Competitive Intelligence Insight

Case studies and talent intelligence

The role of Competitive Intelligence in top talent acquisition

By | Competitive Intelligence Insight | No Comments

Talent Intelligence

Competitive intelligence is crucial to how well you can find and hire the talents that your organisation needs to thrive. And the more informed you are about your competitors, industry trends, market movements, and other salient business factors, the better you can acquire the talents. Importantly, the talent that can help you take your growth to the next level.

And, this is why Steve Roemerman of the Forbes Technology Council considers excavation of competitor data as a primary tactic. Especially in the initial creation of long-term business strategies. From the very beginning of the recruitment process, applying competitive and market intelligence will make better hiring decisions. Now and in the future.

While this may entail complex and intersectional data acquisition tactics down the line. There are relatively simple but highly effective ways of utilising competitive intelligence in the hiring process. Comeet advises reviewing similar job postings or openings in order to better understand how you can differentiate yourself from the other companies. And, options being considered by your candidates.

It’s important to realise that you’re just one of the hundreds or thousands of companies in your industry looking to do the same.

Lone fish in the wide and open sea

However unique your proprietary software, service, or product may be, in the eyes of in-demand and highly skilled talents, you’re just one of their many options. A lone fish in the wide and open sea of organisations that could potentially help them achieve their own personal career goals. Moreover, by reviewing your competitors’ job postings for the same position you’re looking for can give you a better idea of how they’re positioning themselves in the market. And more importantly, how you can stand out.

This is what we mean in ‘Be Powerful! Get Intelligence by Monitoring Competitor. When we say that there’s crucial insight by monitoring your rivals’ presence on all observable channels. Online, you can gain a wealth of competitive insight from just basic research and intelligence gathering methods. Don’t stop with just studying your competitors’ job postings.

Devote time

Devote time and resources to studying their press releases. And even recent PR efforts, social media presence, LinkedIn posts, and even the publicly-available CVs of their decision makers. Importantly, apart from allowing you to differentiate your organisation from the competition. This research can lay the foundation for a competitively intelligent business strategy.

So, today, more and more organisations are seeing the value of utilising competitive intelligence for hiring. And for holding on to the best talents in their industries. A forecast on the digital talent acquisition market not only suggests massive growth in the near future. But also predicts the increased use of such strategies in banking and finance, telecommunications, service providers, logistics, and even government and defence.

Finally, don’t get left in the dust of this rapid global digital transformation. And attracting and keeping top talents is just one benefit of competitive intelligence. Applying comprehensive data analytics to the development of your overall business road map can lead to much more significant results.

What are the massive changes in these unprecedented times? Octopus Intelligence

What are the massive changes in these unprecedented times?

By | Competitive Intelligence Insight

Unprecedented change

We are living through unprecedented times, and it’s increasingly the case what we did in the past is not repeatable.

Here are a few just overarching observations are shaping our world today:

Retail markets

Online retailing is superseding bricks and mortar retailers. Especially those who are not adapting to online offers. The Amazon factor. Then the big shopping centres unable to trade by offering just small unique retailers. They can’t afford rents and rates and will be out of the game. Shopping centres want the big brands.  Until very recently they are the ones that can afford the rents and rates over a sustained period of time. On line, retailers don’t pay rates. The consequence for suppliers is that the big online players will soon also own the supply lines. Our town centre’s containing the same retail/food brands, charity shops, barbers and kebab shops . The same as the next town centre, as well as, making shopping experiences more tedious than it used to be.

Transport and infrastructure 

The vividly ambitious intent to thrust driverless cars onto the populous will mean fewer cars.  And fewer car sales, fewer suppliers, monopoly of the giants etc. Even in remote areas? Either this is true, or there are other elements involved that seem unmoved by whatever reality presents them. None the less this, in either case, represents substantive future disruption.


Millennial debt, a lack of money management skills and a limited understanding of how to build value. And the startling absence of how to develop their self-reliance has to be a concern. This situation will inevitably prompt money lenders to make more debt-based products.  In turn this will undoubtedly increase individual debt burdens. This debt will change the property market as home ownership will almost certainly continue to decline. People will expect to be perpetually in debt.


