Challenges of Choosing the Right Analytical Solutions in CI

Feb 21, 2022 | Competitive Intelligence
Sayantani Sen
Challenges Of Choosing The Right Solutions In CI

Challenges of Choosing the Right Analytical Solutions in CI

Challenges of Choosing the Right Analytical Solutions in CI 1024 576 deepak

Background to Traditional Competitive Intelligence Solutions in Pharma

With the onset of the pandemic, the pharmaceutical marketplace has seen a lot of turbulence that was unseen in the past. As biotech firms strongly compete to keep their product pipeline competitive in the face of rapid innovation, heavy demand, changing patient needs, stringent regulatory and patent environments, keeping a constant eye on market competition is a necessity. In such an environment, the competitive intelligence (CI) solutions market is expected to grow in leaps and bounds The global competitive intelligence solutions market is projected to grow from USD 41.2 million in 2020 to USD 82.0 million in 2027 at a CAGR of 10.3% in the 2020-2027 period. Competitive intelligence (CI) platforms can make or break a potentially solid go-to-market initiative that most life sciences companies aim for. Choosing the best CI platform often is just not underpinned by an understanding of how products and services should be positioned. The CI solution must also move beyond the actionable intelligence about the product or device and center around business aspects, outcomes and benefits offered by competitors.

Traditional CI platforms help the strategy leaders in a company understand the drug market, make business decisions, and help enhance revenue. Timely insights can help steer drug marketing and commercialization processes and determine the strategies and tactics in a volatile market. These can save hundreds of hours in manual data collection by automating the information capture. These platforms also monitor the competitive drug marketing eco-system and helps notify strategy teams of imminent risks, emerging trends, and market changes.

But with rapid change in the competitor environment, most pharma majors want to opt for a CI platform that is future-focused and predictive and analyzes the competitor’s product and business development strategy alongside the pricing tactics. We must discuss the challenges of selecting the right CI platform for pharma companies before we analyze the solution for these.

Challenges of Selecting the Right Pharma CI Platform

Traditional competitive intelligence processes involve gathering information for the pharma organization’ s market and business needs. This supports business requests from siloed departments like strategy, product development, sales, and research teams. Most of these business requests cannot be contextualized and channelized into a complete story with an impending action. Traditional CI platforms are unable to drill down data and better gauge competitor stories.

Large Amounts of Data:
A lot of CI platforms also cannot sift through unimaginable amounts of data to glean actionable insights. For a long time, competitive intelligence initiatives and platforms have been overwhelmed with a lot of research activities that simply added no value to the business it served. Corporate competitive intelligence software in the pharma domain were most often reactive implementations that were suffering from overload. Selecting a software that could do both high-value and low-value tasks ultimately increasing research quality and productivity was almost unfulfilled.

Patchwork of CI Point Solutions:
With a lot of quantifiable information, pharma CI teams have multiple pain points that stretch across the insights-process and involve using a patchwork of point solutions. These point solutions gather data from both secondary and primary data repositories, emails, local machines, and even human intelligence. There are multiple point solutions that work in tandem to gather and analyze competitive data to support diverse business initiatives and strategic plans. This poses a challenge in data integration and aggregation and often there is a gap in the seamless insight-generation process. Most pharma companies grapple with the method of data assimilation and design. Many organizations lack an integrated insight or a single source of truth that combines internal and external knowledge sources to enable businesses to fuel decision-making with accurate competitive foresight that helps improve the market share and win rates.


Reactive v/s Proactive Platforms:
A lot of the competitive intelligence tools are reactive and maybe used to update news on a product in a competitor’s pipeline or even used to log research details of a new drug. Choosing a predictive CI tool that informs the overall R&D strategy and establishes a firm drug marketing tactic rather than an individual drug detail may be critical. Most pharma companies want to move beyond the CI research that relies on canned syndicated reports and other less established information resources. They want to transition from the ad-hoc to a more visionary approach.

Managing Third-party Services Vendors:
Across the board, market and competitive intelligence (M&CI) teams share data across the product lifecycle including the commercialization and post market monitoring phase of a drug. According to a Forrester Study for Cipher, managing third party vendors and their CI processes remains a drawback when choosing a solution for CI in these stages. Pharma companies must slow down and dilute the value of the information shared from decentralized resources Life sciences firms often experience a trade-off for their market intelligence work. They rely on CI processes that do not centralize the knowledge sharing process. Most competitive intelligence platforms do not give a holistic view of third-party vendors, the trends in marketing and intelligence for key accounts to provide deeper insights at the organizational, product, marketing, and sales levels for business teams to monitor competitor movements. Tracking the other drug vendors and competitors helps ensure the best deals for products and services life sciences firms are using.


Considering the above challenges faced by pharmaceutical and medical devices manufacturers and biotech companies, most CI teams within organizations are in the need of a better data quality driven insight and intelligence. They want an M&CI platform that streamlines the data collection and insights generation process across different vendors and is the single source of truth that manages the efficiency challenges of pharma companies. This involves centralizing data sources and volume, vendor management, external research, and knowledge sharing.

Benefits of Choosing a Unified Platform in CI- The Single Source of Truth

Life sciences companies were choosing CI platforms that relied on third party vendors and individual point solutions for intelligence on the product lifecycle on areas such as primary research, collection of real-time data, purchased data and other independent asset reviews. A single AI powered M&CI platform relieves CI teams of efficiency challenges with multiple data sources, third party vendor management, knowledge sharing and external research. Selecting the best single CI platform for competitive insights helps prevent reliance on multiple point solution platforms that offer disparate, stagnated and siloed information to practitioners.


Competitive intelligence software that gathers information for the user keeping in mind the overall needs of the organization is critical in generating real-time insights. The overall competitive landscape along with multiple parameters that include recent investments on a drug, mergers and acquisitions, social media insights all form a part of a contemporary state-of-the-art CI program. A unified CI program must also carry out effective portfolio management of drugs by managing pipeline assets, ensuring optimum resource utilization, and prioritizing research and development. Key intelligence on drug marketing enables organizations to better solutions and market their assets robustly in a turbulent market. The product and sales and marketing teams can also take note of competitor brand messaging, the key target audience and reach of the sales. This helps them take a quick uptake of the market and prepare an effective brand strategy.


The pandemic has made profound and lasting impact on the biotech industry. It has caused life sciences organizations to adjust to unprecedented clinical development disruptions. A major rethink in terms of care delivery and financing has led to companies adopting a unified CI program that helps centralize information from disparate sources and remains the single source of truth for all competitive insights. An AI-enabled competitive intelligence (CI) solution remains the one-stop-shop to gain technology-enabled insights to gauge and anticipate threats and opportunities in the market.


Erin Pearson. 5 Questions to Answer When Evaluating Your Competitive Intelligence- CI Platform. Evalueserve.

Todd Smith. 6 Common Problems with All Market or Competitive Intelligence Software.
October 11, 2019

Mark Weskar, Patrick Stakenas. The Tech Vendor Challenge: Get Competitive Intelligence Right.

DelveInsight’s Perspectives. Competitive Intelligence in Healthcare Sector. November 12, 2021

Life Sciences and Healthcare. When competitive intelligence is predictive rather than reactive, biopharma companies can grab the edge. June 13, 2017

Research and Markets. Global AI In Pharma Market Report 2021.
November 2, 2021

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