We become part of a rat race from the time we are born and continue to do the same. There is no escape from Competition and this is a fact. In an attempt to stay ahead of the game, organisations have started resorting to Competitive Intelligence (CI). Technically, Competitive Intelligence means collecting data about competitors in an ethical way through public sources, analysing it, deriving insights from it and presenting it to decision-makers in a way that they can design an action plan to beat the competitors. This is totally different from corporate espionage or data theft from rival companies to sabotage them.
Every business wants to know:
How should I increase my market share?
How should I plan my next marketing move?
How should I make decisions that give me an edge over my competitors?
The process of competitive intelligence
Source: SG Analytics
According to ZionResearch, the global business intelligence market accounted $16.33 billion in 2015 and is touted to reach $26.50 billion by 2021, growing at a CAGR of around 8.4% 2016 and 2021.
Competition Intelligence is a part of the bigger set of Business Intelligence and has gained momentum as a career option in the last few years since the evolution of Big Data.
If you are planning to carve out a niche career in Competition Intelligence, it is one of the smartest decisions that you have made. The profile presents a unique opportunity to prove the worth for aspirants with diverse skill sets because competition is something that every kind of business faces. So whether you are from the pharmaceutical sector, telecom sector, BFSI segment, real estate or any other, Competitive Intelligence is a skill that is in demand everywhere.
Before we tell you why you should opt for this role, let us have a look at how competitive Intelligence is transforming the business landscape:
Deriving valuable insights: Competitive Intelligence has brought in various tools to summarize the information in a meaningful way and aligning business operations with the trends in the market.
Smarter strategy designing: Insights based on sound data always brings in efficiency in business operations. Data derived from authentic sources is the best way to design your strategies against the competitors, rather than basing it on mere theoretical or vague parameters.
Transparency through data: Competitive Intelligence offers great transparency to data related to our peers. The CI systems dig deep into the data and find marketing trends of the competitors, predicting their next move, the underlying principles behind their strategies and helps the company to plan its operations accordingly.
A career in Competitive Intelligence is challenging but rewarding as well. Find out the reasons why being a Competitive Intelligence Analyst is a smart move to be made:
1. Be a growth catalyst in the organisation
Competitive Intelligence is a critical role in organisations and they present their facts directly to the senior management. It won’t be wrong to say that they are the harbingers of change in organisations. It is in hands of the CI analyst to advice diversification of a product, change in product lines, suggest a new product launch, all based on the data collected and competitor mapping. This keeps the CI analysts at a level where they are very integral to the major decision making process.
2. Disruption brings in more opportunities
Most of the profiles these days face the threat of continuous technology disruption. But Competitive Intelligence is amongst few of those profiles which is safeguarded against technology disruption. In fact, the more the technology evolves and more the business decisions depend on data, the more this profile comes in demand. Automation of data collection brings in more efficiency into the profile of a Competitive Intelligence analyst.
3. Exposure to diverse sectors
If you want constant challenge and excitement in your role, Competitive Intelligence is for you. As a CI analyst, you are exposed to a lot of sectors because tracking competitors and planning the moves to lead the pack is done by all. So Competitive Intelligence gives you an opportunity to either opt for an industry-focused approach or earn rich experience by working across sectors and industries.
4. Less prone to downsizing
It is believed that Competitive Intelligence Analyst is less prone to downsizing during rainy days of the organisation. Though this is too subjective and depends on the situation, the possibilities of being downsized is less. Organizations want to stay ahead of the game and for that CI is a crucial department. For most organisations, it is becoming an indispensable part.
5. Positive growth prospects
Today most companies are opting for Competitive Intelligence and the spending on it is going to be huge. There are new sources of data and innovation techniques of data collection every minute, and companies are making the most out of it. Prospects of long term growth remain intact and hence it proves that the profile is here to stay.