Tools for technology monitoring

Technological Monitoring tools are an essential tool for capturing, processing and transforming the large amount of data and information available into useful knowledge for decision making in an organization. There are multiple types of technological tools, different according to their characteristics and the casuistry, the sources of information on which they work and the monitoring processes, among others.

It is advisable to choose the IT tools for technology monitoring that best suit each situation, for which there are different methodologies and evaluation criteria, mainly recommended by documentalists and information professionals. Internet has changed the access to specialized tools in technology monitoring competitive intelligence. Specialized search engines, metasearch engines, alert systems, specialized databases, marketplace or comprehensive software are many of the options.

To expand the range of options for information professionals, the platform MoocVT launches #Open_tools, a space to discover, free, specialized and comprehensive tools of monitoring technology and intelligence available to everyone.


Alerts are personalized services of current information on specific aspects of a sector or subject (eg, legislation, regulations, calls, events, scientific articles, patents, technology offers, etc.). At present, many institutions and organizations are beginning to offer these "on demand" information services, under subscription or syndication (RSS), which help the monitoring and detection of informational signals. An example of this type of tools is:

ALERTS, the OVTT's Technology Monitoring Alert System.

Specialized search engines:

Specialized search engines focus on retrieving exhaustive information from a specific type of source (eg patents, scientific articles, theses, etc.), an area of ​​particular knowledge (eg medicine, engineering, biotechnology, etc.) or a type of Specific information (eg academic, technological, etc.). An example of these specialized search tools are:

  • INTELLIGO, explorer of Ibero-American academic space.
  • GOPUBMED,a specialist in the area of ​​law, offers information from several countries in Latin America.
  • RECOLECTA,  search specialist specialized in open science, open scientific production.
  • CREATIVE COMMONS SEARCH, search engine specialized in digital resources with creative commons license.
  • SCIENCE ACCELERATOR, a specialized search engine for all US Department of Energy collections and resources. (Eg patents, technical reports, electronic journals, conferences, etc.)
Specialized Databases:

The databases are a structured source of information essential to know the most relevant data that happen in a specific thematic area, hence it is essential to know in detail the most appropriate databases for each information strategy. They can be generalist or specialized and, more and more, they are in electronic format which facilitates their access and consultation. There is a wide typology of databases, which for technology surveillance are fundamental:

  • Databases of scientific journals and articles:
Meta search:

Meta-search engines allow you to launch a single search on multiple search engines simultaneously, offering the results on a single screen and, in many cases, in an organized and hierarchical way. They provide exhaustive results on a multitude of sources of information and provide an overview of a particular topic. An example of this type of tools to facilitate technological surveillance practices is:

  • OBSERVA, Meta-searcher in Science and Technology, which offers relevant information on science, technology and innovation produced in Ibero-America and organizes its results according to strategic information sources for technology monitoring.

The Marketplaces are increasingly useful tools for disseminating research and exploitation of research capabilities and results by offering access to public technology offers and demands, as well as partner search processes.

Technology Monitoring software:

The Technology Monitoring Software is a computer tool for the integral and systematic management of technological surveillance practices in its different processes. There is a multitude of offers, free and paid, attending to different sources of information and functionalities. A set of examples as follows: 

Open Analytics:

Open Analytics addresses the development of innovative open source technologies, big data, business intelligence, data mining and open data. There are numerous experts and technology leaders involved in the distributed development of free software tools applied to data processing. A reference to get started in the field are events such as those developed by MediaLab Prado.