Analytics is meaning-based computing; that is, it works like the human mind to identify patterns in data and to display data in meaningful competitive intelligence contexts. When you read articles, you have to do all the work. With analytics, computers do the heavy lifting and help you expand the breadth of your research coverage. Here are a few ways that analytics can help you tame the 800-pound information gorilla:

  • Analyze high volumes of blogs, tweets, social media, and other online data.

  • Search an internal database of articles to find only the most relevant articles and filter out the rest.

  • Conduct analytics-based searches of private (paid) databases such as Lexis-Nexis.

Search for topics on Google to harness the power of analytics-based searches. Older search engine technology relied primarily on keyword matching to present search results, so if you were searching for “GSM” (a cellular phone protocol), the search results would contain only those articles that mentioned GSM by name.

Analytics-based search engines, on the other hand, figure out that even though you’re searching for GSM, you’re probably interested in reading articles about other cellphone protocols, such as CDMA, and its search results include entries for articles that mention these other protocols.

Shop carefully for analytics services and software. Quality varies widely and different vendors tend to be narrowly focused in some areas.