The power of targeted intelligence in navigating a volatile landscape

An old adage states, “Intelligence without ambition is a bird without wings”. Although a very rational sentiment, we’d counter the quote with our own, “Intelligence without targeting is a bird without wings”. In this Age of Information – where data is growing exponentially, user needs are becoming increasingly varied, and the pace of information is quickening – information that is not targeted and personalized to the needs of the individual is ineffective – or… to continue the analogy – a bird unable to fly.

Consider the vastness of today’s datasphere. Conservative estimates have our global data production at around 4.4 Billion GB/day. By 2025 the same estimates expect the total to be 463 Billion GB/day. In perspective, that’s 212,765,957 DVDs per day

Perhaps a recent example will help. As of  March 13, COVID-19 has been mentioned 2.1 billion times on Google News. The next closest disease in terms of total mentions; HIV with 69.5 million mentions… HIV has been in the common lexicon since 1986

The point? The pace of data is growing exponentially, and traditional methods of information monitoring are no longer feasible in providing a comprehensive oversight of the information relevant to you and your organization. The solution is an information tool that is targeted, personalized, and tailored to your needs; targeted intelligence.

What is targeted intelligence?

Targeted intelligence is a simple concept, yet an increasingly complex reality. It is the process of distilling raw information into insights that are useful and meaningful to small segments of users (if not individuals) and providing that information to them in a way that suits their needs. 

There is no ‘one method’ of achieving targeted intelligence as it is entirely dependent on each individual’s needs, the type and variance of information they require, the end-user objectives, and many other factors. However, we classify it broadly like this; a combination of AI-driven technology and expert human curation delivering tailored insights based on end-user needs. 

Think of the process as a funnel. The top of the funnel is full of noise and irrelevant data. Using technology, this can be distilled into the 10% of information that truly matters. But that’s not where the process finishes. That 10% is then analyzed and curated by editorial expertise who can further refine and tailor the information to the specific objectives of your organization. This is then delivered to match your (and your end-users) needs, including; distribution methods (email, alerts, mobile, information portals, etc.) and timeframes (real-time, daily, weekly, monthly, etc).

Why is targeted intelligence beneficial in a time of volatility?

Becoming data-driven is becoming an increasingly key objective of organizations as it is the most effective means of driving competent and confident decision-making. In a time of volatility, decision-making is the difference between a successful or a failed business, yet is often hampered by the pace, inaccuracy, and irrelevance of information.

Here’s how targeted intelligence can help…

1 – Cut through the data noise but still ensure important insights aren’t missed. 

In a time of volatility, i.e. a pandemic induced crisis such as COVID-19, suddenly everyone with a platform is publishing content related to the topic. To prove our point, we worked with our reputation monitoring partner, Polecat, and gathered data that shows that between March and July 2020, over 80% of all conversations relating to the healthcare industry referenced COVID-19. While a good proportion of those conversations will be valuable, a lot will fall within the category of ‘noise’. 

This is where the combination of AI-technologies and human expertise that we introduced previously, really shines. Technology has the ability to refine the noise into information that is relevant, while human curation can add insight and context-specific to the goals and needs of the end-users to ensure the information critical to your specific needs isn’t missed.

2 – Improve confidence in the validity of your sources

In a recent Gartner report it is predicted that “by 2022, most people in mature economies will consume more false information than true information.” Untrustworthy information is increasing in volume, reach and sophistication at a frightening rate, the report goes on to say. In a crisis such as the pandemic, this prevalence of misinformation only gets worse

The challenges are; 

  • 1) AI is too limited to understand the many nuances involved in identifying valid sources; 
  • and 2) it is too time-consuming a process to be managed solely by humans. 

However, much like the combination AI and human expertise works to answer the above ‘data noise’ problem, it is equally effective in addressing misinformation, inaccurate sources, or ‘fake news’. The technology can handle the volume of analysis by identifying verified sources or the factors that equate to a respectable source. This frees the expert to focus on identifying  factors that are too nuanced for a machine, such as; opinions, plausibility, impact, level of appropriateness, and more; giving you complete confidence in the sourcing and validity of your information.

3 – Deliver insights to key stakeholders, in a timeframe and format that suits their needs

Targeted intelligence, by its very definition, is ‘targeted’. This means the information, the frequency, the delivery method, the format, are all specific to the needs of the end-user. Whether you’re a C-suite executive who needs the key summaries of critical updates delivered weekly or you’re an information analyst who needs daily updates on specific topic areas – targeted intelligence suits your needs.

With targeted intelligence, you can be confident that the insights that matter are making it to the stakeholders who need it; facilitating effective strategic decision-making across your organization. 


To reiterate the earlier point, the pace of information is accelerating and never is this truer than during a time of global volatility. Ensuring your information infrastructure is set up to deliver targeted intelligence is critical to ensure effective decision making in a crisis and beyond. 

A note from the team

It’s likely that the business landscape you are operating in would have changed dramatically in recent months, yet your mission remains the same.

InfoDesk’s goal has always been to provide mission-critical insights to organizations so that they can make the smartest decisions for their business, confidently. We’ve put together the below resource to help out organizations that are struggling in this time of uncertainty. Please let us know if there’s anything we can do to help.

Find out how we can help you find confidence in disruption here.