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Cracking the Competitive Intelligence Code: How Third-Party Data Helps Manufacturers Gain a Market Advantage

November 08, 2022

What’s your strategy for uncovering intelligence that can give you an edge in the market? We’ve all experienced the transformative power of data and algorithms when using Google, streaming with Netflix, or shopping on Amazon. But futurist and technology thought leader Bernard Marr points out that organizations that interact directly with consumers have a data advantage—mountains of consumer-generated data.

“Companies in, for example, healthcare, agriculture, manufacturing, or logistics simply are not going to have millions (or billions) of people signing up to freely share volumes of data … the models of interaction between consumers and the businesses are completely different,” Marr writes. Gaining a market advantage in manufacturing demands different types of third-party data to power competitive intelligence (CI) applications.

Unlocking CI insights from news, legal, and patents data

Blind spots are dangerous, especially when it comes to what your competitors are doing. What data types prove useful for eliminating blind spots and enabling proactive strategies that keep you ahead of your competition? Let’s look at some of them.

1.      News data to fuel competition monitoring

Ingesting global print, web, and broadcast news and social commentary expands visibility into what’s being reported on your own brand and your manufacturing rivals. For global organizations—most are these days—it’s also critical that you’re tapping into regional, native language sources since such data can provide more nuanced insights into your competitiveness in different local markets.

Media and official announcements about government contract awards can also help you understand what’s happening in your industry and tangential ones. Plus, news data can provide useful intelligence about consumer preferences, emerging trends, and potentially disruptive events to enable proactive—not reactive—business strategies.  

2.      Financial data to understand the stability of critical third parties

“AI can now recognize disruptors on the horizon by making connections between embedded characteristics, allowing companies to prepare more effectively for disruptive events,” writes Harvard Business Review.  In manufacturing, disruption could be just one failed supplier away. Proactive risk analysis using company financial data can help surface indicators of financial instability, enabling you to take steps to mitigate risk. Additionally, financial data can power predictive analytics to enable agile responses in advance of economic downturns.

3.      Patents and legal data to track competitive innovation, stay alert to opportunities

What can you learn from patents and legal data? Patent filings, court cases and more can offer insights about your industry and the players in it.

Consider the rising attention garnered by environmental, social and governance (ESG) commitments. It’s no longer strictly a concern for investors. Consumers are paying more attention to ESG factors behind the products they choose and the companies they work for. Regulators around the world are introducing ESG-related requirements. This means you have the dual pressures of needing to know where your competitors are in the ESG landscape and needing to meet your own ESG commitments with innovative products and processes. 

From the time a patent is filed, it typically takes two to five years before product release. Analysis of patent data can reveal whether a potential product uses renewable energy or sustainable materials, so you can anticipate where competitors are headed in terms of satisfying ESG commitments.

Sourcing enriched data speeds your time to insight

Making use of big data poses several well-documented challenges. The volume of data, combined with the velocity at which it is created, can feel overwhelming. That’s particularly true because the nature of data. It’s often messy, requiring data scientists to wrangle it into a usable format before it can even be put to use for advanced analytics.

Nexis Data as a Service is different. First, we license data from global sources of premium and open web content. Next, we convert the aggregated data into clean, semi-structured datasets, available via bulk, search and retrieve, or scheduled call APIs.

This reduces wrangling, allowing you to quickly go from gathering data to using it to power predictive analytics and more. The datasets available from Nexis Data as a Service offer another big advantage. All of the data we aggregate is enhanced with metadata, index terms and other tags to make it easier to filter out the noise typical in big data. This includes more than 3,800 industry terms, allowing you to conduct focused data calls using industry-specific terms rather than building a complicated query.

Data can deliver a competitive advantage. As data analytics expert Leon Gordon writes in Forbes, “When your competitors are flying blind with no way of knowing if they are making the right choices or not, you can move ahead by using analytics and big data to reveal hidden insights about customers and markets that will help you drive growth in your company.”

Is it time for you to add third-party news, financial, patents, and legal data to your competitive intelligence analytics?

Talk with a Nexis Data as a Service specialist to learn more.