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In recent years, the role of analytics in the strategic decision-making process has been elevated to new levels of prominence. In fact, it’s safe to say that the majority of organizations don’t make important strategic decisions without first consulting the data. A recent McKinsey report termed this phenomenon “the strategy-analytics revolution”, and highlighted the key benefits organizations can realize by prioritizing the use of analytics in the strategic decision-making process. 

At Cipher, our mission is to help leaders increase the speed and quality of their strategic decision-making process, improving their competitive edge. Our products, Knowledge360Ⓡ and HUUNU™ Futures, enable organizations to incorporate intelligence into their decision-making in meaningful ways. And our strategic advisory services build the processes that ensure organizations can gain deep insights into their market or competitors to best position themselves for long-term success. 

There are four key benefits to incorporating analytics into the strategic decision-making process:

  1. Increasing clarity in decision making
  2. Discovering growth opportunities
  3. Identifying emerging trends
  4. Predicting and responding to complex market dynamics 

Here, we’ll outline each of these in detail, and explore how market and competitive intelligence (M/CI) tools enable organizations to reap these benefits and build lasting competitive advantage.

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Read the Step-by-Step Guide for Selecting a Market and Competitive Intelligence Software Tool

Increasing Clarity in Decision Making

It has long been accepted that data is one of the key drivers of clarity in decision-making. But in reality, blindly relying on data can often mislead decision-makers. 

Without the right frameworks in place, data can be teased into telling pretty much any narrative. Having volumes of data is not alone sufficient to reduce bias in decision making; it's critical you have an objective framework to process that data and produce objective insights. 

Sophisticated M/CI tools like Knowledge360 connect organizations to a pipeline of data sources, but also equip decision-makers with advanced tools to process and analyze this data. Notable features that support this include custom dashboards, competitor profiles, and visualization tools. 

However, driving clarity in decision-making isn’t only about the volume and analysis of the data; it’s also about the quality of the data. Many times, bias in market research data clouds decision making. This is particularly evident when using traditional market research tools, such as surveys and focus groups, to try to predict future trends or market developments.

These traditional research techniques are constrained by response bias: when you ask a respondent to predict their behavior, they will often describe this through an aspirational lens that fails to reflect their true behavior.

Fortunately, it’s possible to eliminate response bias by using prediction market research techniques. These ask respondents to predict how others will behave, and encourage research participants to share the rationale behind their predictions. Using prediction market research is a very powerful way to reduce bias in data, serving to greatly increase the clarity of decisions made as a result of the findings of market research studies. 

Discovering Growth Opportunities

The rapid pace of disruption makes it necessary for organizations to proactively seek out new growth opportunities. Many times, the best way to begin this process is to reflect on the current position of the organization. This requires a frank and honest discussion–free of marketing language–that evaluates strengths and weaknesses, while also considering the external threats and opportunities the organization faces. 

It’s important to understand where an organization currently is before planning where it should go next. Focus on identifying key elements of disruption, and then conceptualize strategies that will enable the organization to get out ahead of these new opportunities. 

Analytics plays a central role here. It’s important to quantify the trajectory of a growth opportunity, and determine whether the opportunity is already present, whether it’s coming in the next year or so, or whether an organization has longer to plan. Predicting these timelines, as well as important considerations like consumer adoption and market penetration rates, requires rigorous analysis.

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Identifying Emerging Trends

To identify emerging trends, it’s critical for a business to build a complete overview of the universe in which they compete, and closely monitor all of the existing (and new) players. By taking steps to understand growth opportunities, organizations can monitor the key indicators of new trends and position their organization for success. 

Purpose build M/CI software platforms play a pivotal role in this process, enabling organizations to effectively monitor the markets in which they compete. Sophisticated technologies like Natural Language Processing (NLP) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) ensure that organizations become aware of new competitors early and have all the necessary information to act accordingly.

Prediction market research tools like HUUNU Futures are also relevant here. They serve to help organizations uncover new trends, ascribe a potential timeline to their development, and understand the rate at which the market will adopt these new trends. 

Uncovering near-term trends afford organizations some time to plan and mobilize, which is always preferable to being caught off-guard. But the real value lies in identifying longer-term market developments. Doing so allows organizations the luxury of time to develop a comprehensive strategy that enables them to capitalize on trends and become a market leader. 

Predicting and Responding to Complex Market Dynamics

When building the case for an important strategic planning, it’s important for organizations to envision where they will be years from today. This position and the reaction of the market and competitors drive strategic actions.

Incremental vs DynamicThe reaction of competitive forces will influence the success of any new strategy and, as such, it’s critical for decision-makers to anticipate how key players might react to a new strategic initiative.

Knowledge360 offers organizations the tools required to predict complex market dynamics. It’s impossible to predict how the market might respond unless you understand who your key competitors are and comprehend the capabilities they possess. 

It’s not enough to track competitors with a simplistic tool that uses keywords and defined taxonomies to monitor other organizations. Instead, organizations need a powerful platform that processes data, classifies information, and applies metadata to uncover hidden insights. Advanced technologies like NLP ensure organizations can quickly spot new developments; getting real-time insight when e competitors make a key leadership hire, receive a new regulatory approval, or announce a new investment. 

Incorporating Analytics Into Your Strategy

Organizations can unlock clear and demonstrable value by introducing analytics into the strategic decision-making process. By doing so, leaders can make decisions with a significantly higher degree of clarity, enabling them to allocate resources and investment to initiatives that position the organization for long-term success. 

Analytics also play a central role in the forward-looking planning process of an organization, empowering decision-makers to quantify trends with a higher degree of certainty, understand how new growth areas might develop, and anticipate complex market dynamics. 

Tools like Knowledge360 and HUUNU Futures are invaluable assets when it comes to incorporating analytics into the strategic process. To learn more about how you can leverage these tools in your organization, schedule a demo with our team

If you're looking for CI software, take a peek under the hood at Knowledge360:

Knowledge360 Demo

Or, if you're looking to improve future insights through market research, get a demo of HUUNU: