Market Data as a Management Tool
When work on competition analysis begins, a number of meetings are held with senior management aimed at identifying the exact nature of the competitive landscape and clarifying available options for increasing market share. For the effort to be successful, it is of fundamental importance that management understands the targeted use of market data. It is not enough to simply make a databank available. In order to put this valuable information to profitable use, regular comparison of targeted vs actual performance must be conducted and constant oversight exercised by those responsible.
Immediately after work has begun and the first real market data have been collected, employees who will be using the system – generally employees in the back office sales department – should receive intensive training in how to use the system. Initially they are provided with details instruction in how the system works. Practical exercises are employed to help them learn how to utilize the application. Generally after 4 - 6 weeks, participants are given an opportunity to share their experiences to help identify any need for additional training. Training is scheduled at regular intervals to attract new employees to the system and to introduce improvements made to the application.
A report on the previous month is generated at the beginning of each month, containing a summary of newly collected data and providing analysis for the most important clients. These reports are a careful attempt to assess how effectively the client is using the system.