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Welcome to our Competitive Intelligence Software Comparison series! We are regularly asked by people new to competitive intelligence to help them compare different competitive intelligence software tools. So we decided to dedicate a series of articles to this very subject.

As they work through the decision-making process, we often see that the decision is less about comparing tools against each other, but really working to understand what they need from the tool itself.

We have found that we end up becoming more of “CI Software Therapists” than salespeople during this process. Hence, this series!

You might be asking yourself: “Is it really possible to get an unbiased comparison of competitive intelligence tools from a company that makes one of those tools?”

Let me be perfectly honest with you, we have no interest in spinning our wheels trying to convince someone to use our specific competitive intelligence software tool for whom it would not be the right fit. That would be a waste of our time and a waste of yours.

So, ultimately what we end up doing during this process for prospects is working to understand what their requirements are from the tool they need, and helping them determine which tool might fit the bill (be it ours or someone else’s).

In this endeavor, we seek to be as honest as possible, as lying or portraying our tool to have features that it does not actually have only results in customer churn down the line (something none of us wants to see).

Comparing Apples to Oranges

When choosing a competitive intelligence software tool, keep in mind that you will almost never be comparing apples to apples. You should instead look at it as comparing different types of fruit.

Different tools are meant to do different things, and each has its place depending upon your organization’s needs or goals. I don’t seek to pit these software tools against each other, but instead, help you recognize which tool has what you need for your specific use case.

In fruit, apples aren’t inherently better or worse than oranges. Sometimes you are just looking for the vitamin C boost of an orange or the crunch of an apple. They serve different purposes. So do CI tools.

Comparison Factors

If you’ve read our high-level comparison article in this series, you already know about the four major comparison factors that we tend to get questions about from people reviewing CI tools.

In our experience, there are often four very important factors that present themselves when making the decision on a competitive intelligence software product.

Don’t get me wrong, there are far more than just four factors to consider when making your choice, but for the purposes of this comparison, we’ll focus on the five factors that usually rise to the top in terms of importance.

Summarized briefly here, they are:

  • Pricing: The first question every prospect asks during the sales process is related to cost.
  • User Experience: Organizations are typically looking for a tool that is intuitive and easy to use.
  • Data Collection, Tagging, and Organization: Usually having software that uses automated tagging via Natural Language Processing vs. traditional manual taxonomies is very important.
  • Search Features and Functionality: Most are looking for search functions aided by AI and machine learning algorithms to help them discover new information that they may not have thought to explicitly search for, and how the AI might learn information about their needs over time.
  • Collaboration Features and Functionality: Perhaps one of the most important factors organizations consider is how well the competitive intelligence software in question supports collaboration across the organization and provides Knowledge Management capabilities.

In order to help, we will frame the comparison of the two tools below using these five primary categories.

Contify vs. Knowledge360: User Experience

Organizations need an M/CI platform that is easy to use. If the platform is too complex, individual users throughout the organization will fail to embrace competitive intelligence as a strategy. 

The more intuitive an M/CI tool is, the more widely it will be used. Platforms with a great user experience maintain a perfect balance between sophisticated technology that help organizations discover actionable insights and an intelligent design that makes using the tool a breeze.

To establish the user experiences of both Contify and Knowledge360, we consulted external review sites like G2 and Capterra. Both solutions rank highly when it comes to user experience:

G2 Ease of Use Comparison Ratings (as of this writing):

  • Contify: 6.2/7 Rating
  • Knowledge360: 6.0/7 Rating

G2 Quality of Support Comparison Ratings (as of this writing):

  • Contify: 6.7/7 Rating
  • Knowledge360: 6.9/7 Rating

In assessing the reviews posted on both G2 and Capterra, we pulled some of the statements related specifically to user experience for both vendors.

Contify User Experience Quotes:

“It has been a good experience working with Contify, they are helpful in providing customized service and have been responsive and quick with implementing changes” – Internal Consultant, Pharmaceutical Company, <50 Employees on G2

 

“Easy to use service with fairly comprehensive information” – User in Financial Services, Small Business, >50 Employees on G2

 

“The customer service and analysts team are helpful, with frequent communications, tips, important questions, and reminders” – Team Lead, Life Sciences Business, >50 Employees on G2

 

Knowledge360 User Experience Quotes:

“The K360 platform is easy-to-use for users without deep technical expertise and it provides great options to search and organize content” – Administrator in Electronic Manufacturing Company, >1000 Employees on G2

 

“K360 is customizable and feature rich. We are able to tailor to suit our needs” – VP, Defense & Space Company, 51 - 200 Employees on Capterra

 

“The customer support is first class” – Industry Analyst, Oil & Energy Company, > 1000 Employees on G2

 

“Once the system is set up, much of the work is automated” – Strategic Marketing Director, Information Technology and Services Company, 201-500 Employees on Capterra

 

The Bottom Line: Both Contify and Knowledge360 offer an easy-to-use platform with sophisticated capabilities. Customers also benefit from some of the best support in the market. 

