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15 May 2020

5 tips for better research for consultants to provide the ultimate value to your clients

Are you still relying on open web search engines to conduct competitive intelligence research? If you answered yes, the next question is why. As an article on Medium noted a few years ago, “Consulting firms are on the hook to provide value clients can’t get in-house; consultants must provide knowledge and data that cannot be found using Google!” So, what can you do to ensure you’re conducting research that helps you deliver insights your clients will appreciate?

1.    Choose a research solution that’s designed for business objectives

The problem with any open web search engine lies not with the search technology itself—although, there are more powerful options for research for consultants. Instead, it’s the content available. Too often, search results are dominated by marketing-driven content, be it paid ads or clever use of SEO keywords. And since the digital age has made it possible for anyone to create content, drilling down past the sponsored content often still fails to expose reliable, relevant content. Instead, results are cluttered with information that is out of date or from questionable sources. Not sure what to look for in a research platform? Our buyer’s guide can help.

2.    Know what your client wants to do with the information you gather

It’s impossible to provide useful research insights if you don’t understand what the client expects to achieve with it. By clarifying the purpose behind demand, you can home in on specific types and sources of information. That’s where a research platform like Nexis® for Consultants delivers real value. Our world-leading database features a range of news, business and legal sources aggregated specifically to meet the needs of businesses around the world. For example, if your client wants to anticipate competitor moves to inform its strategy, you may want to focus on company mentions in the news and press releases. With global sources and built-in translation available, you’ll see when a client’s competitor is expanding into an emerging market. Likewise, Nexis features sources that can keep you informed about mergers and acquisitions, allowing you to track M&A activity from start to finish.

3.    Look deeper than the headlines

Headlines never tell the whole story; they exist to grab readers’ attention. If you take the headline—or just a few articles—at face value, you could be missing the bigger picture. By conducting research across a broader array of content sources and types, you can tease out the truth about a topic. When you come across a CEO interview on a company’s performance, for example, you don’t have to settle for the “exciting” spin shown in the headline. You can read the transcript to get a more nuanced view of the topic and then explore further by accessing market analyses, SEC filings or other data to substantiate your findings. Context is what helps turn information into actionable insights.

4.    Keep up with the pace of 24/7 news

Change can happen overnight, especially in a global business landscape. A market that’s just closed in one part of the world has an impact on a market that’s just opening somewhere else. A tweet or video can go viral, setting off waves of positive or negative media coverage. Consultants can set up Alerts to stay current with what’s being said about your clients, their competitors, and other topics of interest.  With Nexis for Consultants, you can even refine your Alerts to search specific content collections beyond news, such as company or industry intelligence or intellectual property.

5.    Take advantage of reporting tools

When you use a research platform Nexis for Consultants, rather than a standard internet search engine, you benefit from features designed for business users, including reporting and information sharing. The Nexis® Dossier interface available through Nexis has several value-added features:

  • Company Compare helps you understand the competitive landscape by comparing the details on up to four companies at once.
  • Company Snapshot performs multiple searches at once, compiling an organized “snapshot” view of your clients competitors with just one click.
  • MarketLIne® SWOT analysis is easily accessible, allowing you to quickly see a competitor’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.

Plus, you can also organize the information you uncover into folders that can be shared with your team.

Would you like to see what research for consultants looks like when you have a research solution optimized for business users? Download the Nexis Overview or connect with us to arrange a trial or demo.