Competitive Intelligence with AttaainCI

I gotta have that.

That was my response to President and CEO Daryl Scott’s demonstration of AttaainCI, Attaain, Inc.’s competitive intelligence and market intelligence software-as-a-service.Darylscott_2

I usually only say that about pink shirts. Or pink jewelry.

As I write this, I keep checking to see if the women’s age group results have been posted for the Reston Sprint Triathlon. I wrote here about completing my first sprint triathlon in entrepreneurial terms. I did a second triathlon last weekend and am daydreaming about doing a third or a fourth.  How fast would I have to be in each leg of the triathlon–the swim, the bike, and the run–to be competitive in my age group?

To find out, I would need competitive intelligence.

Daryl Scott was kind enough to send me a six-word company pitch and I studied Attaain, Inc.’s Web site. I read this press release about Attaain’s offering of AttaainCI to business incubators and business accelerators.

I can’t say I fully understood what I was reading.

I realize now I was thinking of the "intelligence" part of competitive intelligence as I.Q., not as information.

To consult all the online sources of information and thus gather competitive intelligence in my "line of business"–in this case, female triathletes competing in the Virginia Triathlon Series in the 50-54 age group (Ah, the rules!  I am 49 for six more months!)–would take an 8-hour day.  Maybe more.

Each triathlon has a Web site, and each Web site has results posted on separate pages.  Manually, I would have to click around, probably have a Word document open to record what I find, and scan the pages for the top finishers in my age group.  Then I would have to do the same for last year’s results.

Because I’m savvy, I would go to each triathlon’s official photographer’s web site, match the top finishers’ names with the bib numbers in the photographs, and check out the bikes the women are riding.

If they have bikes like mine, sort of in the car family, I have a competitive chance because I buzz VT KnowledgeWorks on my bike and I hammer up hills to get there.

If one of my competitors has a carbon Trek Madone 6.5 WSD, MSRP $5,829.99, well, that’s like finding out she’s ready for an IPO.

Because I’m becoming Web 2.0 savvy, I would Google each of my competitor’s names, find their training blogs, and see if they’re doing anything I could do, too.

Surveillance of my competition’s online public information would help me answer my question:  How fast would I have to be to compete?

I’m swimming, biking and running.  I don’t have time to…

I’ve got the classic set-up for competitive failure:  too much time working in the business, not on it.  Not enough time spent on competitive intelligence to inform my strategic planning.

What I dreamed of doing manually for triathlon competition–gather and extract information, analyze and summarize it meaningfully– AttaainCI does for real, in real-time, for companies.

Hey, I’m a company!  And I have a life, too–I’ve got blogs to write, bikes to ride, and a cat for which to microwave cans of Savory Salmon Fancy Feast.

If I had AttaainCI to help me track what’s happening in my business–from patents to white paper .pdfs–I would have time to shop for a pink trisuit.

AttaainCI?  I gotta have that.

Attaain, Inc. is a member company of high-tech business accelerator VT KnowledgeWorks, located at the Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center in Blacksburg, Virginia.

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