Taxation increase, per capita in developed countries will become much higher. Cost of living will continue to rise. Governments will be essentially less solvent, and surplus income will likely stop becoming an objective (due to its almost impossible attainability). Baby boomers and Gen Z will be most likely to liquidate their assets during their lifetime due to the expected retirement circumstances changing. So only 20%, or less will have substantive estates.

Brain Drain 

A prevalent and pervasive skills deficit will mean that retirement expectations will diminish for Generation X’s because millennials and Gen Z will have less inclination and insufficient skill sets to inherit many skilled roles. Already most countries are raising the retirement age.  Likely to be exacerbated by the influx of more unskilled workers. On top of this there will be technology shortcomings meaning further dependence on less-skilled workers.


Bipolarity between low paid options will be a massive social challenge (highly qualified, student debt, working perpetually as baristas). A middle cohort of older professionals who continue to have none of their earlier aspirations of a ‘lifestyle’ because they will be much in demand and possibly will be overworked. Then there will be a more remote uber-wealthy class who can sustain their positions by mutual interdependency with each other.  Mostly because of tradition and legitimate self-preservation purposes. This gap will almost inevitably lead to less social freedom, more legal and legislative controls and higher regulation.


Current events within the global political sphere are undoubtedly challenging.  It is no underestimation to state that the implications and impact on all sectors will be significant. Now more than ever it is vital to understand not just what is happening or what the potential impact on any given industry sector is. What’s most critical is to understand what options are available to your organisation.

The future looks interesting; it is not all bad news; many opportunities are prevailing for those who mobilise to ‘rearguard’ risk and capitalise on their advancement.

There are many measures and countermeasures and challenging every assumption is important.  Every opportunity must be analysed and every decision must be made against a much more stringent focus on how the circumstances will continue to move and change faster and faster and to truly succeed it is vital to have to keep constant vigil in every direction.

By Darrell West

Intelligence is just knowing…

So, do you what more answers to the questions you need to ask? Get in touch here or follow us on Twitter

5G what are the risks and opportunities from Octopus Intelligence

Opportunities and threats of 5G Report

By | Competitive Intelligence Insight

“Potentially, this 5G technology will become more important than the range of missiles and fighter jet capability. Think about it. Control the 5G network, and you don’t need anything else”.


5G is going to change our lives according to Kevin Bacon.

There has been a lot of talk about 5G in the newspapers and television over the last couple of years.

We have written a report and enclose a complementary copy for you. – Download here or email us and ask for a copy on

This report sets out to explain the development of the 5G network. We aim to answer:

  • What’s happening?
  • What does it mean?
  • What’s the risk? – Geopolitical, security and health concerns
  • What can we do about it?

What does it mean?

Increased efficiencies in bandwidths, energy usage and potential utilisation to deliver a dramatically improved quality of three-level service grades. Excellent mobile broadband that delivers a high rate of mobile internet rates over larger areas.

Massive Machine type device to device communications and ultra-reliable and low latency communication. Instant information transmission for devices such as autonomous cars and robots. 5G will open up new possibilities with the internet of things and navigation. Also, fixed (gigabit per second bandwidth) wireless data urban connectivity. Edge computing services, enabling computing power closer to the sensor.

The elimination of latency. Video delivery services that will compete with today’s multi-channel distributors.

Opening up new uses that have not even been invented yet.

5G is a game changer, and it will be no longer acceptable for leaders not to understand technology.  5G and it’s associated technology will put unprepared businesses on a slippery slope to demise.  Modern technology has already transformed our lives, much more than most think it has.

With 5G there will be soon no doubt.

It’s all about finding the right Intelligence to create certainty so you get the most out of your investment. We hope you find this report a useful summary.

Download here or email us and ask for a copy on

So, do you what more answers to the questions you need to ask? Get in touch here or follow us on Twitter

London Property brick and trowel

What the heck is wrong with the property market?

By | Competitive Intelligence Insight

Brexit, the London Property Market & What Can Be Done

An unprecedented environmental change will inevitably lead to unprecedented events within the property sector.

Brexit’s effects on the property market so far have been just that, unprecedented.

As the possible deadline of March 29th draws closer and for that matter any extension therein, the compounding effects upon the London property market become more evident.

And the uncertainty in the market is growing undoubtedly more exposed.

UBS analysts have noted that in previous cycles of property downturn, a London downturn had preceded a decline in the broader UK market.

