Is Artificial Intelligence shaping the future of Market Intelligence?

Global developments, increasing competition, shifting consumer demands; these are some of the countless external forces that will shape the exciting world of tomorrow.  

As a company, how can you be prepared for rapid changes in the environment?

That’s where market intelligence proves its value.

Companies require proactive and forward-thinking market intelligence in order to detect and react to critical market signals. This kind of intelligence is crucial to guarantee sustainable profits and ensure survival in today’s highly competitive environment. 

The Market Intelligence field over the years

Just like the world itself, the market intelligence field has also been changing over the past couple of decades. For example, the rise and popularity of social media has made it notably easier to track data about consumers and competitors. It is widely accepted that this field will undergo changes at an even higher pace in the future, due to significant technical, social and organizational developments.

But what are the developments and trends that will impact market intelligence most over the next few years? According to the research paper State of the Art and Trends of Market Intelligence (Digimind, 2019), the most impactful developments are Artificial Intelligence, Data Visualization, and the GDPR legislation. In this blog the focus will be on the role of Artificial Intelligence.

Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Artificial Intelligence is the intelligence displayed by machines, often characterized by learning and the ability to adapt to changes. According to Qualtrics, 93% of market researchers see AI as an opportunity for the researchbusiness.

Where can AI add value?

AI can add value in the processing of large and unstructured datasets. For example, open-ended data can be processed with ease due to the use of AI technologies such as Natural Language Processing (NLP). NLP enables computers to understand, interpret and manipulate natural human language. In this way, NLP can assist in tracking sentiments from different sentences. This can be applied in business in for example the assessment of reviews, which usually is a slow task. With NLP however, this process can be efficiently streamlined.

NLP can also be used as an add-on for language translation programs. It allows for the rudimentary translation of a text, before it is translated by a human. This method also makes it possible to quickly translate reports and documents written in another language, which can be very beneficial during the collection of raw data.

Additionally, NLP can assist with Topic Modeling, which consists of the automatic generation of keywords for different articles and blogs. This tool makes the process of building a huge set of labeled data more convenient. Another method, which also utilizes NLP, is Text Classification: an algorithm that can automatically suggest a related category for a specific article or news item. 

Desk research is extremely valuable in the process of gathering relevant market intelligence. However, it is a very time-consuming task. This is problematic, because important insights don’t arrive at the desk of the specific decision maker in time. This can be detrimental to a company’s ability to react quickly in a fast-changing business environment. AI can speed up this process, as it can rapidly read all kind of sources and identify trends significantly faster than traditional desk research ever could.

The future of Market Intelligence

Clearly, the applications mentioned are just a selection of the wide range of possibilities. AI is providing within the field of market research and intelligence. The popularity of this technology is taking off, and it can unlock stunning amounts of relevant and rich information for all kind of fields.

Does this imply that traditional methods and analysis are redundant and not needed anymore?

Of course not! AI has its own limitations.

In the next few years, the true value of AI and other technological developments will be shown.The real power lies in the combination of AI with more traditional research methods. The results will allow us to arrive at actionable insights faster, and in turn, improve solid and data-driven decision-making. In this way, market intelligence can help companies take the steps that lead to tomorrow’s success. 

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