Using experts for industry analysis
FindExperts.com is a site that has a considerable listing of experts in a wide variety of fields. The main purpose of this website is for lawyers to find expert witnesses in litigation proceedings, but the same experts can be used for industry analysis projects. Though it is not really corporate level competitive intelligence, accessing these experts can help build an initial understanding of an industry, and may assist in the development of competitive intelligence projects. An expert can explain the structure of an industry, some of the less visible facts like who finances whom, or who buys from whom; identify the main players; explain what some of the key job titles mean; provide a list of useful jargon; and so on.
The categories on the site are divided into areas of expertise, in alphabetical order. They are also searchable, and highly specific, such as “admiralty – maritime,” and “medical – HMO reinsurance.” As mentioned, the bias is towards litigation. So while there are 463 experts on asbestos, there is only one expert on datacenters (although there are 707 experts in the internet category, who may well have some knowledge about datacenters).
Overall, FindExperts is not a website that will provide competitive intelligence about specific competitors in much detail, but it can be a good starting point for the initial phases of a competitive intelligence project, as well as giving insight into related industries for competitor analysis.