Before Competitive Intelligence its best to Take a look at yourself
Before looking at your competitors and your environment, start searching for information and then getting swamped by data; it’s important to sit back with your team. Before Competitive Intelligence its best to Take a look at yourself.

What does your organisation do? Not such an obvious question.
What products or services do you offer? What do you not provide and why?
Which industry do you compete in?
Do you compete in a niche, on price or quality?
Have you written down your strategic objectives? Ok, do you have any?
Do these objectives and goals actually reflect what happens in your organisation?
What customers do you target?
What do you consider your competitive advantage?
Why do customers use your service?
Where is your pain?
What threats are you facing regarding competitors, industry changes and markets?
What do you want to achieve?
And what do you know? What don’t you know?
Some suggestions:

Determine the strengths and weaknesses of competitors or a business partner
Take advantage of market opportunity
What a new competitor on the block means to you
How a new product/service your rival has introduced is going to affect you
Many, many more…….

What is Competitive Intelligence?

Competitive Intelligence is the finding, sorting and critical analysis of information. To make sense of what’s happening and why. Predict what’s going to happen and give the options to help you control the outcome. Competitive Intelligence offers more certainty, competitive advantage, and insight.
Who do you need to be involved in the project in your own organisation – Sales, R&D, Engineering, HR etc
Which industry must you assess? (Not always the obvious answer)
And which markets do you want to look at?
Which key players in your industry are you interested in?
Are any government regulations or actions going to affect your business?
Do you want a rapid answer to specific questions to decide on the market or rival?
Do you want a long term ongoing approach, say from 3 months to 3 years ahead?
How will you know you are successful?
Do you have sufficient need to develop a set of “Key Intelligence Topics” for your organisation to focus on?
Before Competitive Intelligence its best to Take a look at yourself
In conclusion, it’s important to remember that data is only helpful if actionable. So take the time to analyse your business and your environment, and then plan action. And don’t forget to keep looking at your competition; they may be doing things you haven’t thought of yet. But most importantly, always keep the customer in mind. Thank you for your time.

Author's Bio: 

Octopus Competitive Intelligence consulting agency | Your competitive advantage starts here #compintel #competitiveanalysis #marketintelligence