The Best Market Intelligence Tools for Business

4 Min Read

In a highly competitive marketplace, business professionals are vulnerable to unexpected circumstances without market intelligence. Under-the-radar product launches by new competitors, regulatory shifts, strategic mergers, or investments in emerging technologies by rivals can all increase risk.

Staying informed is critical to your company’s success. Market intelligence tools provide the timely insights necessary for swift responses to competitive threats and planning effective long-term strategies.

What Are Market Intelligence Tools?

While general search engines like Google or Bing can quickly locate basic details such as a company’s stock price or recent news, market intelligence tools dive deeper. They enable a more thorough understanding of the business competition or the supply chain. Researchers can rely on market intelligence tools to see what drives changes in the marketplace and what emerging innovations might disrupt their business models.

Unlike search engines, which cater to the public and yield a mix of relevant and irrelevant results, market intelligence tools are tailored for business users to precisely monitor the markets in which they operate. Market intelligence tools will enhance decision-making and protect the business from those unexpected circumstances.

The Top Market Intelligence Tools

Every business and employee with an interest in their industry will use market intelligence. The effectiveness of the tool will be determined by both the goals of the user and the relevance of the results.

Let’s look at a few of the more popular tools and common market intelligence approaches used by professionals.

Industry-Focused Publications

Perhaps the most well-known and traditional method of gathering market intelligence is subscribing to trade publications relevant to your industry. Staffed by journalists specializing in specific sectors, these publications provide a mix of industry news and in-depth analysis of current issues, often through investigative research and interviews with experts. From these articles, readers can learn the best practices of their industry peers or get expert opinions on emerging trends.

Typically, each publication focuses on a single industry. If your company operates across multiple sectors, managing a large number of subscriptions — both online and in print — becomes a necessity. Additionally, sharing articles without inundating colleagues with redundant content poses a challenge, as it is common for people to receive multiple notifications about the same article from various colleagues who are just trying to be helpful. In larger companies, this can make intelligence sharing particularly chaotic.

Company Research Databases

Another popular market intelligence approach is researching key companies’ activities. D&B Hoovers and Crunchbase are two of the most reputable databases for company research. These databases provide access to business registry information, regulatory filings, and company news. Users can quickly learn from the database what a company does, where it is located, how many employees work at each location, and how much revenue the company brings in. If a database is equipped with extensive list management capabilities, the users can download and filter a list by industry, region, or business size.

For prospecting professionals working in sales or venture investment, a company research database is often considered indispensable. Some databases even offer risk analyses for each company target. However, for professionals focused on strategy and seeking a broader perspective on the business ecosystem, researching company by company isn’t efficient and won’t help the users see how companies' activities shape larger industry trends. Furthermore, while these databases can greatly enhance individual productivity, they are not designed to enable corporate-wide awareness.

Market Research Databases

Market research databases are searchable archives of research reports with statistics based on large-scale market studies. Among the notable names in consumer market research are Euromonitor, Mintel, and Nielsen. These firms offer subscription-based access to market reports on consumer lifestyles, shopping behavior, product metrics of leading brands, market shares, and market forecasts.

Marketing professionals often peruse detailed reports to look for insights about their markets. Such a comprehensive dive is indispensable for brand managers needing to closely track consumer opinions and competitors' product performance in order to make tactical adjustments to their own product strategies and advertising spend. Although these databases provide useful statistics and deep market insights, digesting long reports isn't always feasible for executives short on time.

Financial & Economic Datasets

Financial and economic datasets allow users to download data points that indicate the health of a company or the economy. Corporate finance analysts and investment relations executives subscribe to these datasets to track competitors’ financial performances and forecast economic trends. Bloomberg and Standard & Poor’s are examples of preeminent brands that financial professionals rely on.

Due to the format of the data and how it is collated, the use of these databases often requires a sophisticated understanding of querying data and modeling with numbers. These tools are unintuitive for those outside the finance domain. While some executives enjoy the support of dedicated analysts who excel at drawing meaningful conclusions from complex data trends, it is a time-consuming and complex process. For those without such specialized assistance, relying solely on dataset subscriptions is not a feasible way to obtain actionable intelligence.

The emergence of generative artificial intelligence (AI) has made it possible for non-financial executives to use virtual assistance to interpret data trends, though this comes with inherent risks. These risks include AI hallucination, where the machine fabricates data or perceives nonexistent patterns, resulting in false, nonsensical, or inaccurate outputs.

Customized Market Intelligence Dashboard

A market intelligence dashboard is an information platform that provides an at-a-glance view of critical news and market data to enable decision-making. In large companies, it is common to invest in a dedicated team comprised of research analysts and information managers to build an in-house platform, which is used by the team to centralize subscriptions and push relevant intelligence to the company. However, even a highly skilled intelligence team is often challenged by the demands of daily news monitoring on top of the constant influx of ad-hoc requests for tailored reports from various corners of the organization.

The hallmark of a well-designed platform lies in its meticulous classification of market intelligence into distinct categories and trending topics, with a user-friendly interface. The dashboard must cater to a diverse array of functions within the company, including Sales, Marketing, Product Management, R&D, Corporate Strategy, Finance, Legal, and the C-Suite.

Smaller companies, or large companies that frequently reorganize to keep pace with a fast-changing market, simply cannot devote resources to build their own customized intelligence dashboard. This challenge highlights the need for scalable and adaptable commercial solutions in this space. Industry Intelligence Inc. aims to fill this need.

Maximize Your Market Intelligence Effectiveness with Industry Intelligence Inc.

Is your organization struggling with any of these challenges?

Industry Intelligence Inc. offers scalable and highly targeted market intelligence solutions, including customized market intelligence dashboards. We provide solutions to corporate clients of all sizes, from small business teams to global enterprises. Our news and insights are mapped to your company’s unique business drivers, vetted by market experts, and enhanced by AI technology.

Stay ahead of the curve in a changing market with our solutions, featuring:

  • An "Always On" monitoring system that tracks evolving market news as it happens.
  • A customized online dashboard plus a daily email report for market intelligence when and where you need it.
  • A mobile app that delivers relevant intelligence at your fingertips.

With Industry Intelligence, you have proprietary technology that delivers a 360-degree view of your market. It allows you to bring Industry Intelligence into your business workflow with a news feed delivered to your favorite work tool, such as Salesforce or your intranet. You can integrate market intelligence with Microsoft Teams to promote discussions surrounding news events, keeping your team members aligned and engaged.

Explore our range of solutions. Contact us today at for a consultative demo.

Industry Intelligence Inc