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A high-value competitive intelligence function can help bio-pharmaceutical companies to anticipate and strategically respond to external changes.
Key components that can enhance the strategic role and impact of the competitive intelligence function include the structure and scope of the function; sources utilized to gather data, data collection process, activities conducted to collect vital data and performance measurement.
This benchmarking report from Best Practices, LLC identifies innovative methods for enhancing the strategic role and impact of the competitive intelligence function. Insights from this report can be used to evaluate and compare the performance of your competitive intelligence function against industry benchmarks.
Develop a Best-in-Class Bio-Pharma Competitive Intelligence Function to Drive Innovative Strategic Decisions
Best Practices, LLC Strategic Benchmarking Research
Competitive Intelligence Excellence Benchmark: Creating a
High-Value CI Function to Drive Better Business Decisions
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Table of Contents
Executive Summary pgs. 3
Research Overview pg. 4
Participating Companies pg. 5
Competitive Intelligence Pyramid pg. 6
Key Findings & Insights pgs. 7-13
Structure & Scope of Your CI Function pgs. 14- 21
Key Sources for CI Data Collection pgs. 22-29
CI Source Effectiveness pgs. 30-35
“How much" is Competitive Intelligence used in your Organization pgs. 36- 41
CI Collection Processes pgs. 42-44
Collecting CI Data Effectively & Efficiently: Key Activities pgs. 45-48
Performance pgs. 49-52
CI Customers & Customer Relationships pgs. 53- 58
Benchmark Class Profile pgs. 59-60
About Best Practices, LLC pgs. 61-62
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Competitive Intelligence Benchmark Research: Objectives, Methodology
• 42% -- Director, Exec.
Director or Associate
• 42% Senior Manager or
• 16% Lead or Senior Analyst
Survey Objective Research Overview Methodology Topics Covered
Best Practices, LLC conducted
this benchmarking study to
identify best practices and
innovative methods for improving
the strategic role and impact of
the Competitive Intelligence
function within the
pharmaceutical and related
Provide healthcare industry
leaders with metrics and
insights they can use to
evaluate and compare the
performance of their
Best Practices, LLC engaged 24
Competitive Intelligence leaders
from 20 companies in the
healthcare industry to participate
in this benchmarking study.
CI Sources & Activities
CI Budget & FTE Levels
Uses of Third Party Vendors
Top 5 CI Employee Skills
CI Evolution & Trends
CI Structure & Leadership
Best Practices & Lessons
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Benchmark Class And Representative Job Titles Of Participants:
Twenty-four competitive intelligence leaders from 20 companies in the healthcare industry participated in
this benchmarking study. Participants represented small, midcap and large biopharmaceutical and medical
device companies. Almost 60 percent work in U.S. locations.
Universe Of Learning: 20 Companies Participated In Study
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Information that has been
subjected to analysis.
Data that has been organized
Miscellaneous bits about competitor. Not
Successful CI Programs Develop a Strategic Focus
Competitive Intelligence Pyramid
New programs typically begin at the tactical
level and then build, but “too often groups
get mired at the tactical level,” said a former
head of a recognized pharma CI program.
Vetting, prioritizing, organizing,
synthesizing, and testing information
The most successful CI groups
provide recommendations. They
focus on providing top executives
with the information and insights they
need to make strategic business decisions.
CI adds value and gains buy-in through the strategic process of transforming raw competitive data
into actionable insights that have a financial impact for the company.
Best-in-Class CI groups deliver analyses
that interpret information and explain its
significance to company.
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Key Findings & Insights
Few of the key findings and insights that emerged from this study:
Brand teams, marketing, business development and market research are the primary internal CI customers,
in line with this CI function reports to market research at 29% of companies. The CI heads report to vice
presidents at 46% of companies.
Top 3 Sources and Tools:
Participants cited a wide variety of CI sources and tools they must have to do their jobs effectively. Below
are the top 3:
Industry experts/KOLs and other human contacts
Delivery Format For CI Insights:
The top 3 delivery formats used are ad-hoc reports/ presentations, real-time/early warning CI alerts and
regularly scheduled CI reports.
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Best Practices observed eight key hallmarks of excellence in the CI programs at participating companies.
Hallmarks of Excellence in Competitive Intelligence Programs
Focus on top decision-
makers and understand
relationships with a
few key customers
Hire staff with past
Provide relevant, forward-
looking deliverables with
analysis & recommendations
resources before engaging
in primary research
Reduce risk by engaging
Legal in developing
polices & processes
clients in a continuous
Measure results to
show that CI function
can ‘move the needle’
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CI Reports to an Array of Different Functions
There is no clear reporting relationship for the CI function. While at 29% of companies the CI head directly
reports to market research. At other companies, CI also reports to marketing, the C-suite, business
development and brand teams.
Q. Please indicate the functional group into which your Competitive Intelligence head directly reports.
Competitive Intelligence Reporting
Brand Team /
(CEO, CFO, COO…) level
Market Research / Industry
Business Planning /
Marketing / Communications /
Press / Investor Relations
Others: Research Networking,
Discovery Research, Strategy
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Preferred CI Delivery Formats Is Ad-hoc CI Report
Ad-hoc reports or presentation are the most valued delivery format. Providing real time/ early warning
alerts ranks second. Other preferred formats are regular CI reports, periodic newsletters and personal
calls to affected executives.
Q. Which of the following delivery formats are your Top 5 most effective methods for delivering CI insights to your internal
customers and stakeholders?
Top 5 Delivery Formats for CI Insights
scored 81, whereas
scored only 44
Ad-hoc CI reports or presentations (130)
Real-time/early warning CI alerts (96)
Regularly scheduled CI reports or
Monthly/periodic newsletters (81)
Personal phone calls to affected
executives/ stakeholders (81)
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Average Corporate Size Is $14 billion
On average the benchmark companies corporate size supported is $14 Billion.
Q. What were the approximate total revenues ($US) and FTE strength that your company reported during the last fiscal year
Corporate Size Supported
75th Percentile $21 Billion
Mean $14 Billion
Median $14 Billion
25th Percentile $2 Billion
Note: Each bundle represents $1 Billion
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Best Practices®, LLC is an internationally recognized thought leader in the field of best practice
benchmarking®. We are a research, consulting, benchmark database, publishing and advisory firm that
conducts work based on the simple yet profound principle that organizations can chart a course to superior
economic performance by leveraging the best business practices, operating tactics and winning strategies of
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