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Market Watch
                                                      - Why Monitoring Key Environmental
The range of areas that might, or might not be of interest is large as Fig 1 and will vary by decision maker and
end user....
BQu      has     created     a
combination of IT using the
most up-to-date web based
tools and Business Research
and Commu...
The typical parts of a Market Watch Programme are:

    •    Monthly Report: This would distil the main findings with inst...
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Market Watch Monitoring Key Environmental Variables


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Market Watch Monitoring Key Environmental Variables

  1. 1. Market Watch - Why Monitoring Key Environmental Variables Consistently in a Focussed Way is Vital for Long Term Success- Summary Everybody would like to be well informed. About competitors, users, clients, technology, suppliers, legislation, etc. But keeping track of all information sources, distilling the information to address the key business issues and being able to retrieve the right information when required is a big challenge. The traditional approach of either do-it-yourself, ad-hoc when needed or asking junior staff or assistants to add this to their normal duties does not guarantee comprehensive coverage, focus on key issues and most importantly ease of retrieval in the future when you urgently need to support some proposal or inform some decision. The answer is to create a dedicated team of researchers to do this who know how to search for the information, distil it to address real issues and create a database for long term access and retrieval. A tall order and you are unlikely to obtain a budget purely for this. BQu has created a technology assisted process that addresses all these issues by ensuring comprehensive web information coverage through specific tools, distilling and formatting the information to the specific needs of the user(s) and creating a dedicated database to enable long term retrieval of the information when required. All at a very low cost. Problem – Too Much Information too Little Time – The internet and internet tools have provided access to masses of competitive, market, legal and other information. Although available, this information is not easy to track as, for instance, the average corporate web site will have 200+ updates a month, only a few of which are important or relevant. Subscribing to newsletters only makes the problem worse as it creates more information you have to absorb and codify. Each department and user has different issues and requires different information to be distilled from the mass of information, in addition the most valuable information is information tracked over time to identify trends. This is even more difficult as in the internet historical information simply disappears.
  2. 2. The range of areas that might, or might not be of interest is large as Fig 1 and will vary by decision maker and end user. Objective – Distilling the Mass of Information into the Right Information, Addressing the Right Issues, in the Right Format– Therefore there is a need to distil the available information to create specific report(s) to inform the decision makers on key issues quickly and easily and create a common knowledge base highlighting the main findings. In addition all relevant information needs to be stored in an easily searchable and accessible database to be able to inform any future decisions easily and quickly. Hurdles – Lack of Time, Skills and Experience Make this Vital Task Often Neglected until Urgently Required – Reliable, up-to-date and accurate market information is important, but not vital to gather and keep. Therefore most people do emergency research when faced with specific requirements to support decisions. This is often unsatisfactory and leaving key decision based on incomplete and often inaccurate information. Lack of time and specific business research skills means that often a quick and superficial review is all that can be done and most people rely on their gut feel based on ad-hoc research and meetings. Alternatively junior executives or personal assistants are asked to keep an eye on certain information or web sites and do the best they can without training, support or the appropriate technological support. This often creates a very imperfect and incomplete product, leaving unknown gaps. Solution – Create a Cost Effective, Dedicated Unit and Process Separate from Day to Day Management – The solution would be to create a dedicated team and provide it with the training, technological tools, access to paid for data and a clear brief and feedback. Even the largest companies and departments find the investment required, between £50,000 and £150,000 a year, too large for something that cannot be shown to have an immediate direct return. In addition recruiting and motivating business researchers within a pure IT environment is difficult as this will be quite isolated positions with limited interaction with likeminded people. How To Do It – Simple, Low Cost, but Dedicated Outsource of the Time Consuming Part under Close Direction of Key Decision Makers – The key is to maintain control and involvement within the Department but to outsource the execution to a partner with dedicated skills and investment in not only Business Research but also the technology to gather, distil and maintain the information.
  3. 3. BQu has created a combination of IT using the most up-to-date web based tools and Business Research and Communication skills similar to that of the leading consultancies to be able to offer this service highly competitively. Our approach to the service is indicated in Fig 2. The key to its success is threefold: • Tailoring to your unique and evolving needs • High value in terms of affordable cost but high quality • Use of technology to ensure quality, reduce costs, improve accessibility We ensure this by combining a highly trained and educated off shore capability and having the direction and management in the UK and sophisticated communication tools to enable seamless remote management and interaction with the off shore team. The key to its success is in the set up and the regular review of the value provided. During the set up we need to define: • Key Issues that need to be addressed: This is vital for us to provide a tailored and digestible document that adds maximum value to the various end users. The Issues can differ for different End Users. This close tailoring makes the resulting information both insightful and compelling • Sources of Information: Unless you have an unlimited budget we will have to limit our research to specific sources. These would typically include: Company web site, industry web sites, specific government sites, possibly paid for sites (e.g. Gartner), etc. • Key Data: There might be key data that is important for you and that you would like to collate into datasheets and we would discuss these with you and structure the datasheets accordingly • Formal: We all have preferences as to formal. We have devised a format that we have found successful, but all organisations have their preferences and you might want us to produce our research in your own corporate format
  4. 4. The typical parts of a Market Watch Programme are: • Monthly Report: This would distil the main findings with instant links to the underlying information • Database: This is a bespoke database where all the underlying information and reports are stored indexed and structured in the optimum way for your own organisation • Datasheets: Repository of quantitative or qualitative information which is updated on a regular basis with historical trends kept for analysis • Ad-hoc or regular bespoke analysis: This is usually linked to the Datasheets and consists of analysis of trends or specific evolution in qualitative elements to inform key decision makers Our approach enables us to provide a quality product from as little as a few hundred pounds a month. This is a significantly lower cost than any internal option. About BQu BQu is a company dedicated to provide business decision makers with the support they need to make better fact based decisions and to improve their communication and engagement with all stake holders and end users. BQu was created to close the gap that exists between business leaders and consultancies in terms of the support they have to enable them to research topics, gather or create information, analyse data and present results. We do this by focussing our resources in assisting management rather than advising management while still using the problem solving approach of the leading consultancies and the communication framework devised by Barbara Minto also used by the major consultancies. Our motto is: - the right information - at the right time - in the right format - at the right price - For more information refer to the links below. About the Author Jacques de Cock. Jacques de Cock is Chief Executive of London-based business intelligence and research consultants, BQu. He has over 25 years’ experience in consulting and Business management. A physics graduate from Oxford University, he gained an MBA from the London Business School and worked for McKinsey where he set up the first research centre for the information technology markets in Europe. He then became a principal of Booz|Allen|Hamilton before leading the creation and floatation of patsystems and the creation and development of other entrepreneurial businesses. Contact him at ● Tel: +44 20 7431 4597 ● Fax: +44 20 7691 1189