The Secret to Effective Decision-Making: Why Expert Insights are Crucial to Staying Ahead
In the tech industry, having a finger on the pulse of the market can make the difference between striking success and missing out on a lucrative deal. To stay ahead of the competition and get product- and company-level insights that could lead you to your next successful investment opportunity, you need access to an exclusive source of credible intel. Expert calls have become go-to tools for the tech industry’s top competitive intelligence and corporate strategy pros, especially when it comes to gauging where the market is heading.
A market intelligence platform that gives you the full outlook on what is happening within a segment should provide access to expert calls. AlphaSense’s partnership with Stream not only provides our users an extensive library of over 20,000 on-demand expert calls, but includes interviews with a variety of experts ranging from former executives to current customers all related to and from within the tech industry.
Below, we compiled the most important types of tech experts found in Stream interviews to give a sense of what context these industry leaders can add to your industry knowledge and round out your research.
Related Reading: How Tech Leaders Are Using Market Intelligence to Weather a Downturn
Within expert call libraries, you can find insights from former executives who are proven experts with deep industry knowledge and perspectives on conversations central to their respective sectors. Finding these focused, trusted insights can feel insurmountable in a time when information is being produced at a rapid, regular rate. But, more importantly, former executives are privy to insights you can’t uncover by only researching numbers and figures.
As thought leaders, they have invaluable perspectives on industry nuances, company culture, leadership styles, and competitor interactions. They are able to forecast how current, timely topics can have high-value implications on their respective industry. And with their access to new insights about competitive landscapes at the business segment level, these experts share how technology companies can approach competitive strategy in new ways.
As we approach a downturn, tech giants are wondering how business will be impacted and how their competitors are preparing for the inevitable. A Stream interview conducted with Google’s former Head of Non Retail from July 2022 revealed that Amazon is responsible for half of the product searches made on the internet–a jarring statistic that directly challenges Google’s advertising business.
“I think Amazon is a big threat for two main reasons, one of which is that they have what Google has always prided itself on, which is intended.… In a recession, when budgets are a threat, people will increasingly reduce brand spending and go to digital spending. Within digital spending, they’ll go for areas with intent. Amazon has a huge opportunity there.…They are willing to try different things out. If things don’t work, they move on very fast, which is hugely, hugely valuable in the AdTech space where the ecosystem changes very quickly. So I think they are a huge threat to Google.”
As experts, former partners offer a solid understanding of the ecosystem around companies within their sector but also deep comprehension of the industry itself. Further, they share product-level insights within our Stream expert calls that can inform your pipeline developments and offer a nuanced view of the competitive landscapes within your segment. For example, incorporating expert insight sources into your due diligence processes can provide you with a better understanding of potential investments, deals, or other opportunities.
To gain a competitive edge, firms often turn to experts to explain the ins and outs of a given industry, including complexities and nuances that must be understood first in order to operate within it successfully. Former partners can offer neutral insights about competitors that can contribute to a strategy team’s overall risk assessment, including how companies navigate the regulatory environment and manage customer data. In a recent Stream expert call with an Advisor at AdvisoryCloud, the expert shared who is taking over the finance software industry, and how they are doing it.
“What I see QuickBooks doing is vastly becoming a marketplace dominator. If they can’t build it fast enough, they’re going to find the best software on the market that’s basically doing what they need or find the software that’s doing what they need that’s well positioned to sell, buy it, and just roll it in… I know they can in their QuickBooks Advanced product, but there’s just a huge level jump when you just jump out of that into NetSuite and the different capabilities out there.”
Potentially the most lucrative point of view a company can have is that of a customer. In our Stream calls, former customers offer direct knowledge of a company from a consumer standpoint. These experts have high-level, firsthand insights that paint a complete picture of your peers or competition. As a result, they provide a comprehensive, accurate evaluation of the competitive landscape through customers’ eyes, which contributes to your product-level growth strategy or risk assessment. By doing so, they can surface risks that may be overlooked in company docs and broker research.
