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Welcome to the latest quarterly update on The State of Competitive Intelligence, brought to you by Cipher. In this edition, we’ll share the latest insights from the world of Market and Competitive Intelligence (M/CI). We’ll peel back the curtain and show you how the world’s leading CI practitioners are using Knowledge360 to deliver high-quality competitive intelligence across their organizations.

We’ll share the key insights and usage patterns across different industries including healthcare, insurance, manufacturing, and more. By studying these trends, you’ll be able to better leverage Knowledge360 in your organization and realize the transformational effects of fully embracing a culture of competitive intelligence. 

If you’re not a Knowledge360 user (yet), you’ll still find lots of value in this update. Companies using our tool are among those leading the way in the competitive intelligence space. But if your CI practice is new, consider the level of activity performed by these companies as your benchmark, and the insights contained within this report as signals of steps you can take to refine your strategies.

The data for this period of analysis comes from Q4 2021, the three months from the beginning of October to the end of December. We’ll compare this data against our findings from both Q3 2021 and Q2 2021, highlighting how competitive intelligence activities have changed and trends we see evolving in recent months.

Overall, M/CI teams across various industries continue to embrace M/CI technology that enables them to produce richer insights and deliver greater value. The data from this quarter shows that teams that leverage Knowledge360 are conducting much more in-depth competitive intelligence than those operating without a M/CI platform. Knowledge360 users collect larger, more diverse sets of data, and also monitor significantly more competitors than CI teams that do not use a M/CI platform. 

The insights shared in this update are grouped into three categories: 

  1. Data sources, competitors, and feeds monitored
  2. Dashboard usage patterns
  3. Contributions and knowledge sharing

In this report, we refer to the organizations that use Knowledge360 as Knowledge360 tenants. But before we explore exactly how these tenants are using Knowledge360, let’s recap the core features of the platform.

Knowledge360: A True Intelligence Hub

Knowledge360 is a competitive intelligence platform that enables organizations to source and collect data, discover meaningful insights, and collaborate on a variety of competitive intelligence initiatives

The cloud-based software platform is used by leading companies in organizations across a wide variety of industries, including life sciences, insurance, and manufacturing. Knowledge360 helps organizations to significantly advance their approach to competitive intelligence, informing better decision-making and higher quality strategic planning. 

With built-in integrations to a huge range of premium data sources, AI-powered data tagging, and powerful automation features, Knowledge360 frees competitive intelligence professionals to spend more time on meaningful analysis and less time on low-value, labor-intensive tasks. All told, Knowledge360 unlocks as much as 45% more time for competitive intelligence analysts to spend on high-value analysis and collaboration tasks, dramatically improving the quality of insight produced. 

Companies can create fully customizable dashboards to share the latest analysis and insights with key stakeholders in real-time. In addition, the recent launch of the Knowledge360 Partner Portal has dramatically streamlined the process of managing external engagements with third-party competitive intelligence and market research providers. 

Key Insights: Data Sources, Competitors, and Feeds Monitored

The variety of data sources, companies, and RSS feeds monitored by competitive intelligence teams all increased significantly in Q4 of 2021. The average use of the various modules in Knowledge360 remained steady, at 17 out of 21 modules per tenant. This number has been consistent since Q2 2021. 

Is your organization using fewer modules than the average? Get in touch with your Customer Success Manager to learn more about how you can leverage other modules to improve the effectiveness of your M/CI Team. 

Let’s take a closer look at some of the key takeaways from Q4 2021:


Knowledge360Users Continue to Embrace More Data Sources

Knowledge360 tenants continue to incorporate more data sources into their dashboards than ever before. In Q4 2021, the use of RSS feeds grew by 16%, to a new all-time high average of 57 RSS feeds per tenant. 




In all, this represents a 36.5% increase since Q2 2021, highlighting the importance of embracing a competitive intelligence platform with the capacity to automatically incorporate data from RSS feeds into live dynamically updating dashboards. 


As Competition Increases, Users Are Tracking More Competitors

In Q4 2021, the average number of companies followed across all Knowledge360 tenants increased significantly, from 57 to 63. This increase of more than 10% highlights the need to monitor the market for the threat of disruptive new competitors. Simply tracking known, direct competitors is not enough – disruption often comes from where you least expect it. 




