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How to Use Market Analysis, Media Monitoring, and Trend Data for Improved Business Intelligence

In today's climate,  saving money, fueling growth, and protecting against risk are imperative goals for financial service organizations. While there are a million and one ways to accomplish any of these, determining your strategy will come down to what's best for your company, clients, and community. This requires knowing your company, industry, and consumer inside and out, which means conducting business intelligence research.

By having a strong business intelligence research strategy--including a comprehensive understanding of market analysis reports, industry opportunities, and investment trends--you can be prepared for any potential changes or challenges in today's unpredictable market.

In this article, we'll outline the sources you need to use to set yourself up for success and put yourself ahead of your competition. Let's dive in.

Use market analysis reports and company insights

Market analysis reports can help financial professionals quickly&nbspunderstand the business landscape and where you fit into it. By starting here, you can develop a baseline for where you are now and create goals to accelerate your business in the future.

A full market analysis report typically includes:

  • Size of the market both in volume and in value
  • Customer demographics, segments and buying patterns
  • Key competitors in the market
  • Economic environment including potential barriers to entry
  • Regulations that could impact the business

Another key source of business intelligence includes company profiles, allowing you to easily do opposition research or source information related to mergers and acquisitions. While pulling this research individually from the open web takes time, a dedicated financial and business research tool can quickly and efficiently source company profiles to give you:

  • An at-a-glance company overview
  • Financial, competitive, and stock information
  • Links to company reports from leading sources such as Mergerstat® and Standard & Poor’s®
  • Analyst reports and competitive positioning
  • Patents, trademarks, copyrights, and other intellectual property
  • News articles covering the subject company

Reviewing company reports helps you evaluate potential customers or business partners, competitors, merger or acquisition targets, or other investment opportunities so you can confidently make any business decisions.

How to interpret market analysis reports and company profiles

Taken together, market analysis and company reports decrease the time you'll need spend on research by consolidating crucial details in one convenient report. Rather than spending hours tracking down details on a market or company, you can quickly focus on deeper research and analysis based on information provided in the report. For example, mention of regulations in a market could spur additional research into those laws and past enforcement actions to better understand risk exposure. The reports also enhance your ability to:

  • Keep track of trends and future markets
  • Identify areas for expansion
  • Empower colleagues across your organization to develop effective strategies for achieving business goals

Armed with this information, you can make data-driven decisions that deliver measurable benefits, including the cost and time savings that result from more efficient, effective research process.

MORE: New Wolfsberg Principles warn global banks of the risk factors that require enhanced due diligence

Leveraging media monitoring to find 'whitespace' opportunities

An article by the National Center for the Middle Market—a collaboration between The Ohio State University Fisher College of Business and Chubb—notes that “identifying the ‘whitespace’ in the market is an essential component to  building a successful brand  and stimulating business growth. Exploring the competitive landscape and identifying whitespace that your brand can ‘own’ provides an opportunity to recalibrate your business focus, determine what makes your offering unique and valuable to customers, and strengthen your brand.”

A deep dive into news archive can help you track emerging consumer and industry trends and further enhances your understanding of the business landscape. You can see how the media has covered relevant topics, competitors, or the industry over time, helping you anticipate potential threats or opportunities based on historical data.

For added convenience, the right media monitoring tool should allow you to create alerts—delivered on the schedule you choose—to keep up with the latest competitor mentions in the news and press releases. Reviewing negative news mentions can likewise give you insights into competitor weak spots, giving you an opportunity to overtake and outperform your competition.

In addition to media monitoring, a research tool set to monitor specific topics can keep up with critical activities taking place across your industry or within a market, including:

  • Following mergers and acquisitions to understand how consolidation could impact your business, either by leaving a gap that your organization can take advantage of or by creating a more powerful rival.
  • Tracking executive moves within customer organizations and across your industry to respond proactively to potential risks, such as a potential deal breakdown should the executive championing it leave a customer organization.
  • Reviewing the intellectual property of competitors patents, copyrights, etc.) you can understand competitor priorities and anticipate opportunities that may come in the future. Likewise, it can help you determine whether a company represents a good investment opportunity.

Ultimately, news and company information help your organization develop strategies based on the priorities of customer and competitor organizations and interpret signals to inform buy/sell decisions, optimize marketing and sales efforts, and capitalize on competitor weaknesses to grow your business.

MORE: Why the financial sector needs to keep up with ESG and how to find your rankings

Protect against bad investments by analyzing company and industry data and emerging trends

Market volatility means that financial professionals need to keep a continuous handle on what’s going on across the financial services industry. How has a potential investment target performed in the past? What economic factors are influencing your industry? Where is the potential for disruption greatest?

While reputation can be one positive investment signal to consider, it shouldn’t be the only one. Research by the CFA Institute and Morningstar found that “great companies are often overvalued simply because they are great companies.” Confident investment decisions require a comprehensive understanding of a company, rather than a more superficial view based on an organization’s reputation. Consider the following:

  • Industry reports provide insights into what’s happening across the industry with your competitors.
  • Corporate financials and legal histories help you see if a company you’re considering for investment or partnership has shown signs of financial instability or has a litigious past that could suggest future lawsuits.
  • News coverage and regulatory information, such as notices of enforcement actions for compliance violations, can also give you insights into potential risks ahead.

Use the right research tools for improved financial services decisions

Research for financial professionals can help you see past the bells and whistles that attract investor attention, to more substantial criteria that can lead you to informed investments—the undervalued bargains rather than the overvalued “popularity contest” winners.

Using a dedicated research tool like Nexis® or media monitoring software like Nexis Newsdesk allows you to easily and efficiently access the information you need. By consolidating multiple data sources and providing behind-the-paywall access to over 36,000 licensed content sources, you can efficiently stay up-to-date with all of the data you need to make informed business decisions.

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