Monday, November 07, 2011


Thoughts on Forrester Analyst Communities and Transparent Research

I currently participate in Forrester's various communities and like the interaction with many of its analysts. With that being said, I think there is much room for improvement....

So, here are a list of improvements I would suggest to make Forrester's communities much better...

1. All analysts should be encouraged to participate: In the communities I participate in, the majority of Forrester analysts are missing in action. Being community-oriented shouldn't be left optional nor thought of as something done in one's free time between billing clients. Forrester needs to make this activity a first class citizen and incorporate participation metrics as part of an analysts annual review cycle.

2. Communities should be more tightly linked to reserach: Have you ever noticed that the pretty much all of the analyst content is static and never changes after it is released? Wouldn't you think that if hindsight is 20/20 there would have been opportunities to update previously published research? More importantly, have you noticed that analysts aren't replying to comments left on their research and defending the research position vigorously?

3. Why are analyst firms immune to attribution?: The community brings with it insights that the analyst would not have came up with on their own. Why is it so difficult for analysts to acknowledge this insight in the opening of their research? Don't you think you are doing the community a disservice by not acknowledging their contributions?

4. End users have their own research agendas too: Wouldn't it be great if they were acknowledged, harvested and assigned? While it is noble for an analyst to propose their own research, shouldn't there be a mechanism that is fully transparent where one could propose and see the workflow behind the proposal?

5. Research shouldn't be the sole domain of analysts: Communities are more than capable of creating and publishing their own research. Why wouldn't Forrester want to become the destination for all community published research released under Creative Commons for example?

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