4 Minute Read

We might take it for granted, but music is such an important part of life: listening to your favorite tracks can put a spring in your step, improve your overall mood, and generally make life seem that little bit better. And for many of us, listening to music is an important part of getting work done. It helps us get into a flow state, effortlessly checking off tasks and powering through our to-do lists. 

Research has shown that music boosts confidence and helps us focus better on the task at hand. Scientists have found that music can alter the speed of brainwaves, inducing a more relaxed state and minimizing anxiety. 

When you’re tackling a complex piece of competitive intelligence work, it’s important you're in the right state of mind. The more focused you are, the higher the quality of your deliverables. If music boosts your performance, we’re all for it. 

If you take a walk around the employees of Cipher offices/homes, you can find a lot of our team members listening to music while they work. Whether it’s building CI dashboards or developing insights, there’s a certain genre of music for every type of task. 

Want a quick flavor? Here are some of our picks for the best songs to listen to while building out your sales team’s competitive battlecard dashboards:

But that’s not all. Maybe you’re looking for something a little more relaxing. We asked our team for their top song choices, and grouped them into five categories. We even pulled together their recommendations on Spotify, so you can start listening right away. Interested to learn what the team at Cipher is listening to? Let’s dive in.

White Noise and Sounds of Nature

If your team works in a busy office, or even if they’re working from home and trying to tune out the sound of their annoying neighbors, then there’s a good chance they’ve thought about playing white noise in the background. 

It’s a popular choice. You might tune into static from an old TV, or listen to a white noise video on YouTube. It’s an effective way to block out the external stimuli that interrupt your concentration. 

But while some people find that white noise helps them concentrate, others find that it sends them to sleep. In fact, you can even buy white noise machines designed to help you fall asleep at night. 

If white noise doesn't help you concentrate on that quarterly CI deliverable, consider listening to the sounds of nature instead. Whether it’s the sound of ocean waves, or a peaceful forest scene, there’s a variety of sounds that can instantly help you feel more relaxed. Here are some of the Cipher team’s favorites on Spotify:

Game Day Tracks

Everyone has certain tracks to get pumped up. You know the one: the song that gets your adrenaline flowing and makes you feel like you can conquer anything. The songs immediately transport you back to that big game day, the one where emotions were high and everything was on the line.

Just hearing the opening bars of Smash Mouth’s All-Star gets me in the zone. If that’s not your jam, I also polled some colleagues: their game day tracks range from Beyonce to Santana, and everything in between.

Now, how you use this music is up to you. You might listen to it to get dialed in before a big presentation to your CEO, or maybe you use it to focus as you crunch a complicated data set. Getting pumped up might not increase the output of your competitive analysis, but hey, it’s going to be fun to pick up your air guitar again, right?


Gaming Tracks

A lot of video games have soundtracks that are the perfect match for anyone looking to concentrate. After all, if you’re going to beat the game, concentration is important, and so it makes sense that the background music on popular video games is designed to boost focus.

A few of our team members swear by it. And who knows, gaming music could be your secret sauce when it comes to unlocking a higher level of CI productivity. You could even ask your kids for their recommendations, or try our picks:


Classical Instrumental Music

Around here, we use the abbreviation CI to mean Competitive Intelligence, but it can also stand for Classical Instrumental music. Why not marry the two?

The best CI music has been around for hundreds of years, and if it’s been popular for that long, it’s definitely for a reason. Beethoven, Bach, and Mozart might differ slightly in style, but their music is timeless, and it’ll help you get focused.

Heard of the Mozart effect? A 1993 study found listening to Mozart could be linked to improved performance in certain kinds of mental tasks. There’s still some debate about whether this actually holds true, but there’s no harm in trying it out for yourself to find out if classical instrumental music will take your work to the next level.

Here are some of the all-time classics to get you started:


Feel Good Favorites

We all have our go-to feel-good songs that brighten our mood, regardless of the time and place. It could be music that’s linked to a special memory, a song you partied to in high school, or a track you share with your partner.

Whatever it is, listening to it gets you in a positive state of mind. Here are some of the Cipher team’s feel-good favorites:


Get in the Groove with Knowledge360

When you’ve finished your work and sent off your competitive intelligence deliverables, take a moment to celebrate. Our favorite: the classic Signed, Sealed, Delivered by Stevie Wonder. Take a moment to enjoy the music – you’ve earned it!


We hope you enjoy our (admittedly eclectic) music taste. But as we all know, a solid Spotify playlist isn’t all that’s required to conduct effective competitive intelligence. Having the right tools is a prerequisite for success.

Knowledge360 evolves the way that your organization competes, acting as a powerful intelligence hub that enables you to discover and share game-changing competitive intelligence insights.

To learn more, you can schedule a demo. We’ll even throw in some free music recommendations. Contact us today.