Home – Lunch with a few top Competitive Intelligence Professionals

Lunch with a few top Competitive Intelligence Professionals

Posted on 06-23-2015 by Mary Frericks

  The best part of attending conferences are the many opportunities for networking with colleagues. At the Strategic and Competitive Intelligence Professionals 30th Anniversary International Conference & Exhibition a few weeks ago, we sat down to an open discussion with fellow attendees to talk about the opportunities and challenges in gleaning competitive insights from news stories and social media.  The ideas that were ‘circulated’ certainly got everyone thinking. Here are some of the top of mind issues for competitive intelligence professionals. 

What are the Biggest Challenges in Researching News and Social Media?

When this question was introduced, there were plenty of responses. While everyone acknowledges that our data-rich world is a boon for competitive intelligence professionals, they also recognize some significant barriers to leveraging data effectively. The top eight challenges that came up in the discussion include:

  1. Despite the volume of data on the Internet, it can be difficult to find precisely the information you need, especially if it is specialized information or a narrow topic.
  2. The volume of data also contributes to making it difficult to stay on top of critical information about competitors and industry issues, especially when there are so many data sources—print and digital news, social media, internal CRMs and more.
  3. Identifying trends can be difficult across different data sets.
  4. Conducting research can be arduous, particularly when the a lot of compelling information sits behind pay walls.
  5. Using information found on the Internet raises copyright issues, a major concern for most at the roundtable.
  6. Analyzing and turning raw data into visuals representation is a time-consuming, predominantly manual process.
  7. Finding the influential posts in social media research can be difficult or require additional monitoring tools.
  8. The dark Web, where content is not searched by traditional search engines, holds a great deal of information that could be valuable including subscription-only or password-protected information, results of database queries and more.


How are Competitive Intelligence Professionals Handling These Challenges?

Most users are leveraging technology, but to varying degrees. Many are using Google Alerts, but lack confidence in whether these searches are pulling all the relevant content. Most, however, are looking to innovative technologies—already available or still highly anticipated—to meet the big data challenges. The focus is on data aggregation solutions that bring together relevant content, an effective search methodology, analytics and sharing tools to optimize time spent on research and the quality of insights gathered. The key types of technology that competitive intelligence need include:

  1. Robust newsletter tools from a content aggregation service not only help with copyright compliance, since the licensing is taken care of by the vendor, but also improve your ability to quickly distribute meaningful insights to colleagues and stakeholders.
  2. Data analysis and visualization tools, bring dimension to research results, allowing analysts to identify trends and anomalies easily. 
  3. Tools like Tor can help competitive intelligence gain visibility into the dark web. 
  4. For identifying influential posters on social media and blogs, Klout scores, MOZ rankings and site traffic filters can also help prioritize the importance of content. For even deeper insights, advanced media-monitoring services use author categorization to help analysts distinguish between a relevant blogger, random commenters and trolls. 
  5. A knowledge management system can supplement internal data and documents with relevant external data sources in a single comprehensive research and analytics platform. Check out LexisNexis Metabase when researching these systems.

As the writer Louis L’Amour once said, “Knowledge is like money: to be of value it must circulate.” After the great roundtable discussion we had during SCIP, we’re convinced that circulating with our competitive intelligence colleagues left everyone richer.

3 Ways to Apply This Information Now

  1. Check out our guide to deep research and media monitoring and analytics for Competitive Intelligence professionals. 
  2. Discover how LexisNexis solutions help you access relevant, reliable news, business and social media content for more insightful decision making. 
  3. If you had a seat at the table, what would you have said? Share your thoughts on LinkedIn to keep the dialogue going with your colleagues and contacts.


Your comment has been posted.   Close
Thank you, your comment requires moderation so it may take a while to appear.   Close