In today’s post we’re going to walk you through the details of how Owler’s Competitive Graph works. But, before we do that we wanted to first give you a quick overview of exactly what the Competitive Graph is. The Competitive Graph is about companies – and how they compete. Imagine if you polled all the employees in your office and asked them to list your company’s top five competitors. When you combine the list of every company submitted, the result is a comprehensive wisdom-of-crowds ranking of your competitors.
As of today, Owler’s Competitive Graph includes 1 million companies, with over 5 million competitive connections. By the end of this year Owler’s community will have mapped the competitors of over 5 million companies! The rate of these connections is growing rapidly as the Owler community continues to grow exponentially.
It’s exciting to hear from members of the Owler community that these connections have helped create new insights into their competitors, improved partnerships and helped build out new lead lists. But how exactly does the Competitive Graph, the backend that makes this all happen, work?
The first step in mapping a new connection on the Competitive Graph is connecting two nodes within the graph. Thousands of members do this each day on Company Profiles by simply submitting a new competitor. Take Tesla for example. Here is their current Competitive Graph:
Wait a minute! The i3 is all electric and Tesla is taking market share away from luxury car brands with the Model S and X. I think they are competitive so I’ll add them in:
Now there is an edge in the Competitive Graph connecting the node for Tesla and the node for BMW. Naturally the next question is “How closely do Tesla and BMW compete?” We can answer that by defining a weight to the edge between the two nodes in the graph.
Each vote starts with a standard weighting based on how closely connected the member who voted is to the company they voted for. Part of the secret sauce behind our Competitive Graph is how we weight user votes. If a person works for Tesla we assert that person knows much more about their competition than if they work in hospitality for example.
But we are even smarter than that! Now that we know there is a connection between companies we then ask the people most closely connected people to Tesla weigh in. We do this using Opinion Polls:
Based on the responses from closely related employees, competitors and experts within the auto industry we can hone in on just how closely Tesla and BMW compete in relation to everyone else in their Competitive Graph.
By doing this we can assign an accurate weight to the edge we just created above and when anyone doing research or looking to learn more about Tesla visits the profile or follows Tesla they will see the most up-to-date and accurate information.
Through mapping exactly how closely each company competes with every other company in the world we are able to provide hyper-personalized email alerts based on competitors’ fundraising, leadership team changes, acquisitions and everything else up to and including general news.
Many people actually refer to this level of hyper-personalization as “magic”. However, we’re not done. We need your help to build our Competitive Graph to 5 million companies. Do you have insight into specific industries or sectors? Visit the Company Profile for any company you know, and make your voice heard!