I remain very connected to Darwin Ecosystem and follow their blog. One post offered some advice I wanted to expand on here. Nicholas Herold wrote the post, 8 Qualities of a Successful Competitive Intelligence System. He began by pointing out the fragmented way many organizations go about competitive intelligence. Even need a competitive intelligence system is used there can still be issues of finding the right stuff at the right time and noticing the outliers that are predictors of critical market shifts. Nicholas lists eight qualities that you should look for in a competitive intelligence systems to reduce the risk of missing what is truly important. They are found below with some comments added.
1. Monitor unique topics of interest – you need to be adjust what you are looking and focus in on clearly defined areas to discover what is happening with precision
2. Operate in real time – this is critical, otherwise you will be a follower, rather than a leader.
3. Be independent of sources – you need to be able to pull in multiple sources and not be tied to a few that n might bias what you art e looking at
4. Be human centered (rather than allowing algorithms to determine relevance and importance, the experience and knowledge of the human is utilized),=. This is one of the most important. Tools like Google decide for you what is important and arrange content according to their viewpoint. The person needs to have clear visualization of what is happening so they can scan it and make intelligence decisions on what to drill down on.
5. Eliminate the noise – you need filters to get rid of unrelated content
6. Display emerging patterns – good visualizations of changes in the topics of interest helps you discover trends that may impact your decisions
7. Simplicity – allows for the human to use the tool effectively. Many complex competitive intelligence tools require too much expertise in the tool, putting distance between them and the expert on the content of interest.
8. Speed – this is enabled by both simplicity and real time content aggregation
These all capabilities we build into the Darwin Awareness Engine™ For information about how Darwin can improve your competitive intelligence system, see our CI White Paper: Darwin Awareness Engine and Competitive Intelligence.