4 Reasons Why Business Intelligence Research Matters For Economic Development

To some, Google has afforded individuals to think that within a couple of seconds, answers to their most urgent questions can be found.   More than ever, this notion can be the furthest from the truth considering the sheer amount of content coming from social networks on a daily basis.   Individuals who share the same mindset when it comes to gathering business intelligence for economic development purposes will be prone to finding out that Google may not be the best place to start when searching for information.

On August 18th, 2011, Isabelle Poirier will be the guest lecturer at Georgia Tech’s Professional Education Institute in Savannah, Georgia for the seminar, “Tools of the Trade: How to Conduct Business Intelligence Research to Gain a Competitive Advantage”.    The need to conduct business intelligence gather has become a pressing issue in which it can be summarized based on the following four reasons.

1. Benchmarks are important in terms of strategic positioning

Economic development agencies are not only in competition with other agencies in nearby regions for investment attraction but across borders and around the world.  This being said, agencies must have capabilities to constantly benchmark themselves with relevant and timely intelligence that should be collected in-house.   The gathered intelligence will contribute to substantiating the positioning of a region to capture the attention of potential investors and site selectors terms of presenting the region as a location with great opportunities that are not offered anywhere else.

2. Social networks are gold mines of information about the regions that you are competing with

An enormous amount of information is being shared on social networks to a point that tools such as Addictomatic and Samepoint offer great starting points to conduct research rather than a broad Google search.  Culling information from social networks can be advantageous when seeking the sentiments of a current issue that is affecting a region.  This might be the case when a large industrial project is announced and may not be too welcome  by citizens.  This particular piece of intelligence might be useful in the future if the same competing region appears on the short list of investors.  This fact could help in positioning respective regions vying for similar projects.

3. Information overload – Learn simple tips

Information overload is one of the challenges that researchers face on a daily basis.  With proper business intelligence research methods and tools, one can attempt to filter results to get to the most timely data.   As a result, the amount of time and effort invested in finding strategic intelligence will be significantly reduced and more time can be spent on analysis and decision making.

4. Avoid unexpected surprises – Trends and blindspots identification

Continuous business intelligence monitor will facilitate the process of being proactive in terms of trend spotting and minimizing blindspot implications.   Keeping abreast of new tools and sources of information to gather intelligence will aid in taking advantage of economic development opportunities that can be identified by  putting details together and plan for potential threats in the external environment.  Taking such a proactive mindset to business intelligence may mean the different between attracting a specific investor with a significant growth potential in an innovative sector or just another investor in a traditional sector that is slowly in decline.

Conclusion

There is not a doubt that with simple search tools such as Google and Bing, gathering information on the web has become easier for business professionals.  Going beyond the use of these tools in regards to selecting and using lesser known search applications and establishing an information tracking  systems can lead to collect data that will place agencies in a better position to harness the power information to plan and reach strategic objectives.

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