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Understanding Competitive Analytics and Its Application

Competitive analytics is a set of quantitative tools, analytical techniques, and competitive frameworks that help companies and other organizations:

  • Address market performance issues
  • Diagnose sales, marketing, and customer success problems
  • Identify broader organizational vulnerabilities including product and supply chain
  • Estimate preparedness for competitor and market moves
  • Determine readiness for new strategic initiatives
  • Highlight product, go-to-market, and deployment risks
  • Assess the viability of new markets
  • Gauge the M&A opportunities
  • Prioritize competitive options based on diagnostics
  • Itemize and rank implementation and market options to overcome competitive gaps and deficiencies

The application of competitive analytics must extend beyond diagnostics to include predicted outcomes and via implementation scenarios. Even if organization are aware of some of their competitive shortcoming, they may only have  a limited scope of their competitive options and their ability to executive.

Identify Competitive Performance Issues and Opportunities

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Competitive analysis too frequently focuses on factors outside of its control. This work often includes the critical function of competitive intelligence (CI), but that’s only a small part of what’s important to make a company competitive. In addition, when a company experiences problems with sales performance (really a competitive symptom), it will restructure in an attempt to get back on track.

CI work and restructuring initiatives are important activities. Still, they need to be respectively part of an input into a proper competitive evaluation and be the result of a diagnostic activity. Business Catalytics developed the Competitive Quotient (CQ). The CQ is a quantitative benchmark that measures ten critical internal and external areas critical to sustainable competitive advantage.

Because it measures and identifies gaps in a company’s competitive posture, the CQ benchmark can be used proactively to assess strategic moves.  Such moves would include measuring the readiness for a market expansion, evaluating mergers and acquisitions (M&A) targets for corporate fit, or as part of the quarterly business scorecard.

Prioritize Competitive Options Based on Predictive Analytics and Scenarios

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After applying the Competitive Quotient (CQ) Benchmark, a company has a clear view of competitive deficiencies both inside the organization and across its external business frontier. Too often, though, what actions to take as a result are either unclear or incomplete. Problems emerge when leadership “goes with its gut” on the wrong actions or, realizing there are many problems, tries to go after too many issues at once. 

To identify and prioritize what actions need to be done, Business Catalytics built and continues to add to an extensive database of competitive strategies. Based on the CQ findings, along with a company’s goals, operational capabilities, implementation timelines, and financial resources, we then apply Competitive Catalytics.

Competitive Catalytics is the application of predictive analytics against a database of competitive strategies. This process, which can also be used for scenario and strategic planning, helps uncover critical strategy moves while prioritizing them to ensure applicability.

Establish, Measure, and Sustain Competitive Advantage

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The final phase for establishing or reclaiming competitive advantage is ensuring that what needs to get done actually gets done. Unfortunately, competitive advantage is far more than a project management exercise. Organizational limitations, including corporate structure and departmental silos, as well as a lack of expertise and resources, bring critical competitive initiatives to a grinding halt.

The Competitive Blueprint™ addresses the question, “How do we do this?” It includes implementation examples and itemizes the resources — human, technological, and capital — required for development, implementation, and operation. The Competitive Blueprint leverages Business Catalytics’ Competitive Network™, a database of evaluated service providers and organizations that can, if necessary, fill the implementation gaps that can’t be covered by the company having competitive issues.

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