Thursday, May 25, 2006


Analyzing the Analysts

Figured I am long overdue to express additional thoughts on the industry analyst profession...

I never thought about a habit I had in what types of analyst research I read until recently. The funny thing is that I seem to have a preference for UK analysts over their US counterparts.

One pattern I have noticed is that UK industry analysts tend to talk more about problem spaces that I care about. They also don't seem to be so focused on product-oriented discussions like in the US. Maybe one of the problems is that the United States actually suffers from having to many software companies all jockeying for analyst attention which results in them not actually having a clue as to the real problem at hand and instead focusing on feature comparisons, marketshare and other things that are of questionable value in the long run to end user customers.

What would happen if all the customers stood up and demanded of industry analysts to not write research reports that contain product offerings but instead provided us with guidance on how to better define problems within a given space and how to frame our thoughts around them? In the short term I suspect that most vendors will rebel and not want to pay fees because in their minds, industry analysis is not about insight but advertising.

Anyway, I am working on a methodology that I will share of the next couple of days on an approach that will uncover which analysts we should be paying attention to and most importantly why. I am attempting to make my methodology both quantitative and qualitative so that there is something in it for everyone.

I hope to provide insights and perspectives on the folks over at Redmonk, 451 Group, Patricia Seybold, Burton Group and a few other firms that happen to come to mind. In the meantime, would love to hear from others there own opinions on the quality or lack of for these firms...

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