Contify vs. Knowledge360: Data Collection, Tagging, & Organization

A key function of M/CI software is the ability to automatically collect, tag, and organize data for users. As you evaluate M/CI platforms, you’ll likely encounter two distinct approaches to this: automated tagging using Natural Language Processing (NLP), and traditional taxonomy based systems.

If you’re unsure of the difference, we break it down in great detail here.

The data sources that a platform pulls from are also an important consideration. Generally, you want a platform with a range of pre-built data integrations, and the ability to add your own custom data.

Automated Tagging

Per Contify’s website, technical capabilities include:

  • Machine learning
  • Taxonomy builder
  • Standard topics tagging
  • Contextual noise filtering algorithms

Knowledge360 employs similar technology, including:

Reviews for both platforms mention that these automated tagging technologies save time:

“It saves massive amounts of time in terms of discovery” – Contify User, Director, Enterprise, >1000 Employees on G2

“The ease with which I can find, tag and store relevant information is irreplaceable” – Knowledge360 Administrator in Insurance Company, >1000 Employees on G2

Data Sources

Contify incorporates data from the following sources:

  • Company websites
  • Social media
  • Press releases
  • Review websites
  • Regulatory portals

Whereas Contify primarily compiles publicly available data, Knowledge360 has built-in partnerships. This offers a wide range of premium data providers to enable users to discover, organize, and analyze competitive information from a variety of proprietary sources. In addition, Knowledge360 users can pull in any custom RSS feeds or data sources. Key sources in Knowledge360 include:

View a complete list of Knowledge360 Integrations & Data Sources here

The Bottom Line: While Contify primarily pulls information from news sources and other public platforms, Knowledge360 comes with critical proprietary third party data sources out of the box and supports a wider range of news sources. Additionally, Contify requires more of a manual approach to building taxonomies rather than a more automated tagging function.

Contify vs. Knowledge360: Search Features and Functionality

When selecting the most appropriate M/CI platform for any given organization, it’s important to have a sense of how in-depth searches are performed within potential tools. The ability to quickly and reliably access key data and insights has a huge impact on the utility of a M/CI tool. 

Search functions in M/CI tools are often supported by AI and machine learning algorithms that enable users to discover new information. By learning what a user searches for, clicks on, and includes in dashboards, M/CI tools can present additional information the user is not explicitly searching for. 

Contify

From what we can find on Contify’s website, it doesn’t look like their platform supports search functionality in a significant way. Instead, Contify presents users with customized news feeds based on the information they consume on the platform. 

Contify users report working extensively with account representatives to create a newsfeed that displays relevant information for their organization. Some insights are curated by humans, which can limit the scope of the tool, although it does add a layer of rigor to the insights presented.

“Bit of a learning curve at first to get the analyst team familiar with our business, and therefore making the right prioritization decisions - but they improved rapidly and after only a month or two were consistently delivering only highly relevant insights” – Director of Strategy, Enterprise, >1000 Employees on G2

 

“I have been using Contify for quite some time now, and I would have to say that it does take a lot of time to fully customize it to the level we require. Lots of iterations and feedback which start to feel like an endless process. However, the responsiveness and attitude of the team makes up for the deficiencies!” – Market Intelligence Manager, Enterprise, >1000 Employees on G2

 

The output of Contify is built around delivering personalized intelligence updates through email reports, a web portal, or integrations with existing ERP or CRM systems. The focus is more on presenting users with competitive intelligence information, not encouraging users to search out insights and build their own analysis. 

 

“The aggregation software means that we discover indicators that we wouldn't otherwise search for” – Director, Enterprise, >1000 Employees on G2

 

“It requires a couple of iterations to get the product up to speed with the exact set of requirements, but it is worth the time investment” – Senior Associate, Small Business <50 Employees on G2

Knowledge360

Knowledge360 comes packaged with innovative semantic search technologies and an entity-based system architecture. For users, this makes it easy to find exactly what they’re looking for. This technology also makes it relatively straightforward for users to discover hidden relationships in data and other related content that they weren’t explicitly searching for. 

The advanced search features in Knowledge360 are powered by Cipher’s proprietary algorithms, and search against metadata on both internal and external sources to find the most relevant information. Users can also conduct advanced Boolean searches and drill down through multiple layers of filters to zero in on highly relevant information. 

Unlike Contify, which primarily consults news sources in searches, Knowledge360 supports the collection and indexing for both internal and external data from sources including:

  • Public websites
  • Subscription databases
  • External industry reports
  • Internal information sources e.g. customer & competitor reports
  • Financial reports

The breadth of data sources available in Knowledge360 means that users can conduct advanced searches that enable them to dive deep into individual topics, filter relevant information, and quickly discover detailed insights. 

