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The creation, capture, and data consumption have increased by roughly 5000% in the last 12 years. As a result, businesses are finding that proper handling of that data involves far more processes than it did in the past.

One process that businesses needed to implement in recent years is regulatory intelligence. Regulatory intelligence helps businesses monitor, analyze, and use data to stay compliant with local rules and regulations.

However, there’s a lot more to it than just that. This guide will highlight everything you need to know about regulatory intelligence and its three major components.

What is regulatory intelligence?

Regulatory intelligence manages and analyzes public and private data and communicates the information across the organization’s departments. This allows each department to apply essential protocols and procedures that help them run smoothly and stay compliant.

Without regulatory intelligence, an organization’s risk, compliance, and governance aspects will not be complete. Companies need regulatory information to monitor how policies and regulations evolve. As a result, regulatory intelligence professionals are attentive to any regulations, future policies, and guidelines changes.

Regulatory intelligence professionals are mainly involved in all the details of a company’s governance and operations. However, they are also crucial in an organization’s external landscape.

A few of the responsibilities of regulatory intelligence officials include:

  • researching current patterns, trends, and opportunities
  • identifying and interpreting regulatory information
  • writing reports based on research
  • strategizing effective communication
  • acting as an expert advisor for consultation
  • developing strategic recommendations
  • delivering required training
  • supporting the organization’s business development

Why is regulatory intelligence important for business outcomes?

Knowing what regulatory intelligence is isn’t enough. You also need to understand why it matters for your business.

Regulatory intelligence helps reduce regulatory risks, manage your organization’s time and cost, and achieve faster compliance and approvals.

When you have solid regulatory intelligence in place, it’s easier to identify trends that could help manage your company’s compliance better. It can also help eliminate potential high-risk areas, preventing delays and penalty costs.

On top of that, profitability increases with regulatory intelligence because of faster turnovers. This results in increased revenue and better outcomes, thus allowing businesses to make better and more informed decisions.

Through regulatory intelligence, knowledge is constantly being generated. This helps companies respond better to competitive, market, and legislative demands without delays.

Regulatory intelligence also helps with the following:

  • isolating data points
  • using monitoring platforms
  • defining sources
  • watching legislation changes
  • tracking information and recording them on dashboards
  • maintaining protocols and policies for your industry
  • enabling data analysis and gathering
  • understanding your organization’s current technology and products offered
  • establish strategies for the implementation of changes in regulation across the organization

Ecommerce businesses

Ecommerce markets such as Amazon have been under a lot of scrutiny lately for regulatory compliance. As the retail giant grows and welcomes more sellers into its platform, lawmakers are looking closely at how the company handles its reporting, accounting, and security.

This makes it even more important than ever for Amazon sellers to implement regulatory intelligence. Whether third-party sellers through Amazon or other platforms, sellers can use tools to help monitor their processes and ensure they’re staying compliant. They can also use seller tools available on the platforms to analyze their business process and monitor regulation updates.

Things like not using third-party trademarks, proper labeling, and proper product disclosures are all important parts of staying compliant as an Amazon seller. Otherwise, not only could they be removed from the platform, but they could also be in hot water with the law. 

Pharmaceutical industry

One of the most regulated sectors is the pharmaceutical industry. New medications are constantly found, created, manufactured, and distributed.

However, each company has its regulations based on the type of medicine being produced as well as its locality. What’s more, regulations and laws surrounding medications and distribution are constantly being updated in the pharmaceutical industry.

As a result, this industry's medical professionals must stay updated on the drug development life cycle. That way, they can ensure compliance even in a constantly changing landscape.

Financial services

The financial services industry is another place where policies and procedures are constantly changing.

For instance, the pandemic gave way for regulatory bodies to have more flexible regulations for financial institutions to survive the crisis. As things started to get back to normal, rules also began to tighten again.

Both of these are situations involving quick thinking and strong regulatory intelligence to help keep companies compliant.

Other industries

Aside from pharmaceutical and financial institutions, other examples of companies that need regulatory intelligence include the following:

  • biotech companies for strategizing innovative drug development
  • legal entities and law firms for streamlining legal documents and interpreting legal applicability
  • multinational companies for proper compliance with regulations and local policies
  • regulatory agencies for creating informed decisions regarding Advisory Committee meetings

Major components of regulatory intelligence

There are three major components of regulatory intelligence:

  1. monitoring
  2. analyzing
  3. strategy implementation

You can’t have a complete regulatory intelligence plan in place without having all three of these moving parts.

