Before becoming a market intelligence analyst, I spent many years as an R&D product manager in the buzzing, whirlwind fray of the gaming industry. From day one, I learned how vital the market around our product was to the overall success of our business. Figuratively and literally speaking, it was impossible to separate the two — the product or service and the marketplace in which it existed. We were keenly aware that the gaming hardware and software became part of the flash, glamour, and musical hum of a casino establishment it was to call home. The market drove the product.
My task each day was to understand the wants and needs of the people who were my clients, the casino operators, and the diverging needs of their clients, the game players. Then our team had to incorporate this with the strictly observed set of rules per state, per channel, and per venue that govern the industry. Every decision in the development process, and every feature built, was guided by information. Information that, like in any industry, is incredibly time consuming to find, organize, and absorb.
Transitioning from the role of R&D product manager to one of market intelligence analyst was a natural fit. My role now is still to find that divergent information: I am driven to understand the organizations I work with, along with their clients in mind. I’m still the middle man between information and action. My goal is to help find, organize, and digest information, so that action can be taken quickly and focus can be on the product. I think of it as bringing the action steps much closer to your door, much faster, than you could do while also juggling the development of the services and products.
With each bit of information I come across, I ask myself “How will this help my client?” and “What can my client do with this piece of information today?” In some cases it’s obvious and immediately applicable. In other cases, I suspect it’s put in the back of the mind to simmer or help shape a new idea. I consider these tidbits as ‘smoke signals’ that can help lead to quick deductions, get up to speed about new markets, and help companies connect with their clients in fast and meaningful ways. I’m also on the lookout for signals; any information that can be sent about changes in the market, industry, product, or goals helps me better determine what information might make the difference in decision-making today.
This article was originally published on ShiftCentral, now part of LAC Group.