Competitive Intelligence Data Collection: Finding B2B Data for CI

Alfie Lambert Updated 3 January 2024

Competitive Intelligence Data
Reading Time: 5 minutes

Competitive intelligence is a vital part of any business strategy. By gathering and analysing data about competitors, companies can gain insights into market trends, potential threats, and opportunities for growth. However, gathering this data can be a complex and time-consuming process, particularly in today’s fast-paced business environment where new information is constantly emerging.

In this blog post, we’ll explore the various methods and tools that businesses can use to gather data for competitive intelligence from modern sources like social media and web scraping. We’ll also share tips and best practices for organizing and analysing the data you gather, to ensure that you’re able to extract meaningful insights that can inform your business strategy.

Whether you’re just getting started with competitive intelligence or you’re looking to refine your existing processes, this post is for you. Let’s dive in!

  1. Primary vs. Secondary Data: Which Should You Use for Competitive Intelligence?
  2. Social Media as a Source of Competitive Intelligence Data
  3. LinkedIn for Competitive Intelligence Data Gathering
  4. Lix B2B API for Scraping CI Data from LinkedIn

Primary vs. Secondary Data

When it comes to gathering data for competitive intelligence, there are two main types to consider: primary and secondary data. Primary data is information that is collected directly from the source, often through surveys, interviews, or focus groups. Secondary data, on the other hand, is information that has already been collected by others and is readily available through various sources such as databases, reports, and articles.

While both primary and secondary data can be valuable for competitive intelligence, it’s important to understand the benefits and limitations of each type. Primary data is often considered to be more reliable and specific to the research objectives, as it’s collected directly from the source. This can provide a deeper understanding of the target market, competitors, and industry trends. However, primary data can be time-consuming and expensive to collect, especially when it requires extensive resources such as surveys or focus groups.

Secondary data, on the other hand, is often more readily available and cost-effective. It can provide a broader understanding of the industry and market trends, as well as information on competitors and their strategies. However, secondary data can also be less specific and potentially outdated, as it’s not collected specifically for the research objectives. It’s important to verify the accuracy and relevance of secondary data before using it for competitive intelligence purposes.

Ultimately, the choice between primary and secondary data will depend on the specific research objectives and available resources. A combination of both types may provide the most comprehensive understanding of the target market, competitors, and industry trends.

Social Media as a Source of Competitive Intelligence Data

Social media platforms have rapidly become one of the most valuable sources of data for competitive intelligence professionals in recent. With over 3.8 billion active social media users, there is an abundance of publicly available information that can provide insights into a company’s strategy, customers, and competition.

One of the main benefits of social media as a source of competitive intelligence data is the real-time and unfiltered nature of the content. Companies and individuals often share their opinions, experiences, and reactions on social media platforms in real-time, which can provide valuable insights into their preferences and behaviors. This type of data can be particularly useful for monitoring trends and identifying emerging issues and opportunities.

Another advantage of social media as a source of competitive intelligence data is the ability to conduct sentiment analysis. By analysing the language used in social media posts, comments, and reviews, competitive intelligence professionals can gauge the sentiment around a particular brand, product, or issue. This information can be used to identify potential risks or opportunities and inform strategic decision-making.

However, social media data comes with its own set of challenges. The sheer volume of data can be overwhelming, and it can be difficult to separate relevant information from noise. Additionally, social media data may not always be accurate or reliable, as individuals may not always provide truthful information or may have biases that affect their views.

Overall, social media can be a valuable source of competitive intelligence data if used effectively. It can provide real-time insights into consumer behavior, sentiment, and emerging trends. However, it’s important to use the right tools and techniques to manage and analyze the data, and to validate the information gathered from social media with other sources.

LinkedIn for Competitive Intelligence Data Gathering

LinkedIn has become a crucial platform for gathering competitive intelligence data. With over 800 million active users, it is a treasure trove of information about companies, industries, and individuals. Companies use LinkedIn to promote their brand, products, and services, and to engage with customers and partners. Competitive intelligence professionals can leverage LinkedIn’s features and powerful search to access a wealth of information about their competitors.

One of the primary benefits of using LinkedIn for competitive intelligence is the ability to gather information about a company’s employees, such as their job titles, work history, education, and skills. By analysing the profiles of key employees, competitive intelligence professionals can gain insights into a company’s organisational structure, its strategic goals, and its competitive positioning. LinkedIn also provides a way to track changes in a company’s leadership or workforce, which can signal shifts in strategy or focus.

LinkedIn Groups are also valuable resources for competitive intelligence professionals. Groups are online communities focused on specific topics or industries, where members can share information, ask questions, and engage in discussions. By joining relevant groups, competitive intelligence professionals can gain access to a wealth of insights and opinions from industry experts, customers, and competitors. They can also use groups to monitor trends and news in their industry, and to identify emerging topics or issues.

In addition to employee and group data, LinkedIn provides a wealth of information about companies themselves. This includes company profiles, which contain detailed information about a company’s products, services, industry, and size. Competitive intelligence professionals can also monitor a company’s activity on LinkedIn, such as updates, job postings, and engagement with other users. By analysing this data, they can gain insights into a company’s marketing and communication strategies, and track its competitive positioning over time.


Web scraping is an essential tool for any professional wanting to collect competitive intelligence data on competitors and market trends. It involves using software to automatically extract data from websites and other online sources. There are many different tools and techniques available for web scraping, each with its own strengths and weaknesses.

Lix’s API provides a reliable and efficient way to scrape and gather high-quality data competitive intelligence data from LinkedIn.

One the pain points of competitive intelligence is the challenge of finding accurate and up-to-date information about your competitors. With Lix’s API, users can easily access contact data, extract full LinkedIn profiles, company data, jobs (and more!) from LinkedIn, ensuring that they have the most relevant and timely information available.

Lix’s API also streamlines the data gathering process, enabling users to gather data much more efficiently than manual methods. This saves time and resources, allowing you to focus on analysis and insights, rather than data collection.

If you want to learn more about how you could utilise the Lix API for your competitive intelligence strategy – talk to us! We’re always happy to share our knowledge and guide you towards the best solution for you. Either click on the purple live chat icon in the corner, or send us an email.

Gathering competitive intelligence data is a critical component of any successful business strategy. The information collected from various sources can provide invaluable insights into market trends, customer behavior, and competitor activities.

While there are many methods for collecting this data, using web scraping tools and techniques to extract secondary can seriously streamline the process. Lix’s B2B data API is an excellent example of such a tool, offering a vast array of data points, including contact data, LinkedIn profiles, company data, jobs, and more.

By utilizing these tools and techniques, competitive intelligence professionals can stay ahead of the curve, making informed business decisions that can propel their organisation to the top of their industry. Whether it’s through web scraping, primary research, or secondary data analysis, the key to success lies in gathering and analysing the most comprehensive and accurate information possible.

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