The Fraunhofer IAO supports companies in searching, analyzing and using strategically relevant information on the internet in various ways.
The critical factors of the World Wide Web serving as a source of strategically relevant information are size and dynamics – the Web provides an enormous amount of the latest data that are oftentimes inexpensive or even free. The amount and dynamics of available information leads to a tremendous increase in the process costs of information procurement: The constant growth and in particular the trend towards a higher user activity complicate and hamper the process of filtering relevant data, to analyze them and to transform them into strategically useable information. On the market, there is an increasing amount of tools available that serve the purpose of automating search processes. However, these tools differ substantially in their orientation, performance and especially in their costs. For companies opting to optimize their search processes via automation, this situation results in both high costs and high risks that are associated with the selection of provider and products.
The Fraunhofer IAO assists companies in optimizing their web-based information procurement processes through:
- Assessment of potential: Analysis of the specific information demand; target-performance comparison.
- Conception: Source analysis, supplier-neutral technology and product selection, implementation concept.
- Implementation: Internal solutions, external services, introduction of the process.
- Monitoring and Improvement: Feedback, adjustment, optimization.
Strategic Innovation Management
Innovative ideas can be the result of formal or unstructured search processes and can moreover originate from various sources. Hereby, external sources like customers, universities and research establishments, consultants, competitors, investors and others play an important role:
- New technological fields can be explored through targeted analyses of patent documents and scientific publications.
- Monitoring measures of online media serve the purpose of identifying technological trends and important events as fast as possible.
- Experts, early adopters and lead users can be identified with the analysis of discussion structures in the social web.
- Geographic competence clusters can be determined through statistical interpretations of press releases.
- The observation of (partly) open idea portals like »InnoCentive« or »My Starbucks Idea« facilitates the identification of new ideas and the discovering of suggestions for improvement for already established products and services.
Market Analysis and Competition Monitoring
The targeted and constant monitoring of competitor activities is gaining in importance due to intensified competition in a globalized world. The web offers various opportunities for »Competitive Intelligence«:
Market events like product implementations, strategic partnership, takeover intentions, impending bankruptcy etc. are announced early in press releases. Even earlier, rumors can be spotted in the social web, i.e. in common technology blogs.
Campaigns of competitors can be traced; patent analyses facilitate drawing inferences about product strategies of competitors.
The (un-) happiness of customers is expressed in internet forums and blogs.
Individual Software Solutions
At the Fraunhofer IAO, we have developed an individual web mining software. This software facilitates the automation of information procurement via search agents and provides advanced opportunities to limit the amount of search results. Results of the analysis can be visualized in various ways and new insights are automatically conveyed to customers via alerting mechanisms.