Supply Market Information & Research 2023: The Sky’s the Limit with Fast Paced Innovation Yet Quality Assurance Efforts Become Increasingly Challenging

This year’s annual post once again provides insights and reports on select trends and offerings that materialized in 2023. Kelly’s section focuses on the importance of maintaining quality standards for all content, regardless if it is from a podcast, blog, or is AI generated. Jeanette’s section follows with listings of resource-related trends that include AI (generative AI focus), space-based data, data unification, and commodity traceability. Associated examples are provided.

– Kelly Barner and Jeanette Jones (authors of Supply Market Intelligence for Procurement Professionals: Research, Process, and Resources)

Multi-channel Content Quality Assurance

In the 8 years since we published Supply Market Intelligence for Procurement Professionals a lot has changed. The world entered into and then emerged from a pandemic, supply chains both local and global became snarled with the surge in online shopping, and digital content creation exploded – both in terms of volume and channels. First podcasts and then video content, followed by video podcasts, have risen in popularity and spread from hobbyist creation to mainstream news coverage.

In revisiting Chapter 6 on Quality Assurance, it is notable that we detailed how to cite sources such as books, journal articles, newspapers, magazines, and websites (on pages 99-100) but not multimedia content sources such as audio, video, and social media.

Are you listening?

According to Pew Research, monthly podcast listenership has increased from 12% in 2013 to 42% in 2023. And while True Crime content dominates the podcast scene, 15% of podcasts focus on news and current events. Some of those listeners may be using the information they gather to inform business decisions related to procurement and supply chain operations.

While we may not have focused on as broad a range of information sources as many professionals consult today, our other advice remains applicable and stands up to the quality assurance associated with different content formats:

  • Evaluating information for credibility, impartiality, timeliness, and creator motivation
  • Triangulating particularly critical facts before making decisions based upon them
  • Appropriately citing information from third parties whether it is directly quoted or relied upon more generally

Trusting the Source

Quality standards should not be lowered just because information comes from a podcast or video instead of a traditional written source like a newspaper. Trust in general media is low and falling, due in part to political polarization and differences in individual perspective. This dynamic is making itself known in procurement and supply chain, where it seems impossible to escape politically charged topics such as geopolitics, economics, human rights, sustainability, and inclusion.

In sharp contrast to media content as a whole, 87% of Americans expect the news they hear on podcasts to be mostly accurate. Is that trust deserved? The answer will depend on the subject, show, and speaker. Procurement’s role as researcher and curator is as critical as ever.

And it isn’t just audio content that has increased in availability, blogs – informal, short form written content – have continued to be popular as well.

Time is Money

According to 2022 data from Oberlo, there are 600 million blogs – representing 32% of all websites on the Internet. Most of them would never cross procurement’s radar screen for work-related research, but others cover precisely the niche topics procurement is trying to bolster their knowledge of: generative AI for contract management, access to funding for Black female entrepreneurs, and Scope 3 emissions trends for specific industries.

Procurement cannot dismiss blogs as a source of market intelligence, in part because of the speed of change in business. When shifts are being measured in hours, days, and weeks, procurement will be at a disadvantage if they confine their information sources to those that are updated annually – if that.

In fact, in some cases even blog information isn’t updated frequently enough for procurement’s information needs. It may be necessary to pull directly from social media – yet another source of information that we only briefly touched upon in the book (on page 111).

Check Twice, Decide Once

The less time it takes to create and release information, the more scrutiny should be applied. And yet – time is money. When managed well, timely information can be a source of competitive advantage. Perhaps a supplier has been acquired, fined for noncompliance, or involved in a damaging scandal. If procurement waits for the news to hit a traditional media source, they may find themselves answering awkward questions about that partnership.

Here, triangulation is the key. A shocking piece of information is worth attention and monitoring, but perhaps not a formal decision or public statement until it has been validated by a reputable source. Even the opportunity to think through the available options before having to select a path forward is an advantage.

According to the 2023 Reuters Digital News Report, “Despite the political and economic threats facing many people, fewer than half (48%) of our aggregate sample now say they are very or extremely interested in news, down from 63% in 2017.”

