Advanced Techniques for Building and Utilizing a Competitive Intelligence (CI) Database

Advanced Techniques for Building and Utilizing a Competitive Intelligence (CI) Database

Whether you have a great product or an immaculate marketing campaign, its success depends on how well you know your competitor. For this simple reason, businesses of all shapes and sizes invest a lot in gaining competitive intelligence (CI). 

If you’re a B2B marketing leader, you must’ve had your fair share of run-ins with competitive intelligence or intelligence databases. The process of gaining CI revolves around categorically collating, analyzing, and interpreting all the information you can get from your competitors. A CI Database is simply the repository where you store all this information. The information can be in any form, from market trends to market analysis to ongoing industry dynamics. All this information aids businesses in making informed decisions. 

This blog will delve more deeply into CI by looking at some of the modern techniques businesses deploy to build a comprehensive Competitive Intelligence Database. We will also explore some modern data analysis techniques that can help you create a competitive intelligence database and how to navigate the intricacies involved in building one. So, without further ado, let’s dive straight in.

Table of Contents

Learn To Build A Competitive Intelligence Database

Now that we have established competitive intelligence as the cornerstone of every successful business, let us now give you the key steps involved in building a competitive intelligence database. While these steps will essentially get you a comprehensive intelligence database, depending upon your business needs, you might have to make some changes or take a step or two more.

Set Your Objective

You need to have a set objective to gain the expected outcome from your CI database. You can start by answering some key questions like –

  • Who are my competitors?
  • What insights will serve best to my business?
  • And where should I focus more, on the customers or the industry trends?

Having set objective will help you channel your data collection efforts in the right direction.

Know Your Competitor/Market/Industry

You need to have a deep understanding of who your direct competitors are, what market are you trying to cater to, and most importantly what are the current trends dominating your industry. In order to have effective benchmarking and strategic placement of your product, you need to know all these details about your business.

Identifying The Data Sources

Knowing your data sources will make it easier to establish what information you will get and how accurate it can be. If you focus on data sources such as publicly available information such as industry reports or company websites, you will have to work a lot on cleansing that data. Data sources such as social media and specialized competitive intelligence database providers generally are more reliable and accurate. Hence, you must consider them as an alternative for your data sources.

Data Collection Techniques

As with data sources, you must employ good data collection techniques to ensure you get the latest and most accurate data. Some of the most effective data collection techniques include web scraping, social media listening, surveys, industry interviews, and professional database providers.

Effective Data Management

Once you have gathered the data that will help you build your competitive intelligence database, you need to store and manage that data effectively. Make sure that you have a centralized repository for storing the data. Furthermore, you must ensure that the stored data is updated and cleansed regularly to remove any possible redundancies or inaccuracies that might have accrued over time.

These steps should help you build your comprehensive competitive intelligence database. This database will serve as a valuable resource for strategic decision-making. However, it’s important to stress the need for regular data audits. These audits are crucial to ensure the information stored remains relevant and up-to-date.

Making Use of Competitive Intelligence Database

Now that you have your CI database, you need to make sure you are using it to extract the information you need most effectively. Here, we have listed some of the most advanced data analysis techniques for extracting useful information from your competitive intelligence database.

Text Mining and Natural Language Processing (NLP)

Text mining and Natural Language Processing are effective techniques for extracting actionable insights from text-based datasets. This dataset can be in social media posts, customer reviews, or text-based formats. Text Mining and Natural Language Processing use advanced techniques of sentiment analysis and entity recognition, which makes them highly effective in identifying customer sentiment or any possible emerging trend.

Sentiment Analysis

Sentiment analysis is a great way to gauge customer perceptions, market sentiment, and brand sentiment by classifying text data into positive, negative, or neutral sentiments. This helps brands identify the areas of improvement to build their image and customer relation.

Machine Learning Applications

Machine learning applications are great tools for pattern recognition, predictive modeling, and detecting any anomaly in your dataset. You can train these applications on your customer or market data for forecasting market trends or identifying any hidden growth opportunity.

Social Listening

Social media channels are a great source of gathering customer sentiment, brand image, and market trends. Using social listening tools, you can build better relationships with your customers, project a positive image for your brand, and capitalize on any market trend.

Use Competitive Intelligence Database, Intelligently

While the Competitive Intelligence Database certainly is the cornerstone of every successful product and marketing launch, you need to be intelligent in your approach to it as a business. This is why it is imperative to have clear objectives and outcomes for your competitive intelligence database. You must also constantly review your competitive intelligence database to ensure that the data you have is relevant, updated, and clean. Competitive intelligence is a power that you get from the data; thus, you must make sure that you use it correctly. If you need help in gathering market intelligence or building your CI database, you can always reach out to us at [email protected], and we will help you get started.


Picture of Somnath Banerjee

Somnath Banerjee

Somnath leads Market Research and Analysis practice at Datamatics Business Solutions Ltd. He is a seasoned executive with diverse experience in business research, strategy/business consulting, financial research, operations and service delivery and account management.

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