Horváth Innovation Insights

FORESEEN: Intelligently digitizing the innovation process

By 2030, innovation processes will be digitalized end-to-end - that's the thesis that arose from research conducted by the Fraunhofer Group. But let's be honest: Big Data has been a myth haunting all compa-nies since 2010. There is talk of infinite possibilities that are emerging, and of promising monetization options that are beckoning. So far, however, the reality for many looks different. In most cases, huge amounts of data are collected, but due to a lack of structure, they are almost unusable. For this reason, trend and market research often continues to be burdened with a lot of manual, time-consuming and cost-intensive effort. We have developed the perfect alternative: The Big Data application FORESEEN.

Traditional trend research is time-consuming and resource-intensive

The challenges faced by today's innovation teams are multifaceted. Indeed, classic trend research has become much more digital in recent years with online trend radars and innovation software. Nevertheless, the directed search for ideas in the "fuzzy front end" remains time-consuming and resource-intensive. If a request comes in such as, "I have read that there is an artificial intelligence that can predict the success of an assortment. Is this topic relevant to us? What is our competition doing in this regard? I urgently need a report on this for the executive board!", typically one of the three processes will be activated.

1. Manual research by employees

Employees - for example, from the innovation team - are promptly tasked with conducting detailed trend research. They usually use the common search engines or the typical sources of most innovators. After a long, painstaking search through the Internet, they produce a detailed report that not only ties up valuable working time and resources, but above all contains classic, publicly available information. This can be used equally as much by competitors.

"The amount of data is enormous and the manual effort to filter it is extreme."

Customer quote from the CEO of an M&A company

At the same time, there is a high probability that employees were looking for use cases very specifically for their company's industry, but are they really capturing the most relevant use cases? Are there not perhaps examples from a completely different industry that could be adapted?

"We lack inspiration from other industries. How are others solving the problem?"

Customer quote from the innovation department of an insurer

2. Solution via trend report provider

Instead of tasking employees with tedious research, existing trend reports or software can be consulted. These often focus on a specific topic and compile the most relevant statistics and best practices in the industry. Here, the costs for reports and access should not be underestimated. It should also be noted that the relevant information will highlight trends that are already established and obvious, although the search for new, weak impulses from the market is usually the most promising one. To be a first mover in the industry, innovations must already be developed when neither the market nor the competition can properly grasp a topic. Recognizing this "window of opportunity" is difficult to achieve through classic trend reports.

"Our trend radar has gaps."

Board member of a large German insurer

3. Classic market research

The last typical alternative is to engage an institute to create a company-specific report. While this alternative is most likely to produce high-quality results, it is also the most expensive and time-consuming option.

Can't it be done better?

This is precisely the question we asked ourselves. Together with the Horváth Steering Lab, our team of experts for digital applications, we developed ideas on how to support this process. This is where Big Data comes into play.

FORESEEN is a tool that analyzes over 120 million documents worldwide from thousands of sources in real time. In the process, an algorithm searches selectively for company-specific defined keywords. The result is a customized view of trends, market impulses, competitors, and targets.

During the development of the algorithm, completely new application possibilities beyond classic trend research have emerged. For example, specific keywords can be used to identify not only impulses for new fields of innovation, but also companies that are suitable as cooperation partners or for acquisition. At the same time, the competitor's activities can be analyzed automatically and continuously, and a strategy can be derived.

The results are intuitively presented in the form of dashboards for both, desktop, and mobile devices, allowing users to derive the most important findings at a glance. They can determine individual filters, which simplify the handling even further. In this way, automated detection of weak signals becomes part of everyday life.

FORESEEN makes patterns in market developments tangible through specific visualizations. It delivers information in real time with a relevance to results of over 90 percent. The data obtained by that can be used as quantified decision-making support in various committees. Thanks to the tool, decisions are no longer based solely on subjectively selected information, but on objectively filtered data in the sense of knowledge-based decision-making. FORESEEN supports this by playing exclusive and company-relevant information to decision-makers in real time.

Horváth & Partners Innovation Services

We have already been able to impress many of our customers with our solution.

"Thanks to FORESEEN, we no longer miss trends and become first movers in the market. Even in times of crisis."

Innovation manager of a large insurance company

"We were able to achieve a critical information advantage through the structured identification of targets for cooperation or acquisition."

CEO of an M&A company

The combination of our consulting services in the individualization of keywords and the complex algorithm is what makes FORESEEN unique. If you would like to learn how the tool can also be applied in your company, please contact us.