The question stated at the end of the previous blog article was:
Why not to be an industrial white-mage, or white-witch?

According to periodic national surveys collecting data from more than 400 SME, there is a large playfield to improve the efficiency of gathering strategic business information. The findings of the 2005-2009 survey is explained and illustrated below.

Survey information gathering

What does it tell us? Though almost two third of the innovative companies have some feedback from and contact with customers, those are not sufficiently structured and focused information gatherings. More than every second company tries to keep up with technology trends and gather R+D ideas as well as scout via visiting fairs and exhibitions. Four out of ten uses conferences and study visits for the same purpose. Only a bit more than a third of companies operate some kind of competitor watch. One fourth of the companies rely on either employees or subcontractors as sources of creative solutions. Even less operates any innovation capture scheme. Ten out of ten companies rely on external independent expertise and consultants. Only three out of ten uses internet as a source of information, which is shocking, and furthermore, just three out of a hundred (!) uses specific information databases as a source of technology information or competitive intelligence.

These figures emphasize even further the lack of awareness and application of business data in the everyday routine of most enterprises. But the question still applies: How to become a white mage of business information. We are going to deal with this problem further in the forthcoming blog.