However, this time this appears not to be the case. The London market downturn is happening while regions of the UK continue to grow.

What are the possible reasons for this?

A Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) market survey uncovered three significant points regarding the London Property Market;

1. Compared to regionally, London respondents report the most significant fall in house prices (RICS September 2018)

2. Negative price trends across London with price softening being led by London (RICS January 2019)

3. Buyers are now more cautious, and new buyer enquires gauge fell to -21% in November 2018 (RICS November 2018)

These three key points demonstrate how the uncertainty generated by Brexit has spilt over into the property market in the capital. However, as previously mentioned this remains isolated to London.

The same report indicates that regions in the North and Midlands of the UK are on the rise. It poses the question of what is different in the UK market, or more importantly why?

What is driving sales and prices up in these other areas of the UK?

Considering the RICS report, we can extrapolate that the UK buyer mindset is currently tending more towards caution. Coupling this with the naturally high prices of the London property market could explain the drop in interest.

However, the same report states that the rental market is currently booming. A point reinforced through Gov.UK figures which show London private rental increasing 1.6% compared the rest of England.

Demonstrating there is still an opportunity to be had in the London market. However, the wrong market could be being targeted.

To compound the problem of wrong markets being targeted are the London mortgage lending patterns. Gov.UK state a major issue in new buyers in the capital is the loan to income ratio.

The Bank of England will only permit 15% of lenders new mortgages of a ratio which exceeds 4.5. With the average first-time buyer having a ratio of 4.04 (movers 4.01) and as this is on an upward trend the issue is certain to persist for private buyers.

Essentially this means if intending buyers can’t borrow. Also, they can’t buy, which opens up a pipeline for developers and estate agents alike.

Will synergy help?

Is synergy possible with mortgage brokers? Or could a second option explored of an extended London market rent to buy scheme?

However, this again suggests a shift of the targeted market for the purchasing of London property.

Multiple developers in the capital are seeing uptakes in business. For example, Derwent London has raised its dividend as it starts to make the most of the commercial property market.

Further external investors have started to quietly enter the market for London properties. In particular, German real estate giant Grand City Properties SA. They have recently undergone a property buying spree. One of which was a purchase of 117 apartments in 159-uni Hill House. Their current investment alone is present at 800 properties as of February 2019 (Independent 2019).

There are opportunities within the London market

There are demonstrable signs that there is development opportunity in London.  And further that there are still parties that are more than interested in London properties. However, a perspective change may have to take place.

Secondly, what you need to consider are developers activities when they conduct on the ground post-purchase.

UK developers should take note and monitor these signs. In particular, market leading FTSE 100 giants are currently tanking more than 20%. Persimmon has seen a rise in sales. However, this is predicated in the help to buy scheme. Fears surrounding the continuation of this has again recognised the giants share price fall.

This proposes interesting questions. What is it that these developers plan on doing, or are doing? And which is being missed by the significant host of national developers?

One theory is the commercial property. However, a more realistic thought is that they may be turning properties of a different ilk to residential properties.  To meet the differentiation of supply and demand in the capital.

So what effect will this have on the post-Brexit landscape in London?

Uncertainty could also mean opportunity

Naturally this uncertainty and seeming negative environmental pressures are causing problems for business operating in the market. However, within uncertainty opportunities are very much available. Provided it is backedup with the correct industry knowledge.

All firms associated with the market, be they estate agents, mortgage brokers, developers etc. need to recognise that although the market appears is on a downward trend. The correct application of industry and competitor knowledge could catapult them into market dominance.

This is because with industry knowledge business can start to identify consumer pain points associated with the property market.  Then allow them to start to plan actionable plans to address these and re-stimulate growth.

To gain this insight, however, will take expertise.

Be Powered by Intelligence

Utilising Intelligence services can leverage key industry consumer and macro environmental insights to construct an exceptional value proposition for customers.  And thus, a sustained competitive advantage in a market which is currently stagnating and falling.

So, do you what more answers to the questions you need to ask? Get in touch here or follow us on Twitter


Products circling to the bottom?

By | Competitive Intelligence Insight

Are products circling to the bottom? Have you noticed that a company comes out with a great new product or a musician has a smash hit album, and their customers love it?

Then their competitors start the race to copy what they have done? This copying may explain the number of Ed Sheeran clones around at the moment and why Apple is between a rock and a hard place.

