The new data-driven economy is increasing the demand for sophisticated analytical skills and the intelligence professional’s stock is set to rise rapidly as a result. Recent innovations in data mining technology has opened up new and exciting opportunities for intelligence practitioners, whose job it is to gather and analyze public information about market trends, competitor activities and industry changes.
A career in Market or Competitive Intelligence can be challenging but richly rewarding. Below, we have listed 6 smart reasons to choose a career in Market or Competitive Intelligence:
1. Be an Influencer and a Change-Maker
Market and Competitive Intelligence departments report directly to senior decision-makers. Their recommendations have the potential to impact the strategic direction of a company and be the catalyst for change. As a CI professional you can boast about that time you saved your company billions of dollars by advising against a hotly-tipped investment opportunity or how you recommended diversifying into a new product line which now contributes 10% to revenue. While these kind of intelligence “wins” don’t occur every day they are not as rare as you’d expect. Sometimes the impact of CI is smaller in monetary terms but the incremental impact over years is significant.
2. Be Indispensable
Market Intelligence is a mission-critical function for organizations that want to grow and innovate. Due to its far reaching impact on other business functions such as Sales, R&D, Marketing and Finance, it is one of the few departments that can avoid significant cuts in adverse economic times. Digimind’s Market Intelligence Survey 2012 showed that 84.2% of intelligence teams have not been downsized as a result of the economic downturn and one third of companies have an intelligence budget of more than $250K. Companies invest in Competitive intelligence even when times are tough!
3. Positive Growth Prospects
The data revolution is sparking growth in opportunities for information professionals in fields such as Competitive and Market Intelligence, Market Research and Business intelligence. The combination of Open Data and social media feeds into a real business demand for skilled analysts and intelligence professionals. Expectations for long-term growth remain positive as companies grapple to take advantage of new sources of data.
4. Technology Brings More Opportunities
Innovations in automated research and analytical tools are key to continued growth in the intelligence sector. Instead of making the job of an intelligence analyst redundant, the automation of information gathering has resulted in increased efficiencies and has allowed intelligence professionals to focus on bringing more strategic value to their role – making them an even more invaluable resource.
5. Work is varied and diverse
Market and Competitive intelligence professionals are represented across a variety of different sectors and increased segmentation has resulted in many professionals opting for an industry-specific focus. For those seeking a career in Competitive Intelligence there are options to specialize in Pharma CI, Financial CI, Technology CI, and other areas depending on your particular area of interest.
6. Intrigue and Prestige
It’s always sure to make for an interesting conversation starter when someone asks what you do for a living. It’s partly due to the fact that people associate Market and Competitive Intelligence with corporate espionage. But while Competitive intelligence conforms to all legal and ethical standards of business practice, it still holds an air of intrigue and awe that attracts keen interest from outsiders.