Procurement and supply chain professionals cannot afford to avoid the news, despite how challenging the headlines are to face. Add to that the expectations around quality control, and complexity only increases.

Market intelligence creation and application is a group effort. Procurement plays a critical role, but so do many others. Disciplined citation is not just important for the sake of giving others their due. Providing access to sources creates the expectation – and the opportunity – for others to join in the process.

As generative AI-created content enters the fray, adding yet another dimension to quality control and assurance efforts, all of this advice will be put to the test yet again – in 2024 and beyond.

The Sky’s the Limit with Fast-Paced Releases of Innovative Offerings

There is no limit to the innovative offerings that providers introduced this year, especially in the areas of AI (generative AI focus), space-based data, data unification, and commodity traceability.

This year we saw an incredible amount of product/solution releases and updates powered by AI, especially considering that one of the most notable topics of interest, ChatGPT, a large language model (LLM) trained by OpenAI, just turned one on November 30. Large and small language models that have been trained on domain specific data and use content from collections of authoritative sources are more likely to produce higher quality results. In addition to OpenAI, Google, Anthropic, Baidu, NVIDIA, and Microsoft, among others, have all released LLM models.

New indices that measure country economic and ESG competitiveness continue to trend. Popular startup landscapes/market maps focused on technology relating to generative AI and FinTech.

AI Takes Off

Research and market intelligence providers charged full speed ahead in 2023 with AI-related announcements and launches featuring capabilities evolving namely around chat, summarization, visualization, language translation, and search. Examples are given for each, but it is important to note there is no intent to set and define categories. Almost all offerings utilize a combination of advanced AI capabilities.

AI Assistants and Copilots Soar

What do Norm, Mo, and Izola have in common? These are the names of some of the AI assistants, chat, and conversational discovery offerings introduced in 2023.

  • In October, Forrester introduced Izola, their new genAI tool that allows users to query Forrester’s research and get a synthesized answer via a simple chat interface. Izola was developed in-house using open-source technologies, including the Llama 2 large language model from Meta. Izola is named after George Colony’s (Forrester founder) grandmother who was an early 20th century pioneering journalist.
  • Morningstar launched a beta version of its generative AI chatbot named “Mo,” which is designed to surface and summarize Morningstar’s insights in a conversational format.
  • In November, Thomson Reuters launched new generative AI initiatives including AI-Assisted Research on Westlaw Precision, which allows users to pose complicated legal research questions and provides synthesized answers cited by the Westlaw database.
  • Moody’s and Microsoft’s strategic partnership, announced in June 2023, will create enhanced insights into corporate intelligence and risk assessments utilizing Microsoft AI and Moody’s data, analytics, and research. Moody’s CoPilot is being deployed to Moody’s 14,000 global employees. Microsoft and Moody’s will deliver data to their shared customers through Microsoft Fabric.
  • In June, Scoutbee announced generative AI feature updates to the Scoutbee Intelligence Platform (supplier discovery) including chat features that are built on top of Scoutbee’s data foundation.
  • Clarivate shared plans to develop and embed generative AI, including conversational discovery. The Web of Science AI Research Assistant will be available for beta in December.
  • Investigation and litigation platform provider, Everlaw, introduced EverlawAI Assistant, which includes complex legal document review and allows researchers to ask questions and receive on-demand responses, as well as click into the pages where answers were generated.
  • Farmers Business Network (FBN) launched its agronomic advisor, Norm, which is built on OpenAI’s Chatbot GPT and draws from publicly available data such as weather insights, as well as proprietary data feeds. For chemical intelligence Norm can help identify generic alternatives and application rates.
  • Earlier in 2023, procurement intelligence provider Beroe, announced it is integrating ChatGPT with its AI-powered digital market analyst, Abi.

Please see additional related announcements here.

Text Summarizers

AI-enabled text summarization offerings and features allow users to quickly glean the key points of lengthy documents and content and help determine if the information contained is worthy of a deeper dive. Examples:

  • In June, AlphaSense started providing AI-generated summaries for earnings calls that cover the most important topics discussed in a bullet point format.
  • In October, competitive intelligence platform provider Klue released a new feature called AI-Generated Strengths and Weaknesses, which automatically analyzes and summarizes thousands of reviews of dozens of review websites.