The trouble is with this plagiarism becomes the industry standard very quickly, and the reduced impact on the then delighted customer. They shrug their shoulders and get on with it.

So then, the company with the original idea has a set of customers with even higher expectations and thus have to innovate to keep up.

Intelligence helps companies like this to jump three steps ahead of the competition, isolate weaknesses in current offerings and predict what is going to happen in the future.

So, do you what more answers to the questions you need to ask? Get in touch here or follow us on Twitter

Cyber life rings

Cyber security mega-breaches on the horizon?

By | Competitive Intelligence Insight

Security breaches typically with vast cost to a company. Even a mid-size organisation can rack up multiple millions to rectify damage from just one breach.

Data breaches are even more expensive, triggering sudden lack of trust in customers, which can take years to regain. Depending on location, fines can add to the cost. In the UK, for example, the ICO (Information Commissioner’s Office) is sharpening its claws, preparing to fine offending companies, punishing them while swelling the Treasury coffers.

Smaller, but significant, breaches may not even hit the headlines

In 2019 we will see more mega-breaches. It is likely that this will, ironically, mean that smaller, but significant, breaches may not even hit the headlines, to some extent “normalising” the event.

With all the cyber security available there is one weakness that cannot be managed by automation: people. People will continue to make mistakes and people will continue to be repetitive and lazy in the way they do things.

The biggest threat, however, is not the individuals that form a user or customer base – it is the apathetic approach of many business leaders, the belief that “it” won’t happen to us”, because they have the latest cyber security system. Cyber security systems are all very well, but is naïve to over-rely on them.

They only have to be lucky once

Hackers will always be one step ahead. They know what they are going to do and how they intend to break in. As with terrorists, hackers just need to be lucky once, whilst the authorities need to be lucky every time.

Yes, businesses should have software with the best bells and whistles, but their security professionals will next year need to actively go on the attack, and be more vigilant than ever in analysing the latest hacking trends.

An Intelligence led approach to Cyber Security is required for 2019.

Ask questions like:

So what?
How are they going to hack into your system?
Why they would want to steal your information?
Who will want to hack into the system?
What do we do to stop them?

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Artificial intelligence, mighty machines and powerful robots

By | Competitive Intelligence Insight
We read many articles and watch adverts proclaiming the virtues and threats of Artificial Intelligence.
I have a number of thoughts on this subject.
To start, the term Artificial Intelligence “AI”.   is not even named correctly.
Also, if you think about it, a ‘computer’ is a pretty terrible name too.

AI isn’t Artificial or actually Intelligent

Our point is that AI isn’t Artificial or actually Intelligent.
It’s a vastly expanded and sophisticated version of the same digital processes that apparently powered astronauts to the moon in the ’60s. Conspiracy theorists would suggest this logic applied to all things digital would mean that we would have an opportunity to live in moon based cities by now.  And yet we have not been back since… Interesting, I wonder why?
We are already enshrined in algorithmic predetermination.
For example, the number of people who will see this article is subject to an algorithm that assumes and prepositions everyone’s exposure to everyone else.

Who decides what news is anyway?

The algorithmic influence of who sees what is not within the purview of the actual reader.
In past times we decided what to read through personal choice (or at least the perception of such) as to what they listened to or watched on radio, TV and what newspaper they read.
Oh, those heady days before anyone started to ask questions such as ‘Who decides what news is anyway?’
So little wonder we remain unsure, removed and confused (look at almost any aspect economic, political, social, spiritual, sociological existence).
Technology has done wondrous things, good and bad.  Are we sure we understand it all yet?
Also, we don’t yet have the track record to safely programme something that will not make the errors of judgement that humans make.

Humanlike traits

Humans are subjective, and machines are objective.
AI is merely an extension of data processing. It’s a series of ‘1’s and ‘0’s that work tirelessly without rest.
Without any humanlike traits, they will become the exponential total of the base programming instigated at the outset.
Implementing AI should be in a manner that is truly pure, truly sacrosanct and untouched by any self-interest, politics, profit motive or short-term gain.
So assuming such a means could be found.
Moreover, which it almost certainly can’t or won’t, could it also be free to serve humankind in such a way that it can just as easily be accessed by everyone.
People in underdeveloped economies as well as global companies, by states, by anyone, anywhere anytime.
If so, what would such a resource look like? What would it be able to do and how would we even get that far?
Moreover, where would the investment come from without the interest to investors being enshrined?
Is what we paint as progress such, as students embark on university courses, happy to sign up to substantial financial indebtedness to find that upon qualification, their subject matter has moved on and their qualification is already outmoded or soon will be.