“The K360 platform is easy-to-use for users without deep technical expertise and it provides great options to search and organize content” – Administrator in Electronics Manufacturing Company, >1000 Employees on G2

 

“Knowledge360 pulls in all of the news and updates on our competitors so I'm not searching through 20+ browser windows to get a sense of what's going on in the market. This is a huge time saver” – Administrator in Hospital & Health Care Company, >1000 Employees on G2

 

The Bottom Line: the use cases of Contify and Knowledge360 diverge here, so it’s difficult to give a good comparison of their search functionalities. 

Contify works well for serving up relevant news on a daily basis, while Knowledge360 has powerful search tools that enable users to dive deep on issues and uncover more comprehensive answers from a wider variety of sources.

Contify vs. Knowledge360: Collaboration Features & Functionality

One of the most important factors in determining the adoption of any M/CI software platform is how well the platform enables users across the organization to collaborate on projects and initiatives

This is more important now than ever, with teams increasingly working from home, or coming into the office less frequently than before. A highly effective M/CI platform enables seamless collaboration between large teams, providing the ability to share and communicate information, layer sophisticated analysis on top of data sets, and effectively visualize analysis in a way that is easy for key stakeholders to understand. 

In assessing collaboration features and functionality, we also consider the Knowledge management capabilities of both platforms. The vast majority of tools focus solely on the CI function, and don’t tend to include any knowledge management capabilities. 

Contify

Contify’s website doesn’t go into great detail about the collaboration features embedded into their platform, instead of focusing on Contify’s ability to connect to other external platforms via APIs and Webhooks. Within the Contify platform itself, it doesn’t look like there are many opportunities for teams to collaborate on projects. 

Contify does enable users to manage newsletters that can then be shared with their wider organization. Contify administrators can build custom newsletters that are emailed to key stakeholders at regular intervals, and can view data that shows whether stakeholders are consuming these reports. 

In reviews, Contify users don’t explicitly mention any collaboration features, so it’s difficult for us to determine the extent to which Contify users collaborate on projects using the tool.

Knowledge360

Knowledge360 acts as an intelligence hub for the entire organization, allowing users across different functions to better share information and collaborate on important initiatives. 

Collaboration functionalities are at the heart of the Knowledge360 platform, with features such as dashboards, reports, and alerts that can be custom-built for individual projects and needs. Dashboards are at the forefront of Knowledge360, and update with real-time data to constantly display an up-to-date depiction of the current market and competitive environment. 

Reviewers on sites like G2 and Capterra frequently highlight Knowledge360’s collaboration tools as a key benefit of the platform:

"Much more than the original Competitive Intelligence concept it was meant to be. We have adopted Knowledge360 as an internal web publishing platform to allow departments to communicate and share their information with the entire company" – Enterprise User in Marketing Research & Intelligence on G2

 

“We are able to better connect our global organization” – Manager, Strategy & Business Development, Medical Device Company, >10,000 Employees on Capterra

 

Knowledge360 also enables organizations to grant different levels of access to individual users depending on their role in the organization. Administrators can build, edit, and assign custom user roles and ensure sensitive data is protected.

Furthermore, Knowledge360 comes with pre-built integrations to many of the tools that organizations already make use of, including:

  • Slack
  • Salesforce and 
  • Tableau

The Bottom Line: While collaboration tools are built into the fabric of Knowledge360, Contify does not seem to possess a wide range of collaboration features. It’s possible to link Contify to existing ERP or CRM systems, but the platform does not support the same level of collaboration across large organizations as platforms like Knowledge360. 

Choosing the Right Tool for Your Organization

When it comes to selecting the right platform, it’s important to consider the specific needs of your organization:

Contify Bottom Line: If you’re simply looking for a quick daily overview of the market and competitive activity, Contify is a useful tool for summarizing news in an easy-to-read newsletter format that can be widely shared across the organization. While Contify is relatively simple to use, it is built for teams that should be prepared for more manual control, deeper analysis is challenging, and the software is not particularly well suited for collaboration.

Knowledge360 Bottom Line: Knowledge360 is a comprehensive tool built for organizations launching or with an existing M/CI team. Our users typically compete in highly competitive, heavily regulated industries where collaboration and deep analysis is a prerequisite for success. 

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If you’re still unsure of the best M/CI platform for your organization, consult our 2021 Buyer’s Guide for Market Intelligence and Competitive Intelligence Tools. This free guide provides a detailed overview of all the tools available today and will help you select the best match for your organization. 

If you’re at a more advanced stage of your search, use our Competitive Intelligence Software Vendor Evaluation Tool to compare different vendors and determine the best fit for your organization. 

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