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Competitive Intelligence and the Quest for the Single Source of Truth

What’s in your competitor’s pipeline? How are their trials progressing? Who is on the cusp of a merger that will increase their funding and how will this impact your business? Continuous monitoring of the market landscape is the bread and butter of a CI professional and you can’t afford to miss anything that may impact your landscape or business environment.

Technically-speaking, an infallible single source of truth is not a realistic expectation. However, consolidating multiple information sources is a path to getting us closer to that dream. A dashboard with AI-generated analyses, charts and graphs, underpinned by multiple secondary sources and validated with primary research has the power to positively transform the competitive intelligence workflow.
I believe there are three vital elements of what would make up a single source of truth. Let’s look at how close we can really get to that dream by maximising the number of reliable sources inputting to those elements.

1. Commercial Analytics
If a key goal of competitive intelligence is to help the business make the right commercial decisions, then we have to start with a clear business analysis of other players in the space. This should cover key revenue trends in your market, including top overall and/or in-class competitor companies, top competitor products, their relative market size, and projected forecast sales. Combining market-level insight with competitor-specific data, enables you to understand not only your place in the market, but which competitors you need to keep under the closest scrutiny.

What to look for:

  • A cross-indication product revenue chart to identify historic and future trends with Analyst commentary on key drivers of downturns and growth periods.
  • Overview of current product landscape and relative market share based on the most recent worldwide annual sales.

2. Clinical Development and Regulatory Analytics
On the clinical front, it’s vital that you develop a view into the therapies in development to understand how your own pipeline stacks up. A source of the most up to date pipeline assets, combined with relevant clinical trial details is a must. Ideally, this should be augmented with data analytics covering trial site locations, approval date projections, and product-specific probability of technical and regulatory success (PS-PTRS).

What to look for:

  • Easy access to competitors’ development pipelines, including up to date asset profiles and the latest clinical trial data.
  • Access to a robust and up to date competitive landscape focused on approval timelines with Analyst commentary on general and special underlying assumptions.

3. Market Events and Catalysts Tracker
The ability to communicate CI-related changes across the business in a timely and effective manner is critical. When something changes in your area of focus, you need to be able to ensure that your brand, clinical and access teams are kept informed. Ensure you have access to timely and relevant news events and catalysts within your market, with impact assessments for swift implication analysis and decision-making.

What to look for:

  • This is an area where the number of sources you could incorporate is almost limitless, so speed and accuracy are vital – also look for sources that get the level of detail right for your stakeholders.
  • A key events and catalysts view with associated “impact on LoA” scores (for pipeline assets) or “impact on share price” (for inline products) where relevant.
  • Detailed alerts with key news summary, implications, and recommendations ready for you to share with your internal stakeholders within 24hrs of event publicization.

Taken together, these sources will enable CI teams to cover the key day-to-day demands of the business, leaving them free to address ad-hoc and more specific requests.


Alex Bour, Ph.D

Practice Area Lead, Competitive Intelligence, Norstella


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