Business Dynamics Blog Post

Company & Industry Competitive Intelligence 101 Workshop

Nathan Fievitz

Company & Industry Competitive Intelligence 101 Basics Session

Attended 12/5/2022

Competitive Intelligence 101: A Workshop I’d Attend More than just Once

I honestly cannot say I was expecting a “basics” event to possibly have such a huge impact on my future work in VBS, but on December 5, business librarian Linda Hauck was able to provide such key insight on a topic every business student should take a dive into: competitive intelligence.

The Steps to Competitive Intelligence

First, we learned what competitive intelligence is – the process of legally and ethically gathering, analyzing, and acting on information about an organization’s market environment, competition, and other forces that may impact its future success. Competitive intelligence is so important in the business world due to its uses in firms looking to enter new markets, product development, and pricing development, just to name a few. Competitive intelligence has 4 steps shown by the diagram below. First, one must plan what information they must gather, then one must gather the information. After that, one must analyze data for patterns, and then use those patterns to adjust business strategy appropriately.

Competitor Intelligence v. Competitive Intelligence

Hauck taught us that there is often a misconstruction between competitor intelligence vs competitive intelligence. Competitor intelligence is essentially using intelligence to provide short-term fixes for shortcomings of your business compared to a handful of others. Competitive intelligence is a better form, as it understands long-term benchmarks such as market trends and overall industry performances.

I’ve never done Competitive Intelligence Research – Where do I Start?

Many would say the most important part of competitive intelligence is knowing how to research. As an unfortunate truth, many freshmen at the VSB would not know where to begin when it comes to researching information as pertaining to competitive intelligence. Thankfully, Linda Hauck was able to explain exactly where to start, using the diagram below to show the four main sources of starting information-gathering sources. Unfortunately, students may still ask questions such as “Well I know what to look for, but do I just search up company report or what?”. Thankfully, at Villanova’s Competitive Intelligence 101 website, Villanova was generous enough to organize many sources and databases to start with, such as IBISWorld,  EMIS Intelligence (Emerging Markets Information Service), and Mintel Insights & Analytics, just to name a few. After being introduced to the sources, we then found some cool data on companies such as GoPuff using our acquired sources.  

Villanova Students Need to Attend More Events like These

With research projects becoming more abundant in VBS students’ career, events like this workshop will become a separator in how well students are able to complete the research assignments. I know in the future I will seek out workshops like this one to gain a competitive advantage over my classmates and try to learn something new at every one.

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