How to Use LinkedIn for Competitive Intelligence

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It is becoming more and more important to make sure that you understand what you competitors are up to, so that you can compete effectively on a global scale. Making sure that you have a process to collect and analyze the data that is available is a crucial part of any modern business, and you can be sure that whether or not you are using competitive intelligence (CI), your competitors most likely are. Just collecting the data and trying to extract the relevant information isn’t enough. You must build a CI process into your overall knowledge management procedures in order to make sure that you are handling the data in the most effective way that you can. As you face increasing global competition, it is more important than ever to use all of the tools at your disposal to gain the advantage, and a proper CI process can be this slight advantage.

Whether you decide to make your CI platform executive reports process the focus of your competitive knowledge management strategy or not, it is important that you make sure that you can a solid process that adds valuable, actionable information with regularity. Making sure that you overall information or knowledge management strategy is running effectively is necessary to make the best use of the data that you collect and the information that you release to the public, which will ultimately be used for CI purposes by your closest competitors.

By taking an organized and structured approach to the CI process will make sure that you check all the right boxes for every step in the process: data collection, crunching the numbers, and producing a report that contains only the most valuable actionable data. By working through each of the steps in the process and tightening the up the process, you can make sure that you are using the competitive intelligence report to move your business forward, versus wasting all of the resources to collect, analyze, and compile a report that makes no impact on your decision making process. Using you CI process as a model for the rest of your knowledge management processes will make sure that you are profiting as much as possible, while at the same time keeping your competition from gaining the advantage.

Beyond working on and improving your own CI process, as part of your knowledge management strategy you should put a few processes in place to guide the information that release so that you can guide data that your competitors use for their own CI process. While you will never be able to fully control all of the data that your competitors gather regarding your company, you can guide them with your own process. You could do this by releasing specific marketing materials at certain times that you are sure that they will read them and may act on the information, regardless of your business’ true intentions.