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InfoDeskAug 23, 20235 min read

A practical guide to competitive intelligence

As knowledge management folks will know, competitive intelligence is an invaluable tool that can help businesses strategically position themselves to succeed in a competitive market. The need to stay one step ahead forces organizations to make data-driven decisions more quickly, achieving greater market share and higher profitability. But how do you actually create a successful CI program to ensure this?

This blog post provides exactly that – a practical guide to competitive intelligence, empowering practicing competitive intelligence professionals to deliver accurate and up-to-date reports to their wider organization. We'll discuss what should be included in such reports, how competitor analysis works and why it is important for decision-making. What's more, we have some top tips for staying organized with your competitive data management processes, as well as best practices for sharing actionable insights derived from these analyses. Finally, we explore how automation is the key to overcoming real-life problems that CI professionals encounter, such as overwhelm and inefficiency.

So if you're interested in driving competitiveness through a clear understanding of your core competitors & markets, keep reading to unlock a practical guide to competitive intelligence!

What is CI and why is it important to businesses today

To stay ahead of competitors, businesses must be well-informed about the market and industry they operate in. This is where competitive intelligence comes in. Competitive intelligence discusses information about business rivals, their strengths and weaknesses, their strategies, and any other factors that could impact their performance.

By leveraging a practical guide to competitive intelligence, CI professionals can gather and analyze these insights effectively and efficiently, empowering informed strategic decisions to stay one step ahead of the competition.

A practical guide to competitive intelligence

Identifying competitors and their strategies

In today's fast-paced business world, identifying your competitors and their strategies is critical to gaining an edge in the market. For this reason, competitive intelligence has become an essential tool for businesses. It involves gathering and analyzing information about your competitors, such as their products, market share, pricing strategies, and marketing tactics.

Using this knowledge, practicing competitive intelligence professionals can gain valuable insights into competitors' strengths and weaknesses, and ultimately use it to refine their business strategy. Whether you're a small start-up company or a large corporation, investing in competitive intelligence can help you stay ahead of the competition and keep your business thriving.

Gathering & analyzing market data TO MEASURE SUCCESS

Gathering and analyzing market data to understand both competitors' success and the trends of the wider market is now recognized by most people as an essential part of any business strategy. However, simply collecting data is not enough – it is important to uncover the hidden insights that can give you a competitive edge.

This is where a practical guide to competitive intelligence comes in, driving a deeper understanding of the external factors that shape a market and the actions of rival companies. With this information, businesses can make smarter decisions, adapt their strategies, and stand out in a crowded market.

Different methods for collecting competitive intelligence data

As a competitive intelligence professional, it is critical that you stay informed about competitors' activities and strategies to maintain a competitive edge. There are several different methods for collecting competitive intelligence data, including conducting market research, monitoring industry publications, attending trade shows, and analyzing social media trends.

Each of these approaches provides valuable insights, enabling businesses to develop more effective strategies for success. However, it's important to collect, examine and interpret data carefully, using multiple sources to ensure accuracy and avoid making faulty assumptions. Here are 7 key intelligence sources to help you get started.

With the right knowledge management tools and techniques, competitive intelligence can be a powerful tool for staying ahead of the competition.

Organizational structure for practicing competitive intelligence professionals

Organizational structure plays a crucial role in the functioning of your CI professionals. The structure of the team determines how information flows within it, who is responsible for specific tasks, and how decision-making happens. A well-structured group of CI professionals allows stakeholders to consume intelligence effectively and efficiently, leading to better-informed decisions and a more competitive position in the market. However, a poorly structured team can lead to confusion and disorganization, resulting in suboptimal outcomes.

Therefore, it is essential to consider the skills, expertise, and job roles required in the team while designing its organizational structure. A successful structure should enable collaboration, encourage innovation, and establish common purpose through clear communication channels, creating a powerful force in the organization's competitive intelligence efforts.

Establishing an automated process for competitive intelligence gathering & analysis

As businesses continue to navigate an ever-changing market, competitive insight have become increasingly important for staying ahead of the game. But many CI professionals encounter real-life problems such as inefficiency and overwhelm when gathering and analyzing competitive intelligence. That's where the value of automating your CI process comes in.

By utilizing technology and software to streamline this, businesses can quickly gather and analyze valuable insights about their competitors, allowing them to make data-driven decisions and stay ahead of the competition. With the help of this practical guide, and the right tools and strategies, competitive intelligence will become powerful component of any successful organization.

Thinking about investing in a competitive intelligence solution? Click here to find out our 5 reasons to implement CI automation today.


Competitive intelligence is a necessary component in the success of any organization. Competitive intelligence discusses key competitor and market insights, so effectively analyzing the data you collect will drive better business decisions by increasing customer engagement, revenue, and growth. With powerful automation tools (such as those offered by InfoDesk), you are well-equipped to automate crucial parts of your CI research process which can help produce tangible results even more quickly.

Ready to level up your competitive intelligence? Speak to our experts to find out how.


A practical guide to competitive intelligence is a crucial tool for businesses aiming to outpace rivals, empowering data-driven decisions that maintain a market edge. Having a well-structured CI unit and effective automation tools are critical to overcome problems that CI professionals encounter. So, what are you waiting for? Implement our practical guide to competitive intelligence today.