AI for Visualization

There have been a large number of newly released offerings and updates that feature AI-enhanced visualization capabilities. These focus on analyzing and presenting data that allow for greater understanding, deeper insights, and more efficient workflows. Here are two supply chain-related examples:

  • Altana released its next generation Altana Atlas in October. The Atlas helps users see across the global supply chain by applying AI to a network of public and private data. “The new version of the Atlas positions each customer’s supply chain data inside a dynamic, bottom-up view of the global supply chain network…The enriched data then feeds into a range of downstream use cases that reveal risks and opportunities, and enables collaboration with direct and indirect suppliers to avoid supply interruptions.”
  • Everstream Analytics launched Everstream Connect, which gives shippers, carriers, and ports a 360-degree view of their carbon emission footprint and provides a digital representation of the flow of goods by mapping logistic network flows, in addition to identifying risks and making recommendations.

Enhanced Search and Discovery

AI is being applied to search functionality with innovation enhancing intent recognition, real time personalization, smoother workflow integration, and conversational discovery.

  • DeepStream launched a new Supplier Discovery AI Tool for greater supplier discovery efficiency. Users can search for suppliers “based on specific criteria including location, product and service specifications and “suppliers similar to” to instantly receive a list of suppliers for shortlisting.

AI-Enabled Language Translation

Innovation in this area is addressing a growing critical need for anyone searching for intelligence on international markets, suppliers and/or competitors, and solution offerings. Advances in AI-enabled translation captures, in addition to literal meaning, correct tone and context. DeepL, known for its accuracy, is arguably Google Translate’s biggest competitor, acquired new funding in early 2023 estimated at over $100 million.

  • In August, Meta introduced SeamlessM4T, an all-in-one multilingual AI translation model that allows people to communicate through speech and text across different languages. It compares itself to “building a universal language translator, like the fictional Babel Fish in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.”

Space-based Data

Space-based data is poised for enormous growth. Deloitte cites the amount of data being sent to and from space will likely grow to more than 500 exabytes of information from 2020 to 2030 (a 14x increase). NamaSYS Analytics predicts, “As the doors to space-based data open wider, industries won’t just evolve; they’ll also see the emergence of entirely new sectors.” This type of data provides endless possibilities for early supply chain risk detection by monitoring climate and environmental changes, port and vessel activity, and commodity production, to name a few. Space-based data is also used in the growing area of geospatial, or location based intelligence, which uses, in addition to satellite data, ground/mobile sensing and imagery technologies to assess geographically-based activity on Earth. Examples:

  • In November,, an early warning systems provider, launched its NextGen platform that provides probability and detailed severity forecasts on tornado, wind, hail, and flood threats up to 14 days out.
  • In October, FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations) announced the new FAO Agroinformatics Platform, which expands on the open access Hand-in-Hand Geospatial Platform (HiH). HiH provides food security indicators and agricultural statistics for targeting interventions. WaPOR, an example of the expanded digital capabilities, is an open data portal that uses satellite data for real time monitoring of agricultural water productivity.
  • PortWatch, an open platform that uses satellite-based vessel data and big data analytics to monitor and simulate disruptions to maritime trade flows, officially launched in November. Its purpose is to assess the impact of natural disasters. This collaborative project between the IMF and the University of Oxford.
  • In July, space-based data provider Spire Global launched DeepVision, a weather monitoring and alerting solution for the energy, supply chain, and logistics industries. In November, its High-Resolution Weather Forecast model was announced, which anticipates weather’s influence on price dynamics, market trends, and energy supply and demand for energy and commodity markets.

Data Unification/Single View

IT and data management professionals are moving towards providing a unified/single view of data. Much has been written about the problematic nature of isolated data and new technologies are emerging that tackle the complex challenges of sharing data across an enterprise. This year, market intelligence providers continue to link their multiple data sources and platforms into offerings that provide single, unified views. Examples:

  • Commodity intelligence provider, ICIS, launched the Energy Foresight platform that provides a single, 360-view linking the connection between power, carbon, LNG, and gas markets in Europe, thus enabling better understanding of cross commodity impacts for supply and trading.
  • In September, S&P Global Market Intelligence launched Entity Insights, a single-source solution for real-time entity due diligence, which includes data for 27 million global entities and spans industries that include energy and financial services. The offering includes real-time profiles on clients, suppliers and other third parties.
  • OneTrust’s Intelligence Platform breaks down siloes across privacy, GRC, ethics, and ESG to provide a centralized understanding of business trust. In May, OneTrust introduced their AI Governance solution for organizations to assess and monitor risks associated with AI.

