Why Are Competitive Intelligence Drivers so Powerful?

This article asks why are Competitive Intelligence drivers so powerful? We show you that good Competitive Intelligence is based on more than just good questions.

You have some great questions, and you are researching and talking to some interesting people. Now you will find yourself swamped with information on paper, Evernote, email and your cloud.

Then the realisation hits you that intelligence is so much more than researching Google really well. All you get is lots of data and no idea where to start.

Put them into piles

To start using data and assist the analysis in creating great insight and answer, you need to break down the data into smaller components. This may sound very simple, but the next step is to sort all the information into a limited number of piles.

Then put them in order. The titles of these piles (drivers), their classification, and how big the piles will do depends on the situation faced

How to identify the correct drivers (characteristics)

Create a driver list that covers what you need to answer the question. Determine that every driver linked to the question asked. Remove any driver that you deem to be on the peripheral of the analysis. 

Decide on no more than 6-10 drivers that are agnostic and agreed by all. Then make a basket for each driver. This can be a file on your computer, but to get this exercise to come alive use real piles of paper, pictures and real baskets.

Typical drivers could include subjects such as:

  • Leadership
  • Recruits
  • Money
  • Weapons
  • Marketing
  • Pricing
  • Products
  • Sales team
  • M&A activity
  • Types of customers
  • And many more


Think back to soccer cards. You know Panini and the like. And you get a pile of footballers cards from different teams. Sort them out any way you like into teams, skills, positions or shirt colour. You then put them into piles.  

These drivers allow you to develop future actions.

For example, In business, if you are assessing a competitor’s strengths. You need a question like how serious a threat is this competitor to our market? Your drivers could include financials, product pricing, people, customers, future strategy, marketing message etc.

A future action from products pile, for instance, could be “if our competitor introduces that product to that market we will… Or if our competitor increases their price by x, we will…”


A metric is a measurement you can use to determine changes to the situation within your drivers. They help you understand how a problem and potential solution evolves over time. 

To avoid missing things, you need to agree on a set of metrics to ensure you know you are heading in the right direction. Metrics will allow you to see how you are doing and isolate where you could be going what.

These metrics will measure the factors involved in your thinking and define what weighting you should give to the different baskets.

For each driver, identify a factor that holds decision-makers accountable. Agree on these measurements before the process starts, so you don’t adjust your evaluations later to protect your judgments. These metrics help decision-makers develop greater meaning from your predictions. Metrics keep you on the right path and ensure fewer unconscious biases are mixed up in the final analysis.

So why are Competitive Intelligence drivers so powerful?

So when looking at a more complicated situation, and you have the data to hand sort it into piles and put them into baskets. These are your drivers. 

Using these drivers allows you to 

  • Break a problematic question into smaller, more management items.
  • Sort data
  • isolate the data’s relevance
  • Connect the data with other aspects within the relevant driver. 

If you’re looking at your competitor’s product, you can look at its cost, features, build, size, efficiency, reliability, cost, added extras and perceived benefits etc. Then you can use these drivers to compare them with your products or that of other competitors.

If you want to go deeper, you can look at an individual driver, such as features and further break it down into other drivers. 

This article asked Why are Competitive Intelligence drivers so powerful?. We show you that good Competitive Intelligence is based on more than just good questions.

And then you are a little closer to intelligence to help you make a decision.

What is competitive intelligence?

Competitive intelligence is the finding & critical analysis of information to make sense of what’s happening & why. Predict what’s going to happen & give the options to control the outcome. The insight to create more certainty & competitive advantage.

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