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FreePint BlogIt really IS who you know. A new era of market research?

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By Jan Knight


Abstract:

Cleantech's updated and impressive i3 platform provides a vast array of information on the clean technology industry but with the emphasis now on the connections and relationships between people. More tools involving people are coming soon heralding what may be a new era in market research and scientific collaboration.


Item:

As a consumer of market and industry data, my interest was piqued recently by the headline Cleantech Group Declares A New Era for Market Research. Having already discovered Cleantech.com  to be a great resource I like to keep up to date on its activities. Even if you’re not working specifically in clean technology its approach to its self-described “New Era” should be of interest to all of us either as providers or consumers of information.

The Cleantech Group’s updated i3 platform provides information on over 16,000 clean technology companies, 7,500 partnerships and supply chain relationships, and 7,000 transactions. This alone is impressive for a company focusing on speciality research, but the difference being discussed here is the collaborative side that involves actual people. Not just data, but people and the relationships and connections among people. At this point I’m thinking LinkedIn on steroids, but it’s more.

Its premise for adding people's relationships to the equation of providing information is that most of the intelligence on markets and industry data that many businesses need is actually known by other people. While we may think it’s confidentiality that is hindering the sharing of that information, and I still do personally believe that is sometimes an issue, the Cleantech Group believes that it’s the lack of a tool, a comprehensive tool, that fosters networking and research.

Its new i3 product combines data and relationships to bridge the gap between research and business development and provides a more robust market research environment. Here are some of the ways it's achieving this.

  • Users will be able to see relationships and connections within executive boards across different companies. Using a LinkedIn’s API it will be easier to see how they may be personally already connected to an executive they need or want to connect with.
  • Users will be able to search the relationships pertaining to joint ventures, technology agreement and press announcements.
  • Improved visualisation tools will provide enhanced ability to grasp data quickly.
  • A Private Notes feature allows users a secure place to store private notes on interactions and opinions and allows easy web access.

Even more new collaboration and sharing tools involving people are coming soon and all of these enhancements will enable users to connect more easily to other people in the network whether they be potential collaborators, partners, customers or investors.

Back in January of this year I wrote about Social Media for Scientific Collaboration. Another LiveWire contributor wrote more recently about The Relationship Business. In the past I’ve mentioned Jeremiah Owyang and Altimeter, a research based advisory company which shares almost everything it studies! Maybe this really is a new era. I’m off to sign up for a demo of the cool new i3 tool!


 

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Jan Knight is an independent market research consultant and President of Bancroft Information Services. She provides customised business intelligence and secondary market research to consultants and companies in all industries. Her work helps to shape business plans, marketing strategies and new business development for a diverse set of clients including start-ups, technology companies, marketing strategists, and small and medium businesses.

She is a frequent presenter on market research topics at the Arizona Center for Innovation, the Technology Business Incubator associated with the University of Arizona in Tucson. Jan holds an MA in Information Resources & Library Science from the University of Arizona, and a B.A. in Renaissance/Humanities Studies from the University of California, Berkeley. Originally from England, Jan moved to Tucson in 1984 and has worked in both the advertising/marketing and publishing industries before starting her own business in 2001.

Jan can be reached at jan.knight@freepint.com

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