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Stay Competitive With These 6 Sources of Up-to-Date Information The Internet certainly offers an ocean of information. The challenge lies in vetting the timeliness and accuracy of that information.

By Jeff Boss Edited by Dan Bova

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

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Today's business competition is fierce. More and more resources emerge all the time that make it easier for companies to find the information they need to stay competitive. Of course, the same is true for your competition.

You can bet that whatever you're doing to stay relevant amidst a market of constant change, your competition is doing the same. In fact, a safer assumption would be that they are doing more. After all, you want to plan for the worst but expect the best, right?

While the Internet certainly offers an ocean of information in which you can drown yourself for industry insights, the challenge lies in vetting the timeliness and accuracy of that information. To stay current you need real, up-to-date data about not just your own business trajectory, but also that of your competition.

Related: 8 Tools That Help You Perform Day-to-Day Tasks More Efficiently

To stay relevant requires the humility to see yourself as a perpetual learner, the curiosity to learn more, and the time to do so. Here are six target-rich sources of information from which you can glean the information you need to keeping winning:

1. Socedo

At first I thought this was just another lead generation tool that would be here today and gone tomorrow, but it's not -- it's much cooler. With Socedo, you can pinpoint who favors your product or service offering and then funnel those users into the "sales prospects" category. From there, Socedo engages with them via Twitter and LinkedIn to continue building the relationship. Additionally, Socedo offers analysis so you can quantify the number of prospects generated and compare them to the number of prospects acted upon.

2. Google Trends

Just as the name suggests, type in the topic you want to track and let Google work its magic. If typing on a regular basis just seems like too much work, you can set up Google alerts that deliver your search criteria right to your inbox. It really doesn't get any easier.

3. Twitter

This is perhaps the most real-time data you can get when it comes to information. Every brand wants more Twitter followers so you can bet that the information you seek can be found in the Twittersphere.

Related: 3 Easy Hacks That Bring the Power of Google Analytics and Salesforce to Your Online Marketing

4. The Society of Competitive Intelligence Professionals

This group offers a plethora of business insight, ranging from competitive analysis to general information on the business landscape. The Society of Competitive Intelligence Professionals executes its mission of "creating and managing business knowledge" by highlighting conferences, books and industry news as well as tools to become more educated in your arena.

5. Trendwatching

Here you can track popular trends related to your business such as brand, customer service, pricing and demographics. By understanding what's trending, you can better anticipate your (or your competitor's) next move.

6. Successful Startup 101

Supplementary to understanding the competitive landscape is delving deeper into your own entrepreneurial endeavors. While starting something from nothing can certainly be daunting, this website offers a consortium of tools and best practices for taking your startup to the next level. Inherent to startup success is the idea flow that generates new, creative ways to market, test, strategize and distribute your product. Successful Startup 101 offers just the right amount of idea generation to enhance your entrepreneurial options.

No matter your resource of choice, staying up to date on current trends lets you not only react to change but also act in advance of forthcoming changes as you have a better estimation for the trajectory of business. Of course, so does your competitor.

Related: 7 Tools to Help Startups Dominate in Large Markets and Compete With the Giants

Jeff Boss

Entrepreneur, Executive Coach, Team Coach, Author, Speaker

Jeff Boss is a leadership coach with a focus on adaptability who leverages his previous careers as a Navy SEAL and business consultant to help clients accelerate success. Read more at www.adaptabilitycoach.com.

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