In the world of business, muddling success is the norm. To stay afloat, it’s essential to keep your finger on the pulse of your industry and track your competition like a hawk. That’s where competitive intelligence ( CI) comes into play. CI involves a wide information gathering process that utilizes appropriate sources of information to create competitive analyses, which are used to gain an advantage over other organizations.
What are Competitive Intelligence Tools
CI tools range from Internet-based open data to customized CI software that allows you to monitor your competition to suit your needs. The tools help gather, analyze and store information about your competitors so that you can use this data to outsmart them to win in the market. The data ranges from specific company information, such as sales strategies and product offerings, to larger competitive trends, like competitors’ advertising spending.
Data sources for competitive intelligence tools
The main source of CI data is the Internet. However, you can also get data from more traditional sources like company annual reports, press releases, and financial reports. These tools can help companies stay up-to-date about their competitors – from their products and services to major acquisitions and expansion plans.
Before gathering competitive intelligence, consider where you will gather information from. Companies can find CI tools in four ways:
Search the Internet: Search the Internet for free CI software or subscriptions. The tools connect to the Internet and allow users to conduct searches from their computers.
Join a Group: Some groups offer free CI tools for their members. The membership and tools required vary, but these groups are similar in that they are dedicated to promoting CI.
Purchase an Application: Users can purchase competitive intelligence applications from various sources. Many applications are available for the PC, and some are software-as-a-service (SaaS) applications.
Include open data: Include open data like government-run websites, government documents, and analyst reports in your research. The best thing about open data is that it’s free and easy to find.
How to Choose the Best Competitive Intelligence Tool To Meet The Needs of Your Business
You have to define your information needs before you start searching for a CI tool. Many CI tools are available on the market, so finding one that meets your needs is the trick. Here are some questions to ask yourself before you start shopping:
Some organizations use CI to develop new products; others use it to defend their current positions. Always make sure the CI tool aligns with the company’s goals before choosing one.
If you’re a manufacturer of baby strollers and cribs, you may need to know what your competitors are doing to keep up with the latest trends. If you can’t find background information on your competitors on the Internet, you may consider using a subscription-based or hosted service.
How to Use CI Tools to Get Ahead and Excel in a Crowded Digital Landscape
People use CI software and services to gather competitive data and determine what the competition is up to. With a wealth of data at your fingertips, you’ll know how to develop and market products, which can help you stay ahead in the race. This insight can give you a competitive edge over your competitors.
Most organizations use CI tools to track competitors’ activities because they want to stay ahead of the herd. However, some companies use it to catch up with the competition.
What is NetBase Quid?
NetBase Quid is a market analysis tool that compares and contrasts your business with its competitors. It analyzes the business trends and understands the competitor’s consumers at an aggregate level, providing businesses with a quick snapshot of how they perceive your brand relative to competitors.
NetBase Quid goes beyond traditional CI tools by giving you a panoramic view of your competition, allowing you to make timely and data-driven decisions that can help improve your business performance.
There are many benefits to using a CI tool, not the least of which is that it gives you an upper hand in the marketplace. You can be sure your competitors will be on the lookout for every little change you make in your product line. If they find out about an unauthorized launch, they’ll come knocking on your door to get their hands on it.