Market Intelligence from external data

Market intelligence from external data is normally gathered by looking at secondary information sources, usually through desk research or carried out through a continuous or semi-continuous monitoring process. Often this means sourcing and analysing published information to build a picture of a market and to try and answer some specific commercial questions such as what is the market potential, what are competitors future plans likely to be, what prices might customers be willing to pay, what’s the best means of entering a market.

Central to successful desk research is the ability to track down sources of information and to provide a skilled analysis to read the data and identify not just the data, but the story behind the data. For example identifying who your competitors are and analysing their market position against yours to find strengths and weaknesses and indications of new developments, or identifying potential channel partners or locations to set up new offices. Market Intelligence specialists usually have a nose for what they don’t see and what is missing in the the data that they find. These can often translate into hidden market gaps and opportunities. They also have a sharp sense of how to use partial data such as financial reports, in order to make assessments about general performance – for example whether revenue growth is being led by prices or by sales growth.

To help internal market intelligence or market analysts, many companies use external resources like analyst houses who provide not just data, but also a commentary and advice on the current market picture based on their contact with suppliers and other companies. Many of the analyst houses act as brokers between suppliers, collating information and sharing it more widely. In some industries the analyst house can have very specific and large sets of data such as retail audits.