What makes a successful Competitive Intelligence Analyst? Team Digimind sought to answer this question. What we found was this list of seven habits that highly successful competitive intelligence analysts follow.
1) Be Organized and Disciplined
The work of a Competitive Intelligence Analyst is never black and white. Sifting through heaps of online resources to find relevant information takes focus. Turning information into actionable insights takes intuition. Creating deliverables that captivate your audience in an age of information overload takes creativity.
According to former US Navy Intelligence Expert, Bob A., Intelligence Analysts are more akin to artists than scientists because their jobs require more than the daily execution of standardized practices.
To avoid the pitfalls that can come with creativity and intuition, Competitive Intelligence Analysts should develop discipline. Creating a methodical approach to each task helps them produce the results and deliver insights to their organization.
2) Communicate with Confidence, Clarity, and Credibility
Some managers will struggle to see the impact of your project and what it does for the organization. The ability to present thoughts or ideas in a clear and concise manner so that a manager in a different field can understand what you are saying is crucial.
3) Find Meaningful Patterns in Meaningless Noise
In the age of the Internet, information is ubiquitous. Relevance is not. A great analyst can spot relevant information, identify patterns, and predict what will happen next.
Of course, great analysts aren’t somehow clairvoyant. They have simply developed the ability to assimilate vast amounts of data into cohesive patterns and turn those patterns into actionable insights.
4) Be Patient
A great analyst has the vision to see patterns develop early in the process and wait until the pattern becomes clear before announcing it. This patience is what makes a mediocre presentation into a great presentation. It can take months to gather enough information to identify a trend. Sometimes, analysts must cross evaluate several sources. Without patience, it’s easy to jump the gun and present information that turns into nothing. Patience helps analysts create reliable and valuable insights.
5) See the Bigger Picture
It could be easy to focus only on your specific monitoring projects, but a great Competitive Intelligence Analyst can’t get tunnel vision. While focusing on the objective, a great Analyst is willing to see the big picture, pay attention to outlying data and external factors that can indirectly affect your project. Factor multiple sources of information into your analysis, not just the information that directly falls into your regular search parameters. Cross-reference and compare news and trends from different industries when forming your analysis.
6) Be Flexible and Responsive to Change
Always evaluate, adjust, and learn. Cultivate the ability to recognize when the patterns and trends are changing and be agile enough to adapt to changes. A Competitive Intelligence project is not something you can set up and walk away from. It requires frequent adjustments and evaluations to stay relevant to your organization.
7) Learn from Mistakes
Competitive Intelligence Analysts who can spot their mistakes, admit them, and quickly make necessary adjustments are far more likely to succeed and advance in their profession than those who are not regularly evaluating and adjusting.
According to Bob A., successful analysts recognize when they are headed down the wrong path and have the foresight to change directions.
What habits do you follow to be a successful Competitive Intelligence Analyst? Let us know in the comments’ section below, or follow us on social media. We are eager to hear your experiences.