Commodity Tracking

Commodities market intelligence providers continue to tackle supply risk challenges by offering new or improved solutions aimed at sustainability and tracking.

  • In November, the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) announced it is developing a new system to trace the origin and environmental credentials of palm oil in response to demands by global buyers for proof of sustainability beyond certification.
  • Sphera recently released Sphera Supply Chain Risk Management (SCRM) Commodity Risk Tracker (CRT). “Instead of commodity monitoring that centers on tracking price fluctuations SCRM CRT focuses on potential disruptions and ESG-non-compliance across the supply chain.”
  • Ancera recently launched Ancera Salmonella System Monitoring (SSM), a platform that delivers insights around Salmonella throughout the poultry supply chain. This follows the launch of Ancera Coccidia System Monitoring (CSM), which has “tracked over 100 million broilers to improve feed utilization and control program spend.”
  • Cargill announced an accelerated commitment to eliminate deforestation and land conversion from its direct and indirect supply chain of soy, corn, wheat, and cotton crops in Brazil, Argentina, and Uruguay by 2025. Cargill will leverage World Resources Institute’s geospatial technology for monitoring.

New Indices and Market Maps Added to ProcureSearch Hub

Here is a sampling of new indices and market maps/startup landscapes that have been added to the ProcureSearch hub in the last year. Trending again this year are index launches that measure and compare country economic, including trade, competitiveness and ESG conditions and initiatives. Trending market maps/startup landscapes are those focusing on generative AI and FinTech. ProcureSearch, a resources hub, updates Part II in Supply Market Intelligence for Procurement Professionals. Listings that identify and update selected resources for key direct and indirect spend categories, along with supplier and geopolitical risk discovery, due diligence, and professional development are provided.


The AlixPartners Disruption Index – measures number and intensity of disruptive forces companies face

Lenovo/Economist Impact Intelligent Transformation Index – benchmarks global business adoption of big data, artificial intelligence and the internet of things

Pitney Bowes Parcel Shipping Index – measures parcel volume and spend for business-to-business, business-to-consumer, consumer-to business and consumer consigned shipments with weight up to 31.5kg (70 pounds)

The Chandler Good Government Index – built by government practitioners, for government practitioners, measures the capabilities and effectiveness of 104 governments around the world

Asia Global Institute Global Trade Modernization Index (GTMI) – assesses economies’ readiness for digital trade across both the public and private sectors, as well as labor force capability

The City Water Index – examines the water optimization potential of a diverse selection of cities by Economist Impact and supported by DuPont Water Solutions

The Hinrich-IMD Sustainable Trade Index – measures the capacity of 30 major global economies to participate effectively and sustainably in trade, on the basis of 71 economic, societal, and environmental indicators

NTI Nuclear Security Index – assesses nuclear and radiological security conditions in 175 countries and Taiwan.

Market Maps/Startup Landscapes

Zacua Ventures’ Construction Robotics Startups Landscape

Obvious Ventures’ AI Copilot Market Map

Cobus Greyling’s The Conversational AI Technology Landscape: Version 5.0

Sequoia Capital’s Generative AI’s Act Two

Alcott Global’s Warehouse Automation Techmap 2023

Sapphire Ventures’ Next Gen Procurement Tech Landscape

FinTech Global’s ESG FinTech Market Map

NoGood’s Specialized Vertical Search Engines “The Unbundling of Google”

Brendan Baker’s Where is NetSuite (and All Traditional ERP) Getting Attacked From? Players Staking Claims to NetSuite’s Module Turf

Supplify’s Supply Chain Tech Map 2023

Last, but not least, the one and only 2023 Marketing Technology Landscape Supergraphic by Scott Brinker – 11,038 solutions!

The index and market map collections can also be located here and here.


Photo by Dmitrii Eliuseev on Unsplash


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