In the healthcare sector, this focus on tracking a broad range of competitors is even more pronounced. On average, healthcare organizations actively monitor 94 companies in Knowledge360, an increase of 8.3% from Q3 2021, and up 16% in total since tracking began in Q2 2021. 




Without a platform like Knowledge360, simultaneously tracking such a high number of competitors would be near impossible. That’s true for all M/CI teams: from Fortune 100 companies to high-growth startups.


Key Insights: Dashboard Usage Patterns

As Knowledge360 users have added record-high numbers of companies and data sources to their Knowledge360 tenants, the number of custom dashboards created by users has also increased sharply. 

Here are the key insights from this quarter:


M/CI Teams Continue to Customize Knowledge360 to Their Organizations

Across Q4 2021, competitive intelligence teams continued to create new custom dashboards at a rapid pace. The average tenant created five new dashboards in the quarter, bringing the average number of new dashboards created in 2021 to 12. 

This customization was most pronounced amongst users in the healthcare industry, who added seven new dashboards in Q4: 40% more than the average Knowledge360 user.  

To be successful, M/CI teams must customize their dashboards and deliverables to suit the needs of their stakeholders. This increase in the creation of new dashboards indicates that M/CI teams that use Knowledge360 are doing exactly that. With Knowledge360, teams never pay more for the creation of additional dashboards and are free to create as many dashboards as required. 


Viewing Patterns Remain Stable as M/CI Teams Create More Custom Dashboards

User dashboard views remained stable in this most recent quarter, with the average Knowledge360 user viewing 1.6 dashboards each time they logged in to the platform. This quarter’s number represents a slight decrease from the 2021 average of two dashboard views per login. 

This relatively low, and decreasing, number is a positive sign for M/CI teams. It signals users can access the insights they need without navigating through multiple different dashboards. This streamlines the competitive intelligence process and makes it easier for sales teams to access the insights they need when they need them – strengthening the overall value competitive intelligence provides to the organization as a whole. 


Key Insights: Contributions and Knowledge Sharing

Knowledge360 is much more than a data collection and analysis platform: it also serves as an organizational hub for all competitive intelligence efforts. Success is driven by the creation and proliferation of a culture of competitive intelligence, where stakeholders across the organization both actively consume and contribute competitive intelligence. 

Users across various industries were consistent in their contributions and knowledge sharing efforts during Q4, with many metrics comparable to previous quarters. Let’s take a closer look at the trends from this past quarter.


Insurance Organizations Continue to Rely Heavily on Field Intelligence

While many users added a similar level of field intelligence to previous periods, the use of field intelligence in the insurance industry increased significantly in Q4. Over the duration of the three-month period, tenants in the insurance industry added close to 200 new pieces of field intelligence – that’s more than two documents each day.


Frequent Knowledge Sharing Remains Central, Especially During Challenging Times

The ability to share knowledge across organizational functions without friction is one of the primary benefits of adopting a platform like Knowledge360. Streamlined access to high-quality insights powers better decision-making. For that to be possible, teams must commit to frequently sharing what they know. 

Q4 of 2021 saw teams share content from Knowledge360 every other day. The notable exception to this were tenants in the manufacturing industry, who shared content from Knowledge360 multiple times per day – significantly more often than the average user. This reliance on knowledge sharing came at a time when many manufacturing companies faced challenging supply chain issues and underscores the importance of access to high-quality knowledge in difficult periods.

In addition to knowledge sharing, overall engagement levels also grew across the Knowledge360 platform. In this recent quarter, the average number of ‘likes’ of content and news shared on the platform increased to 140 for manufacturing companies, and 182 amongst insurance companies. These both represent sharp increases on the numbers from the previous quarter, where the average tenant received just over 100 likes for the information they shared. 


Get Started with Knowledge360 Today 

Organizations around the world are using Knowledge360 to transform the way they compete. The platform provides decision-makers with access to high-quality market and competitive intelligence insights in real-time, delivered in a centralized platform that’s easy to use. 

Implementing Knowledge360 enables organizations to harness the collective knowledge of their entire organization, breaking down organizational silos and nurturing a culture of competitive intelligence that produces an enduring competitive advantage.

Ready to learn more about implementing Knowledge360 in your organization? Schedule a demo today