ShiftCentral / Action-Oriented Market Intelligence Requires Methods You Can Trust

Action-Oriented Market Intelligence Requires Methods You Can Trust

When the success of your business is on the line, you need your intelligence to come from sound sources, via trusted and transparent processes. This is not the place for “black box” solutions.

Savvy organizations leverage the insights from market and competitive intelligence to make smart operational decisions, and maximise strategic growth opportunities. Experienced leaders understand where those insights are coming from, and how they are delivered: whether they receive them from internal MI/CI teams, outside vendors, or a combination of both.

The right sources

Market intelligence is traditionally based on primary sources (i.e. individual interviews or survey responses) or secondary ones (i.e. published materials). Professional intelligence analysts must have a detailed understanding of their sources. It’s our job to know which ones are trustworthy, and which are subject to bias, rumor, or other shortfalls.

While sources vary from company to company, our team of analysts are experts in finding, assessing, and utilizing all forms of published materials, both public and subscription based. They go through these sources, select the most relevant ones, and use them for the tailored briefings and analysis that enable clients to make informed, strategic decisions for business operations and development.

Trusted, transparent methods

True competitive insights are developed from a mix of reliable data and sound analysis, and you should talk to your internal CI/MI teams and external vendors about both their data collection, and analytical processes on a regular basis. In the world of market and competitive intelligence, the best in class are not hesitant to discuss their sources and methods.

This is one clear area of distinction between professional CI/MI and the kind of government-run foreign intelligence that is the purview of three-letter agencies. The latter makes for better TV drama, but the former will keep you and your company out of legal and ethical hot water.


  • Always tell you where our information comes from
  • Cite and provide direct links to sources
  • Engage with clients from day one regarding who will be working on briefings and projects
  • Talk about how your deliverables will be constructed
  • Solicit input and feedback at all stages of the intelligence cycle
  • Always welcome questions and engagement with our team members

Codes of conduct

Quality sources and transparent methods are the foundation of everything we do. A clear set of professional policies helps us maintain our high standards.

There are two codes of conduct our analysts use to maintain quality and transparency. 

Firstly, we adhere to the code of ethics outlined by the Strategic and Competitive Intelligence Professionals, better known as SCIP, the non-profit membership body for professionals working in the field of competitive intelligence. You can read that code here.

Because we strive to provide our clients with the highest quality data and analysis, using the best and most transparent sources, we’ve developed our own code of conduct for our analysts, giving additional levels of integrity and transparency to our work. You’re more than welcome to read our own code of conduct.

Companies should aspire to maintain the highest standards of quality and transparency throughout their business, including work that’s technically outsourced. Feel free to get in touch if you’d like more information on our data processes.