Competitive Intelligence in the Digital Age

Business Reference | September 12, 2017

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Since the advent of the internet, competitive intelligence has become plentiful. However, there are downsides of having so much data at your fingertips.

If you’ve ever had to introduce a product to market, improve sales or enhance customer service, chances are you’re well-versed in gathering competitive intelligence.

Competitive intelligence can be segmented by primary research and secondary research. Primary research is information that a company collects itself through surveys, questionnaires or interviews. Secondary research including reports, financial statements, and articles is considered the most accessible, yet it can also be the most overwhelming. While this information is easy to find, it may not be deep enough to meet your needs.

Imagine that you want to collect data on a direct competitor. You want to see all of their product offerings, their financial statements and any recent news. To get this information quickly, you go to your favorite search engine.  You’ll notice that much of the first page of results is focused on ads and marketing material that they want you to see. So, you start your search again, typing out exactly what you want. Still, you have to do some scrolling before you find the exact piece of information that you need. Then, you have to repeat this process for each topic that you need to find data for. This can be time consuming and can often lead to incorrect data.

If you find that you and your employees are spending an excessive amount of time gathering data, then it might be time to invest in a true competitive intelligence database.    

There are more efficient and reliable options. Online databases, such as EBSCO’s Business Source Corporate Plus™, are tailored to meet the needs of corporate research. Business Source Corporate Plus provides full-text coverage of business magazines, journals and trade publications, many of which are unique and unavailable through other online resources. You can find in-depth company information such as case studies, industry profiles, SWOT analyses, market research reports, product reviews, news articles, country reports and more. 

Databases like Business Source Corporate Plus let you search a company and get all the necessary information you need. You can be sure that this information has been vetted, and is correct. This saves time and resources, allowing you to access all competitive intelligence in one place.

As the internet has made competitive intelligence more accessible, you must have a way to sort through all of the misinformation. Competitive intelligence can lead to major company decisions; therefore it is imperative that it is correct. If you find that you and your employees are spending an excessive amount of time gathering data, then it might be time to invest in a true competitive intelligence database.   

To learn more about Business Source Corporate Plus, or to request a free trial, go here

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