring together multiple parameters through key internal and external information. 

  • A unified view of the competitive landscape is gathered from multiple parameters that gauge the competition such as leading thought leadership, recent investments, a merger & acquisition dashboard, and social media footprints. 

How quickly can you spot potential opportunities?

Identifying future trends enables decision-makers to create objectives and plan for the future. There is no way to tell the future for certain, especially with black swan events at the front of everyone’s minds, however, taking the time to understand what could eventually happen allows organizations to spot opportunities and prepare for the unexpected. Just thinking about the future won’t help organizations move forward. Traditional platforms have detailed analyses of specific trends, but they fail to bring these insights to the last mile.

When looking for potential opportunities, practitioners look for a competitive intelligence platform that is able to deliver a list of actionable opportunities.

  • Potential opportunities are highlighted through a customized and curated list of opportunities that are based on the organization’s needs, strengths, interests, and areas they would like to grow in. 

Are you aware of growth and innovation opportunities?

When looking to launch a new product or service, market sizing helps organizations develop a successful strategy. However, with an ever-shifting business landscape, it can be difficult to keep up with all of these changes. Traditional competitive intelligence platforms are not capable of uncovering white spaces that organizations are able to fill in. Without the ability to break through the noise, organizations won’t have the insights needed to grow and innovate in their field.

When uncovering gaps in the market, practitioners want a competitive intelligence platform that is able to spot specific gaps in the market and provide insight into growth opportunities.

  • White space identification analyzes and validates gaps in the market to reveal growth and innovation opportunities that align with the organization’s goals and objectives. 

Are customer insights shareable and accessible? 

All of these insights are for naught if they do not get delivered to the right person at the right time. One of the main weaknesses of traditional CI platforms is the inability to share these insights and obtain various perspectives. To overcome the competition, organizations need to have a unified view that is up-to-date and able to be shared internally and externally. Without these capabilities, insights will either remain siloed and under-utilized or become obsolete due to time constraints.

When sharing insights and looking at different focus areas, practitioners want a competitive intelligence platform that had customizable dashboards, a searchable knowledge repository, and is able to deliver newsletters.  

  • Customizable dashboards can be adjusted to the needs of various user groups and their specific focus areas by utilizing real-time notifications for quick responses to threats and opportunities.
  • A searchable knowledge repository enables users to access a single harmonized base that brings together external and internal knowledge into one single source of information. 
  • In-platform newsletter creation schedules and delivers newsletters based on selected insights which can be shared internally and externally.

From Insights to Beyond

Answering these questions is the key to ensuring that you are getting the most out of your competitive intelligence platform. To gain the edge against competitors, organizations need to be armed with technology-enabled insights that provide timely and relevant intelligence that anticipates threats and opportunities alike.

To learn how Evalueserve’s competitive intelligence platform, Insightsfirst, provides actionable insights to stay ahead of the competition, write to PS@evalueserve.com or get a personalized demo here

Erin Pearson
Vice President, Marketing Posts

Erin Pearson is the Director of GTM for Insightsfirst at Evalueserve. She has previously worked on the commercial side of both large and small organizations and loves learning the perspectives of new people. Outside of work, she is an animal-lover with 2 pets and typically at least one foster animal. She also enjoys traveling and has been to all 7 continents.

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