Valona Global Intelligence Report 2023 Says AI Is on the Rise; Human Touch Still Important
By W.B. King
With the goal of understanding how organizations implement competitive and market intelligence, Valona Intelligence surveyed 323 individuals from more than 200 companies. Fifty-eight percent of the respondents were based in Europe, 30% in North America, and 11% in the rest of the world. The respondents were intelligence professionals (60%) and intelligence users (40%).
“That’s why we have been conducting bi-annual global intelligence surveys since 2005,” the report offered. “The aim is to understand how organizations in a broad variety of industries, geographical regions, and sizes are implementing competitive and market intelligence.”
Entitled Valona Global Intelligence Report 2023: The Current State of Competitive & Market Intelligence, the report focused on three types of benefits from systematic, strategic market intelligence operations: better and faster decisions that ultimately lead to more revenue and profitability; time and cost savings; and organizational learning.
Those polled worked in the following industries: manufacturing, technology, financial services, construction, real estate, energy, utilities, and sustainability. Among report highlights were findings on artificial intelligence (AI).
“Based on the survey, the majority of organizations are at least at an experimental stage when it comes to AI-powered intelligence technology,” the report noted. “One common use case for AI is information collection, for which we found one third of respondents use AI-powered tools as we speak.”
The report also found that 64% of “Global Average companies” are either learning or experimenting with AI. Whereas 13% report using AI-powered intelligence technology extensively, a quarter of them have not yet entered the AI-powered intelligence field.
What differentiates a Global Average company from World Class company, the report states, is achieving “excellent scores” in six key success factors devised by Valona Intelligence.
“World Class companies are slightly more advanced in their AI endeavors. Twenty-five percent of World Class companies use AI-powered intelligence tech extensively,” the report continued. “Interestingly, among World Class respondents, 17% admit that they are not using AI in intelligence at all at this point.”
Top Uses of AI and the Human Touch
According to the report, Global Average companies are “rather optimistic” about the benefits of AI. They consider the top benefits of AI to be: availability, the elimination of routine work accuracy, and noticing unseen connections. For World Class companies, the top selections include: elimination of routine work, faster analysis, and reducing human biases.
“Among World Class responses, the views are overall slightly more ‘skeptical’ than among Global Average companies. One reason for this might be that as World Class companies are more advanced already in utilization of AI-powered intelligence, they also have more realistic views on its benefits,” the report continued. “Overall, the surveyed views on the benefits and opportunities of AI-powered solutions go into two categories: Efficiency improvements (e.g. faster analysis, elimination of routine work, more relevant insights), and revealing the unknown.”
For many respondents, “The ability to analyze large volumes of data from disparate sources to find novel insights with AI” is the most compelling aspect of the technology.
Those respondents that showed more AI apprehension cited two reasons: constraints in AI knowledge or in budget, and concerns in AI solutions’ security or accuracy.
“Bad data, algorithmic bias, deliberate manipulation of data and models, and transparency of the sources used are noted among severe risks,” the report offered. “These concerns in AI-powered market intelligence solutions put the fundamentals of gaining strategic intelligence at risk. And of course, all of these are aspects that need to be evaluated carefully when implementing AI solutions in general.”
While outgrowths of AI, such as ChatGPT, remain hot topics among watercooler talk, survey respondent said “human creativity and strategic thinking skills” are still considered to be more valuable than AI, as for now, they are needed to support AI-powered insights.
“When considering what would be the optimal split between human support and technology in market intelligence the respondents had a very diversified view on the preferred split. The consensus is slightly more towards AI than human support in intelligence activities,” the report stated. “The average for both World Class and Global Average companies sits comfortably in the middle, meaning that the preferred split would be 50% human and 50% AI.”