Competitive Intelligence Analysis - No Industry Experience Required

One of the bizarre patterns in the surveillance industry is that most people who do competitive intelligence analysis have no industry experience.

This came up again today in a new Avigilon job posting.

Avigilon is seeking a Competitive Intelligence Analyst whose top responsibilities include:

  • Review industry and CI data, and accurately interpret and convert findings into actionable intelligence to be used within various areas of the organization.
  • Provide sales with insightful and accurate evaluations and analyses of company, product and market trends, customer pain points, and opportunities; translate knowledge into concrete recommendations and competitive advantage messaging.
  • Design, implement and manage a CI lab – benchmarking Avigilon products against our top competitors’ products in collaboration with product management, engineering and tech support.

However, none of the qualifications include anything to do with the video surveillance industry. Indeed, "Knowledge of surveillance and security industry" is only mentioned as a 'nice to have'.

This is common in our industry. Indeed the market research firms, like IMS / IHS, feature almost exclusively people with no industry experience and often who just finished university.

The problem we have found, even internally with IPVM employees, is that it is really really hard to 'accuraterly interpret' industry data and provide 'insightful and accurate evaluations' unless you have deep industry experience to draw from. There are simply too many nuances and too many factors that impact strong analysis.

When you have no industry experience, invariably the output becomes blind regurgitation and the employee becomes little more than a book report boy.

That said, this happens a lot, both on the manufacturer and market research side.

Anyone have theories why this is the case?

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