CI Tools – Links

Authored bycascade

Here is a short list of some CI tools for secondary research.  This list was pulled together during a discussion at the local SCIP Oregon Chapter. – Look up the pattern that a company uses to assign email addresses. If you know someone’s name, this helps you guess their email. – look people up by name, email, Web nickname, or phone number. Find out their other contact information and what social networks they’re a part of. – Find people for interview recruitment, determine where your employees have gone off to, use saved searches to receive alerts when new people go to work for competitors.

Search Engines

LexisNexis and Factiva are struggling to index relevant content because they focus on publishing content, which is waning. But, Factiva is only $70 per year, and there’s no additional charge for searching. There is a $2 charge per article to view. People report finding document titles on Factiva and then looking for those exact title with Google to save money.

Clusty is a meta-search engine that groups results into logically related clusters.

Touchgraph visually shows how sites on the Web are related to other sites. – (a.k.a. “The Internet Wayback Machine”) keeps historical copies of Web pages, letting you see what products or services a competitor used to offer, or how their positioning has changed., – Find people who have authored or been interviewed on various topics. Useful to find candidates for qualitative research or subject matter background.

Search for PDF or PPT file types under a company’s site to get more in-depth information. Use wildcards to pick up subsidiaries which are more likely to leak information. For example:

positioning messaging filetype:pdf site:*.somecompany.*/* – monitor competitors and detect recent news. Often lags breaking news by 24 hours. – backend site to all the business journals. Small companies might make lot of news locally, but not show up in Google. – Company information, leadership, connections to other people, news, etc.

Company Info – company filings and other statistics, and investor message boards. – Company statistics, leadership, jobs, news, competitors, and other background information. – Search for company job postings across many jobs sites. – Get information, for a company’s employees, about the company moral, culture, strengths and weaknesses, and salaries. – Has financial information and earnings call transcripts. – patent search database – A startup with pricing better than Delphion. Lets you search inventors, companies, etc.

footnoted .org – Digs into the footnotes of financial filings – lets you know what conferences a competitor will attend as a sponsor or exhibitor.


Web Site Monitoring Tools – A list of Web based and downloadable tools for monitoring Web sites for changes. – Company information, financial filings, and other company information

Twitter – Many competitor employees twitter important news, customer meetings, and other information that won’t show up in formal writings. Said one CI professional, “I’ve been profoundly struck by the things I’ve discovered.”

Tweetdeck, Digsby – let you view and manage your twitter streams. Digsby also integrates with Linked-In. – Companies often post product or service pitch decks here. – Information about the business a competitor has done with the federal government. – makes “publish or perish” software that uses Google Scholar data to determine citation information. – grant writing research – finding traffic and demographics for who’s going to certain web sites. Only works for larger sites.

Software Tools

Traction software – tag articles and send information out daily to the right people in the organization.

By Sean Campbell
By Scott Swigart

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