Here’s a breakdown of each of them so that you can better understand how they work together and how to use them to further your business objectives.

1. Monitoring

Monitoring regulatory changes is the first step toward identifying possible company policies and compliance impacts from regulatory or administrative changes. This is conducted through a series of research about a particular product’s regulatory norms in a specific geography.

The sources professionals need to check, include a long list of newsletters, trend data, announcements, guidance documents, and more.

Because sifting through all this data can take a while, regulatory professionals utilize various regulatory compliance and intelligence tools to speed up the research process. Doing so helps them stay informed in a quick timeframe and ensures that they aren’t missing any key pieces of information.

2. Analyzing

After careful monitoring, the data obtained has to be filtered according to relevancy. At this stage, regulatory professionals also need to analyze the information according to the latest industry patterns and trends.

Data analysis also includes proper development strategizing by regulatory professionals. They are responsible for maintaining and approving company products and policy changes that could impact the organization’s global regulatory landscape.

Data analysis also entails proper planning across a company’s disciplines to achieve data relevance. It means filtering and removing irrelevant data and using desirable information that could help organizations synthesize better strategies.

3. Strategy implementation

The final component serves as the output stage. After careful monitoring and analysis, professionals should now draft the most practical and effective regulatory strategy the company needs.

Various companies will have different regulatory guidelines based on the country they’re based in. This is why regulatory professionals should establish an actionable plan outlining the company’s strategies for targeting regulatory climate shifts.

Also, keep in mind that strategy implementation will also depend on the industry you belong to. You must follow the regulatory intelligence’ standard protocols, especially when you belong to a highly-regulated industry such as finance or healthcare.

Ways to implement regulatory intelligence

There are a couple of different ways that businesses can implement regulatory intelligence. We differentiate between a passive approach and an active approach.

The approach you choose will depend on your business model, desired outcomes, and organizational structure. Amazon, for example, uses mainly an active approach. They have AI implemented that monitors regulatory changes in real-time and updates this information for sellers on their dashboards.

This system helps alert sellers to any changes they need to make to their storefronts to stay compliant and avoid fines. One way they’re using this AI is to scan product labels for any incompliant wording. Sellers can then use those insights to make necessary changes or upload compliance documents to their dashboards.

Let’s cover each of these in a bit more detail so that you can determine which makes the most sense for your business.

Passive approach

The passive approach of implementation relies on public information. Regulatory professionals consume, collect, monitor, analyze, and disseminate information accessible to the public.

This also means the passive approach is less targeted, so it’s faster without needing specialized knowledge. A passive regulatory approach suits new developments, broad trends, and potential risks.

It’s usually the preferred approach when looking for significant developments, such as landmark regulatory filings and emerging legislation.

Pros

  • suitable for broader trends
  • little to no specialized knowledge is needed

Cons

  • it’s less specialized and targeted
  • the information is too general because it’s readily available to the public
  • needs constant monitoring, analysis, and dissemination
  • may not always be desirable and reliable for your organization

Active approach

For more specialized and confidential information, companies typically take an active approach. Finding crucial information using this approach entails looking for strong connections in the industry.

If you want a successful active approach execution, your company must have a list of relevant contacts. Moreover, professionals need to be able to conduct interviews and handle confidential documents for surveillance.

Pros

  • specific information catered to your organization’s needs
  • regulatory changes and developments are detected at a faster pace
  • targeted intelligence

Cons

  • it’s more time-consuming to gather data from interviews and surveillance
  • you should have a solid base of contacts and connections

Conclusion

Regulatory intelligence is another part of monitoring business data and ensuring your company is performing at its best. Regardless of what type of company you’re operating, having these systems in place is key.

Despite being a critical part of your business processes, it’s not an easy task to continuously develop and work on. Companies have to sift through large amounts of data to stay compliant with regulations and adapt their businesses as needed.

A major part of your business success depends on regulatory intelligence. It’s time to implement your regulatory systems so that you can keep your business running smoothly and legally.

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