For example, Alexa shows global ranking, US ranking, how much time users spend on site etc. Is these data actionable for the entrepreneur? What are other tools you use?
Alexa is probably the worst tool you could use specially if you are trying to gauge international traffic. Try something more advanced like similarweb.com to measure traffic volume and geo breakdown. Appannie.com will help you to analyze apps on itunes and google playstore.
I would include the source always. Crunchbase, wikipedia is always a good source but be aware. Slideshare is a great tool for this. Always cite source.
Depending on the sector, there will be free reports available from various consulting companies analyzing the various opportunities.
This is an excellent data which can be actionable as you are basing your projections on the widely acknowledged data by investors and on a good research done by a firm specializing in the industry in which you want to enter.
By making your case based on these reports makes your pitch stronger and you come across as a person who has done your primary research well to your investor.
If you want to check up some specific examples on how to use these, I am glad to go over in detail over a call.
When I go through the process of building a competition slide for a pitch deck I like to include several "forms" or competition.
1. Monopolistic Competition: Big players in your space, these are the Microsofts, Oracles, Google's of the world.
Tools to use: Public companies announce quarterly earnings. Understand where their revenue is coming from and what's growing the fastest. ex. http://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/1288776/000128877614000075/goog10-qq32014.htm#sE456F21B4F58076BCE0E8E07A40E64F4
It's also worth reading into what financial analysts say about each quarterly earning report. They are normally small picture thinkers but they almost always focus in on what the company is spending most of it's growth efforts on.
2. Distribution Competition: These are companies that will be fighting for the same distribution channels and advertising channels as you.
Tools to use: If yours is a mobile app, the best tools is App Annie, look at apps that compete in your category. You will have to fight these apps on download volumes and ratings even if they don't directly compete.
3. Audience Match Competition: These are companies that target a similar demographic profile to yours. Similar to distribution matching, these competing companies will be fighting for the same ad dollars.
Tools to use: Some of these are dated but it is a good list: https://blog.kissmetrics.com/25-sneaky-online-tools/
4. Use Case competition: These companies have a similar use case or have a solution to your problem (even if the solution is different)
This could be as simple as you're a note taking app and a use case match cold be a notebook, they are still worth brining into the slide as they inflate your solution as the obvious better solution.
Google Adwords and similar CPC platforms will allow you to research search volumes for particular phrases as well as advertiser bid competition and cost per click.
These data can be indicators of both
(1) audience interest / consumer demand
(2) niche competition when it comes to customer acquisition and lead generation online.
Depending on your objectives, referencing such numbers might be highly relevant for pitching or not. But understanding these metrics is crucial for any business that plans on being found online.
If you have any questions about what I've mentioned, let me know.