In our platform, we leverage customers’ viewpoints about the emerging companies making waves in their respective fields. One recent Stream expert call with a VP of Data & Salesforce at Billie dove into how Snowflake, a leading data cloud company, is subject to heavy competition from Firebolt as it gains momentum as a cheaper, faster warehouse for simpler use cases.
“I have seen with my own eyes companies that are even smaller, which try to optimize their Snowflake bill by just saying, ‘Okay, we want to exclude these scenarios and to do it somewhere else, not in Snowflake, because it starts to be too expensive.’ We talked before about using Firebolt to do something very basic just because you have queries running on a huge set of data, but the query itself is primitive, so then these companies, they use some data lake, or they use Firebolt as I mentioned. They offload this data from Snowflake. They put it into their [own] technology and use it to solve their business problem.”
Finding the valuable information you need about your competition can leave you coming up short by only using resources like broker research or earnings calls. But former competitors offer a set of knowledge that tunes into competitive differentiators, diving deep into specific areas of opportunity. These experts have no motivation to minimize risks or challenges posed by competitors.
Additionally, former competitors can provide valuable context around market trends and give insights into what’s likely to happen in the future of a technology segment. While this type of forecasting can be anecdotal, it’s a valuable supplement to data analytics.
In a Stream call with a Presales Consultant from ESET, the expert says he believes that cybersecurity firm Crowdstrike attests to having a high detection rate of cyber threats. However, these detections are often false positives, and when comparing Crowdstrike to other competitors like SentinelOne, they see room for improvement in the accuracy of their product. It’s a perspective that exemplifies our experts’ product-level information and deep knowledge of cybersecurity.
“When it comes to SentinelOne, it has a very good detection ratio. It can take very few minutes to remedy it, and it is running down multiple engines. The false positive issue is very less. When you compare it with CrowdStrike, the detection ratio is high, but the false positives increase. If you see the report as well, you will see that the false positive is higher in terms of CrowdStrike. SentinelOne having multiple detection engines makes sure that the customer has very few false positives because it has to go through and scan through different engines, which reduces the false positives.”
Former Product Lead
Beating out your competition means delivering a product to the market that outshines and outperforms the rest. To do that, you need intel on how your competitors create and distribute their products. Former product leads offer product-level insights crucial to understanding competitive strengths and weaknesses in your business segment. These experts possess deep, “on-the-ground” knowledge about a company’s inner workings and an overall outlook that cannot be found outside of expert call transcripts.
Engineer and developer perspectives often are left out of the research process, even though they contain specialized expertise not present in-house in order to understand competitive technology and product strategies. That’s exactly what a former GitHub Senior Data Scientist shared in a Stream call about how streaming services can be improved in the developer experience.
“Why that works well for streaming is oftentimes streaming platforms have partitions for throughput and so the workers can map to the partitions and data is moved to the worker one time, then it’s processed, and then it’s output back to a topic and partition or to a data sync. You have a really good parallelization story where there’s no scatter-and-gather type of operators where it goes to one bottleneck and then gets split out and then moves back into one bottleneck and then output. It’s a really nice architecture. It’s really elegant.”
In the tech industry, leveraging secondary research like company filings, earnings transcripts, and Wall Street analyst research has always been crucial in striking at the speed of the market on the next big deal. But with the market growing faster and more nuanced, these sources are not enough.
In our on-demand webcast, The Secret to Effective Decision-Making: Why Expert Insights are Crucial to Staying Ahead, experts Charles Zvibleman, (VP of Strategic Finance, AlphaSense) and Jessica Schwitzman (VP of Sales, Financial Services, Stream by AlphaSense) pull back the curtain on how modern corporate leaders are making strategic business decisions with one-to-one expert calls. (Including real-life use cases from the tech industry.) Dig into this exclusive Q&A session now.