Collaboration software and tools have become part of our daily lives. Using such tools for market intelligence, where information on the business environment is systematically gathered, processed and analysed in order to aid decision-making, can certainly enhance business planning and save precious time and money. Companies often waste resources and time due to faulty or inaccurate business information.
According to the latest Global Market Intelligence Study conducted by Global Intelligence Alliance (GIA), businesses with organised market intelligence systems and tools reduce resource wastage by as much as 50 percent. Having market intelligence information organised, stored and readily available within the company’s enterprise system can on average, save users at least 1.5 hours a week. That effectively accumulates to about 9.5 days a year for each end-user.
In addition, 48 percent of the survey respondents who did not have organised market
intelligence systems in-house said they could only get the information they required after a long delay. In contrast, while 82 percent of those with organised market intelligence systems said they could access information immediately or after a short while.
Other benefits of having organised market intelligence systems and tools include:
1. Better decisions: Having research-based insights readily on hand to capitalise on
opportunities and to minimise risks.
2. Faster decisions: Avoiding surprises and being constantly equipped to make educated decisions even under time pressure.
3. Efficiency: Shifting decision-makers’ time-spend from looking for accurate information to making decisions based on it. Avoiding inefficiencies and redundancies in purchasing and processing business information.
4. Shared learning: Facilitating shared understanding and insight creation through
continuously exposing end-users to fresh intelligence content.
5. Staying ahead of the game: Involving the organization in collectively identifying
emerging opportunities, threats and strategic themes of relevance.
Just what does it take to develop high-performing collaborative market intelligence systems?
Very often, companies invest hundreds of thousand Euros in their systems and tools but don’t spend enough time to influence the usage of the information. The corporate culture must be one that encourages market intelligence-friendly behaviour, to ensure that collaboration tools do end up adding value to decision making.
Europe’s largest companies all have sophisticated market intelligence systems, but not all have been able to apply the behavioral attributes listed below.
Keep the scope of your vision wide
Keep an open mind and ensure that you examine and cover all aspects of your company’s external environment, beyond the ‘usual suspects’, and include such information into your market intelligence information system. This could involve macro-economic issues outside your markets, new technological innovations, global consumer trends or politics in neighbouring countries, for example.
Involve a cross section of managerial staff in the process
Sales executives, general managers and other staff who spend a lot of time outside the organization often have valuable market information, which should not be missed out on. Find ways to integrate their input into the company’s market intelligence systems.
Educate and bring others onboard
It is important to cultivate a culture that supports team effort and knowledge sharing through the market intelligence enterprise system. Consider conducting system orientation sessions when new employees join. Use collaborative platforms more actively. Share best practices and recognise employees who actively contribute useful market information into the system.
Make sure the resulting information and analysis is useful
This seems to be quite obvious but is often the most challenging part of good market intelligence is making sure that the results are useful and will be used for the company’s strategic planning, innovation and product development or sales and marketing. It is important to focus and prioritise, and think about what information is absolutely vital, why, when, and to whom.
Outsource and focus on strategic analysis
Companies have started to outsource parts of their market intelligence function, such as identifying information sources, collecting external information, structuring information, developing information portals. Outsourcing gives companies more time to manage internal knowledge and integrate their market intelligence for maximum impact on their business.
For collaborative market intelligence information tools to be quickly adopted and used within an organisation, they must take these behavioral attributes into account and promise ease-touse, clear structures for information storage and automated delivery of relevant market signals. Only then can they add more value and saves employees even more valuable time.
About the author
Saku Oikarinen is Vice President and United Kingdom Business Unit Director at Global Intelligence Alliance UK. Saku is a seasoned expert in the Market Intelligence field and has several years of experience in serving industrial and service industry clients with analysis and consulting in the UK and Scandinavia.
About Global Intelligence Alliance
Global Intelligence Alliance (GIA) is a strategic market intelligence and advisory group. GIA was formed in 1995 when a team of market intelligence specialists, management consultants, industry www.globalintelligence.com analysts and technology experts came together to build a powerful suite of customized solutions
ranging from outsourced market monitoring services and software, to strategic analysis and advisory.
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