How to Test the Accuracy of Your Competitive Intelligence Data
As you gather information for competitive intelligence, you need to constantly question the veracity of statements and the people who make them. Following are some ways to test information for truth and accuracy:
Consider the source. Information from reputable sources is more likely to be spot on than info from unfamiliar or recently established organizations and individuals. Ask yourself whether the source has a solid track record for providing accurate information.
Beware of Internet experts — newcomers on the web who promote themselves as experts in a given field. Perform a background check on the author to determine whether she has the proper credentials.
Reality test the information, regardless of the source. Does what you’re looking at make sense? Trust your instincts.
Be especially wary of any information you obtain online. The web has plenty of false and misleading information about people, companies, and politically charged topics. You can even find websites dedicated to calling attention to false claims, such as FactCheck.org.
Check other sources to find information that confirms or refutes the information you have. Ideally you’ll be able to triangulate the information (confirm it with at least two other sources). Granted, this level of confirmation isn’t always possible, but searching for additional sources is still important because you may find conflicting data, which tells you that you need to dig deeper.
If the information you’re testing is in the form of an interview, speech, or presentation, don’t forget to tune in to the silent conversation with intuitive listening to find out what the person is really saying.