Change and progress

Many people think that change and progress are the same things.
Are we endlessly questing for change and calling it progress?
Essentially, it is people who make the mistakes; machines only do what their program commands.
In a world of people and machines, humans are advantaged by many things; machines will augment us and machines will advantage us.
However, until we have mastered our capabilities dare we allow machines to self-learn and make immensely faster judgements and determinations based upon perceptive judgements.
It could rapidly become vastly alien to those of humankind?
We are already so reliant upon technology that cognitive reasoning, decision making and free choice are becoming perishable skillsets.
And inundated with information while knowledge is getting scarcer by the microsecond.
We are so far away yet from mastering our potential, why should we distract ourselves from what we are each truly capable of by defaulting to endless technological alternatives that are decades if not centuries away from aspiring to be a fraction of what a human being can be.
Also, we ought to use our organic computing systems, we each have one to think this through, and we don’t need artificial intelligence when we have intelligence.

‘John Connor Defeats Skynet’

By Darrell West
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Smart Intelligence Boy with thumbs up

Intelligence is smart! Here are 6 reasons why

By | Competitive Intelligence Insight | No Comments

We live in unparalleled times. Almost everything is changing. And change will affect you, and it’s a dangerous assumption to think it won’t. Now, more than ever before, you need to be smart about Intelligence.

Intelligence isn’t the same as information and data. It’s about you and your competitors. Also, it’s about reporting concisely to decision makers in an easily actionable manner. It’s about protecting the well-being of your business.

1. Intelligence is smart and future-proofs your business

Learning what your competition is doing is a game changer. So you need to know who has their eyes on your business and marketplace. Also, you have to understand what they’re planning and determine what to do about it. So, don’t make the mistake of relying on only single sources such as Salesforce reports. Establishing what’s really happening with complete impunity is vital.

2. Smart intelligence understands the impact of new technologies

Right now, stories of technology replacing humans are commonplace. Do you have an understanding of how technology is likely to impact your marketplace? Or a conduit to how technology could open up new market opportunities for your business or for that matter your competition? How about technology aiding your productivity? However, this isn’t about product development. It’s about what will happen and how it will impact you.

3. Smart intelligence gives you the heads up on buying, selling and investing

When buying, selling or investing in a business, it’s a mistake to assume financial reports give useful intelligence. These are focused on historical information rather than what is really happening now and is likely to happen shortly. So, the smart thing to do is to confirm historical information, and use matrices to supplement historical data. In other words, find out about the skeletons in the cupboard.

4. Smart intelligence protects what you have

Can you be entirely sure that there are no dangers lurking within your organisation? Are plans being made to take vital information, secrets or practices to set up in competition? The truth is this happens more frequently than many business leaders realise. It’s usually a complete shock and can be utterly devastating when it happens. Be proactive, and be informed ahead of events. Smart intelligence protects your business.

5. Smart intelligence supports you to build international business

The challenges of building new opportunities can be daunting. So imagine the problems like those above happening in entirely unknown territories. By engaging professional support that is intimately aware of the local dynamics, culture and political landscape – and a whole host of things the export advisors never tell you – you can have more confidence in the people and country that you are investing in.

6. Smart intelligence ensures you have the right people

How much work do recruiters really undertake to fully inform you about the people you may be placing great store in? Smart intelligence gives you the heads up on new senior employees, business partners, suppliers and service providers.

There many protocols you can apply before making decisions to engage with people before you commit. Even in this age of technology, people are the ones that make the difference, cost the most and can be your biggest asset or most significant liability.

Thank you

Who are we? We provide a range of services for improving your internal intelligence capacity, making sure you get what you need and it does what you need it to. 

Our clients are smart.

They recognise the vital importance of intelligence in their planning and strategic activity.

We’re there for them anytime, anywhere, any issues. As a global organisation, we’re dedicated to and passionate about discreetly and efficiently delivering intelligence.

Call us on 0844 499 6179.