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Being prepared is not just a motto, but a way of life, according to the Boy Scouts of America: “Being prepared means having the ability to deal with the many tough challenges life presents—that’s what Scouting is all about.” The same motto is true across almost every scouting organization across the globe. The drive to be prepared and the confidence that comes with it are universally ingrained in everyone.
As one of the basic values of scouting is being prepared for life, being prepared is something that translates into success in business. The more informed and prepared you are, the more informed your decisions will be, resulting in greater success and satisfaction. For example, having access to up-to-date information about your industry will keep you ahead in your role. An efficient way to gather the information you need is to employ digital tools that help you search, analyze and share market intelligence.
Finding the right information is the first step to being confident and prepared, but this can often be the most challenging part. The World Wide Web is full of great information but often it is overpowered by unreliable, outdated and often completely false or misleading information. So how do you find the right information? Pick your sources carefully.
There are free, partially free, and licensed sources of content to help you gather this information. Start with your topic of interest. Go to the experts. Then, dig deep into the source. Aggregators of content, like Nexis, offer sophisticated collections of public and licensed information, but you can also tackle information gathering one source at a time. Some reputable options might include government sites, public company financial reporting data, newspapers, public research data (like Pew Research data) and more.
Once you gather the information you are looking for, you have to analyze it. Analyzing can be tricky, especially if the information is from multiple sources, because you have to develop the big picture from many different parts. You’ll want to ensure your data is clean, formatted consistently and normalized into like units terms (units of measurement, keywords, etc). Information doesn’t gain power until you make sense of it for your situation, so visualizing the data can help to draw out patterns, themes and trends. There are some paid and free tools for data visualization! Find one that fits your needs and can be easily applied to the information you are analyzing!
Being able to share your findings with your greater team in a cohesive, easy-to-comprehend way will position you as the expert. Knowing that you have found all the essential pieces of information you need, analyzed it accurately and now provided a sound recommendation report, leads to greater satisfaction and confidence in your business decisions. Sending via email may not be enough. You may choose to share information in a more collaborative way – creating shared alerts or folders might be the way to go to create a dialogue within your organization.
By following these three essential steps of gathering information from reliable sources, accurately analyzing the data and securely sharing your findings, you will do the preparation you need to feel confident in your work. For more information on the importance of having the right tools, download our infographic.
“Before anything else, preparation is the key to success.” – Alexander Graham Bell
Take it a step further than being prepared: Be more efficient. Be more cost effective. Be more confident in your business intelligence with a research solution like Nexis. We collect all of the relevant sources, normalize the results, filter and analyze the vast amounts of information for you to create and share recommendations to your organization.
1. Read these tips on getting the right information you need to succeed!
2. Learn more about how Nexis and research can provide better information, better results.
3. Don’t get caught in the trap of the free web. You can start there, but check your sources and the facts!