What is competitive analysis or competitive intelligence?

Competitive analysis, sometimes referred to as competitive intelligence, is a form of market research that examines your product and/or business in relation to other products or businesses. The goal is to excavate the strengths, weaknesses, and positioning of a competitive field, your current place in it, and possible opportunities for differentiation and strategic advantage. As a mission-driven, research-based organization, our belief is that this advantage is rooted in what’s best for learning.

Why is competitive analysis important for edtech companies?

Education is an exceptionally tough market. And edtech, while obsessed with the new, has a long history. It’s critical for companies serving schools and families to learn from the past, to dig deep into the literature and survey past solutions, to make sure new products offer novel solutions backed by evidence.

A lavender-colored, illustrated smartphone and laptop each with graphs and charts on them.

What is WestEd’s process for competitive analysis?

We approach competitive analysis as experts in learning design, research, and the edtech landscape. While we do consider information on competitors’ business models and reach, this isn’t the core of our analysis or the source of our strategic advice. Our focus, instead, is on what you can do to provide a best-in-class, evidence-based, and future-proof solution that can stand out among your competitors and drive adoption and impact.

While each competitive analysis project is tuned to each client’s needs, our process generally includes:

  • Custom evaluative rubrics to guide competitor analysis
  • Competitor snapshots providing high level descriptive information alongside rubric-driven analysis
  • Key competitor deep dives with more extensive analysis of user experience and learning design 
  • Landscape mapping, informed by rubric and analysis, for positioning assessment
  • An executive summary featuring qualitative research insights (including relevant trends analysis), landscape distillation, and focused strategic recommendations including product, content, and marketing possibilities.

Interested in competitive analysis?