Independent Thinking Blog

6 Sources of Killer Competitive Business Intelligence

What should we do with all the data? It’s a question I have been asking a lot; good solutions—not so many. So imagine my excitement when someone finally answered the question of how we can use the huge (and growing) volume of competitive business intelligence.

In a recent MarketingProfs webinar, Sean Campbell of Cascade Insights offered some terrific tools and great advice for putting the data to work for you in the business-to-business world. Here are six places to get started:

1. LinkedIn isn’t just about people profiles, it’s also about company data. Campbell noted that company profiles are a great way to glean insights on the movement of people in and out of companies, including job openings, new hires, and recent promotions.

2. Read job listings to see what qualifications a company’s seeking and/or hints into new initiatives. Online CVs also provide a glimpse into what people’s job responsibilities entail—and what their company is focused on.

3. Silobreaker is a search engine that includes a clickable map of a company’s network–a great tool for visual searchers. It also pulls up added value data. (Search for Pepsi for example, and you’ll also get links to CEO Indra Nooyi and a quote from her.)

4. People post all kinds of data on SlideShare, including presentations from invitation-only meetings that often contain corporate roadmaps. Campbell noted that SlideShare is also a good place to identify subject matter experts.

5. Use Worldle for reverse mining. Plug in an RSS feed or a Web site and the word cloud will give you a quick look at what a company or a community is talking about.

6. Seeking Alpha posts transcripts from earnings calls, including the Q&A with analysts and reporters that follows the on-message presentation.

Clearly, no one source will be your holy grail. But hopefully a strategy that merges data from multiple sources will help you to connect the pieces.

What are your favorite tools and sites for data collection?

Photo by Richard Summers (Flickr).

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