Knowledge Sharing: Using your Competitive Intelligence Platform to Share Internal Intelligence
The work of competitive intelligence (CI) depends largely on insights from external sources — market research, company press releases, and company financial statements, to name a few.
Competitive intelligence software makes the work of storing and finding external materials much easier. But what about the internal analysis produced by a company’s CI professionals?
Is your company sharing those internal insights in a way that allows them to be easily found and reused?
A CI platform like Intelligence2day® can be used to share internal business and competitive intelligence material, such as competitor profiles, win-loss analyses, and battlecards.
By combining those internal sources, which we call “assets,” with external reports and news in the system, you have a powerful tool allowing your users to save time by:
Here are a few ways that you can share CI assets internally.
The Profile feature within Intelligence2day® provides a simple way to share internal assets.
Profiles are custom templates that define the information that users should provide when publishing. The Profile becomes a form to be completed. Not only can you include text fields in your Profile template, but you can have fields for URLs and uploading attachments.
By creating a profile for internal assets, you can guide contributors through the publishing process and make sure they add not only key information such as a title and summary, but also upload a file or link, and provide additional details (such as target audience or key industries). Remind users that the more information they provide about their asset, the easier it is for their colleagues to find it.
Think of the Profile like a record in a database - by creating a record for their internal asset, the author tells others about the material. The most powerful thing about the profile is that, once published, it becomes findable in search alongside the other resources in the system.
Tip: Try to balance the number of fields in the Profile with the amount of information needed about the asset and the amount of time your teams are willing to spend on the publishing process. More fields mean more information about the asset; however, users may get discouraged and view more fields as more work.
In order to better organize the internal insights that are added to the system, use Intelligence2day®’s Topics to categorize them.
You can create Topics for each unit or team, which can be used to tag their profiles. Team- or unit-based topics allow users to easily search for assets by team and you can also easily pull those assets into a Team Dashboard.
Tip: Create Topics for each of the company’s business units, as well as for individual teams that are publishing into the system. Within the individual teams, you can also create sub-topics for the type of deliverable.
Thinking about how your company can get started sharing internal intelligence? Here are some ideas.
Consider running a pilot with one team that is interested in capturing and sharing their assets.
We started with a team from one business area that wanted to bring their competitive intelligence insights together into one place. We trained them on how to add their assets into the system and created a dashboard for the team where they could easily find those assets. Based on feedback from the team, we went through four iterations of the dashboard, as well as improved the process for adding material into the system.
The benefits of a pilot:
After a successful pilot, spread the word about your program to other CI teams in your organization. Let them know how you can help them easily share their internal intelligence assets.
Promote the positive outcomes experienced by your pilot team and others. Some ideas to publicize your successes include:
The process laid out above makes it seem easy. However, as we all know, there will be challenges along the way. What challenges might you encounter?
From my experience, here are the most frequent challenges that we have:
I do not have magic answers to address these challenges, but I do have some suggestions in the following section.
Over the past four years, I have worked with competitive intelligence teams to help them share their intelligence assets in a centralized way.
Here are some of my learnings for how to be successful when developing a knowledge management initiative for competitive intelligence assets:
Get Management Support
Use Your Champions
Set the Example
Make It Easy and Then Make it Easier
For example, we received feedback that the profile we created for adding competitive intelligence material to the system was too long. We used that feedback to re-work the profile and focus on the most important information that needs to be shared (title, summary, document link, or attachment). We also created an alternative profile that is much shorter to encourage even the most resistant users to share.
Knowledge sharing encourages knowledge reuse, which saves employees and the organization both time and effort. When starting the process to incorporate internal CI assets into your competitive intelligence portal, consider how to make the process of publishing assets as easy as possible for your users.
Be open to feedback and willing to evolve and improve over time. And share the successes along the way.