Are you tasked with managing your organisation’s research on the companies that matter to them? Potential new clients? Investments? Partnerships? It can be daunting and time consuming especially if you’re not confident in your less-than-trusted content sources that you rely on to point teams in the right direction. In 1996, Bill Gates said that “content is king,” and today, this is true now more than ever. In the 22 years since he uttered those words, the web has expanded from about 100,000 websites to more than one billion sites today. With all of that information—and misinformation—it’s critical to ensure the content you leverage is working for you by being organised, comprehensive and timely.
As you start to think about best practices related to company research, consider these three critical components to curating content:
One of the biggest roadblocks researchers often face is ensuring you have the variety of content required to create a holistic picture of any company or organisation you may be researching. This work can be time consuming and sometimes unfruitful, depending on the quality of the content and whether you have access to full stories, versus links or summaries only. Move beyond free online monitoring and work with a partner who organizes and manages global content sources to be sure you’re getting the complete view you need. Services like Nexis manage more than 40,000 global content sources, including trusted up-to-date and archived news, company profiles, industry information and social media content, and organizes them all into one streamlined database. You’ll have no shortage on sources and your research will become deeper and more actionable. In the words of Brady Darvin, VP of Consumer Insights, Strottman International, “... in most cases, finding similar information on the public Internet, IF it even exists, takes me or my analyst at least three times as long as it does using Nexis.”
Just as important as using multiple content sources is accessing historical data. As you work to develop robust reports on a company or organization, you need to consider all key touch points. This can include current information like financial performance, management profiles, affiliations, and reputation, but taking a look back can often be just as helpful in developing a report that provides true thought leadership. Work with a partner who can access historical archives of articles and other sources that will give you more depth than you’ll ever get on the open web. It’s often this marrying of archived and up-to-the-minute data that turns your research into insights.
Researchers can often feel isolated or misunderstood from the rest of the organisation. One extreme is today’s data scientist who are sometimes perceived as the modern “mad” scientist, off in a room doing things no one understands and yielding results no one else could develop. Do your part to demystify research by collaborating with the people and teams who use your reports. Seek out aggregated and standardised content then apply and distribute results through alerts, common searches, data visualisations and easy-to-understand work folders. This way, you can share your work and insights with those who need it more quickly and consistently to enable collaboration across teams. Not only will this improve efficiency and productivity, it will raise the value and visibility of your research work and expertise.
What’s the bottom line on getting the best industry and company intelligence that matter to your business? It’s to work with a solution set or partner that strategically curates the most robust collection of content and sources you need—this could include global news, company profiles, legal content, industry information and more. Better yet, get a comprehensive set of content that is also standardised and indexed for you to easily uncover the most relevant data across the disparate yet necessary news, company and other business data you need. Unlike the open web where you have to wade through varied and incomplete information, by working with a partner you’ll be able to find, analyse, visualise and share information critical to making smart business decisions and staying ahead of the competition.
Check out these solutions and resources developed specifically for you: