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When undertaking market and competitive intelligence (M/CI), it’s important that practitioners have the tools they need to succeed. In the past, this may have seemed simple: basic tools like a phone, computer, and spreadsheets sufficed. These days, the role has evolved significantly, and so have the tools required for success. 

M/CI analysts have to deal with an unfathomable amount of data, and that’s a task that’s simply impossible to do without the right market and competitive intelligence platform. The platforms that exist in the market today can be stratified into three tiers: good, better, and best. Generally speaking, the more low-value tasks an M/CI platform can automate, the more valuable it is to an organization. 

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A good M/CI platform acts as a centralized repository for market and competitive intelligence, consolidating all existing insights in one accessible location. 

A better M/CI platform wraps AI technology around this process, making use of tools like natural language processing (NLP) to better process, tag, and organize data, reducing the amount of time analysts spend on manual tasks. 

The best M/CI platforms are truly revolutionary and enable M/CI teams to reduce time spent on low-value work no matter what the task, for example streamlining their relationships with external vendors.

Much of the process of working with external vendors is low-value work: from drawing up Statements of Work (SOWs) to reviewing contracts. Advanced intelligence platforms automate these workflows, freeing M/CI teams to spend even more time on high-value tasks. 

By working with a revolutionary M/CI platform like Knowledge360Ⓡ, M/CI teams can unlock a wide range of benefits that dramatically increase the long-term strength of the organization. Here are some of the key benefits organizations can gain by using the right market and competitive intelligence platform:

Spend More Time on Analysis

By automating low-value activities like information collection and organization, M/CI teams can free their analysts up to spend significantly more time on analysis, which is by far the most important stage of the M/CI process.

In fact, by using Knowledge360 to automate tasks like information collection and organization, M/CI teams can unlock 45% more time to spend on analysis. Analysis is where the majority of value is derived from CI. It’s in this phase that insights are discovered, competitor moves become apparent, and strategies come into focus. 

Without the support of an M/CI platform, intelligence analysts spend as much as half of their time on data collection. Reducing this time commitment presents a big opportunity to supercharge the effectiveness of the M/CI function, but also makes good fiscal sense. M/CI analysts don’t come cheap, commanding an average salary of $82,000/yr in the U.S. It’s important that leaders create an environment that primarily focuses analysts on high-value tasks in order to justify their investment. 

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Effective Vendor Management

It’s common for M/CI teams to work with a wide range of external vendors; some large organizations can work with as many as 30 or 40 external partners. These vendors provide support in areas ranging from primary research to complex specialty projects an organization is unable to tackle alone. Third-party vendors provide a valuable service but often, the way that organizations manage their relationships with these vendors is riddled with inefficiencies.

We’ve seen countless examples of this in practice: whether it’s M/CI analysts from different departments buying the same dataset twice, or virtually identical projects being completed by different vendors within months of each other. A centralized M/CI platform not only eliminates redundancies like this by centralizing resources and sharing knowledge, but can also make it easier to manage the bureaucratic process of working with vendors.

New M/CI engagements don’t happen overnight. From issuing a Request for Proposal (RFP), to negotiating and signing a contract, vendor management workflows are often repetitive, tedious, and represent a serious time suck for M/CI analysts. By using a platform like Knowledge360, organizations can automate much of this process, significantly streamlining the process of working with and managing external vendors. 

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Faster Time to Insight

Another key benefit of working with an advanced market and competitive intelligence platform is the ability to generate insights faster. With the pace of disruption and rapid technological advancements, it’s never been more important for organizations to keep their finger on the pulse of the market in real-time, and respond fast to major events. 

While basic M/CI platforms act as a static repository of information, advanced platforms like Knowledge360 incorporate a wide variety of real-time data feeds. Tools like sales battle systems that update in real-time make it possible to deliver tactical insights that make a tangible difference. Achieving a faster time to insight also means that organizations can react much more quickly to competitor activity or changing market conditions, ensuring that they always stay a step ahead of the competition. 

Centralize Knowledge & Improve Collaboration

All too often, M/CI teams struggle to break down organizational barriers, and fail to collaborate effectively across different organizational units. Without sufficient levels of collaboration, it’s impossible for M/CI initiatives to succeed at an organizational level, and critical insights will be underutilized in the decision making process. 

An effective M/CI platform not only acts as a centralized source of organizational intelligence, but functions as a bridge that encourages collaboration across the organization. Success lies in building an intelligent company, where the impact of M/CI transcends the individual silo in which the M/CI team is located. The right platform will bridge departmental and geographic divides, functioning as an intelligence hub that improves tactical and strategic decision making at every level of the organization. 

With a range of dashboards, reports, and customizable alerts, Knowledge360 is the gold standard in driving greater collaboration for M/CI. Executive leadership teams can access custom-built reports that update in real-time, and it’s easy to collaborate across departments in key projects and initiatives. By embracing an M/CI platform that enables this, companies can build a culture of collaboration, break down organizational silos, and progress towards becoming more intelligent.

Knowledge360 for Market and Competitive Intelligence

The right M/CI platform acts as a force multiplier for the organization’s competitive intelligence efforts, supercharging the M/CI team’s efficiency and unlocking a stream of invaluable competitive insights. By reducing uncertainty and increasing confidence in decision making, the best M/CI platforms can have a transformative impact on the way organizations compete in the marketplace. 

If you want a market and competitive intelligence platform, look no further than Knowledge360. Knowledge360 is an intelligence hub and functions as a one-stop shop for everything related to market and competitive intelligence throughout the entire organization. 

To learn more about Knowledge360 and determine whether it’s a fit for your organization, schedule a demo today.

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