Foresight is a process that relies on continuous environmental scanning.
Unlike project-based scanning, continuous environmental scanning sets your business up to better detect and respond to evolving changes that will impact your future. New trends and technologies do not emerge overnight. They are not fast-spiking, fast-fading hypes. Nor are they flashy novelties.
We use ITONICS Insights to monitor the development of trends and technologies by collecting Signals that point to new developments, implications for innovation, and possible opportunities or threats. We track patent activity, and how the number and geographical spread of Signals change over time. Let’s look at the technology Autonomous Freight as an example.
Signals Feed on the Element detail page
Every Element contains a Signals Feed which accesses data from our continuously growing data lake, comprising millions of datapoints, such as news, patents, scientific publications, and RSS feeds. The feed is generated using the textual information (title, summary, and tags) of the Element itself.
For the technology Autonomous Freight, the Signals Feed generates +9,9k Signals. In order to refine the feed, you can either choose to adjust the Signals feed on the Element or view it in the Insights Module. After clicking View in Insights, it will directly set up a search field that is pre-populated with the Element.
View Element in Insights
The Insights interface consists of four parts, which are
- List of Signals
- Filters tab
To track the evolution of our example technology Autonomous Freight we will first focus on the timeline chart. As visible in the chart, the scope expanded, meaning there is a steady rise in the number of signals related to the technology beginning from January 2019.
You can save the search field directly as an Insight Presets, to continuously monitor the evolution of the technology.
Patent and publication intelligence
Keeping track of patents and scientific publications is a key part of monitoring the evolution of a technology. To do so, choose the Signal Type Patents in the Insights Module.
You can save the search field directly as an Insight Presets, in order to continuously monitor filed patents and published publications.
Identify relevant sub-themes and create presets
As we all know, technologies evolve over time. Therefore the next step is now, to derive sub-themes or technology applications. In our exmaple, potential sub-themes could be:
- “autonomous underwater vehicles“
- “Fleet management”
Create an additional Insights preset to monitor the evolution of this sub-theme.
Set up a monitoring process
After saving the different areas of interest as a search field, you have everything in place to start the monitoring process. Making the monitoring of these search fields part of your daily or weekly activities enables you and your teams to stay informed and able to respond according to developments.
Just navigate to the Insights Module and select the saved search fields.
Why monitoring is crucial for decision-making
In the example above, the technology Autonomous Freight was monitored to understand key developments around this technology. Monitoring is crucial for allowing agile decision-making and understanding the evolution of drivers of change. Monitor trends, risks, competitors, startups and opportunities in the same way to be able to respond to change and prepare for disruption