How to create valuable insights within your company
How to create valuable insights within your company. Start by looking inside
This article is a called how to create valuable insights within your company and discusses the importance of collecting, collating and developing your own internal Intelligence network.
To prevent information overload. Missed data and a lack of the critical aspect of insight, analysis, it is essential that collaboration and knowledge sharing takes place. Sharing information between teams in different business areas, departments, and countries offers you access to a significant amount of invisible information that can turn unused market information into valuable Intelligence for your operation.
Vast external information
Your organisation has access to vast amounts of external information like online media, company databases, newspapers, industry-specific website sites, analytical market research reports and the world wide web. The problem is that there is so much information. Perhaps too much information. Too much data dressed as up as Intelligence to sell an online tool. And it's getting so much more challenging to find the right information at the correct times. That's before spending more time on analysing the data to create actual Intelligence.
Develop your Intelligence network
You have to spend the time getting to know people within and outside your organisation. You need to put the effort in by developing your Intelligence network. Just like what real spies do. To reduce the amount of unused data, it's wise to get the rest of the company to help you sift and refine it. For example, you hear that your competitor has appointed a new sales director. Is there anyone in your business or surrounding network who knows them personally? Can they tell you how they think and what makes them tick? Their track record and how they manage and sell? Everyone has habits and tried, and test techniques and this makes people predictable.
Understanding how your competitor's sales director thinks is way more important than a nice to know piece of information. If you put the research in it will allow you to understand what your competitor is going to do next, isolate the possible new sales messages and find their weaknesses a couple of weeks into their job. Does the appointment match the person's track record and knowledge of about specific markets, services, products and technologies? Does this anticipate a change of direction within your competitor? A shift in strategy?
Make your life easier
It is crucial to understand who in your business will have the relevant insights to make your life easier and improve your bottom line. Hence, it is important to develop your intelligence network by giving your teams Market Intelligence to help them with their day to day job. And to be a sounding board for their business problems which may reveal more Intelligence subjects you can help them with.
Now, Competitive Intelligence software may help you collate the masses of data and even share the market intelligence via battle cards and newsletters etc. But, the software is only as good as the work put into it to generate quality Intelligence. If you don't put the hard miles in, all you will have is access to even more masses data. But at least it will be collated if you have set it up correctly. And nothing beats meeting people telling them something and getting to know them.
It's more than just software
Software or a simple spreadsheet is recommended to record what you know, and distribute in a consistent matter but to get them to feel more comfortable. You need face to face meetings in a group and one to one settings. Resist emailing people a piece of Intelligence when a little bit of effort will allow you to pop your head around the door.
Allow each Intelligence end-user to define the Intelligence they want to read to make their life easier. These questions that need answering and collate associated topics centrally. Otherwise, you will soon have many questions to answer. And unhappy end-users because their exact needs have not been matched. The fact you did not know them has nothing to do with.
A software platform will allow you to share each other's needs, manage them and allow other people within the network to see what been asked and answered. They will be in a position to contribute valuable insights to support your decision making.
I guess what I am trying to say is that Competitive Intelligence is not something you can do when you have the odd 10 minutes spare. Buying the best software in the world will not help you if you don't put the work in. Or as they say in some circles crap in - crap out. And yes we can help with this, but that's not the purpose of the article.
This article was a called how to create valuable insights within your company and discussed the importance of collecting, collating and most importantly, developing your Intelligence network. Relevant market developments can be easy to miss. Still, with a good intelligence network, supporting software and excellent analysis skills, you will stand a much better chance you isolate developments before it's too late.