The other day, a former colleague asked me what the difference was between our research and that of the big firms like Gartner and Forrester.
Perhaps the biggest difference is that we gather direct, unfiltered feedback from the market, analyze it and provide the unvarnished facts to our clients. We do this through 3 types of research: 1) deep dive customer research, 2) easy to execute turn-key research, and 3) Web 2.0 Research Tools that provide continuous market feedback.
The analyst firms such as Gartner and Forrester have expert analysts that hone their knowledge in particular areas of technology. They develop opinions about technology products and vendors based on discussions with vendors and buyers. There role is to become and expert by filtering and synthesizing vast amounts of information in order to make judgments about companies and technologies and express this through their professional opinion. This takes place through research papers and methodologies like the Gartner Magic Quadrant and the Forrester Wave. Buyers use these reports to help them narrow down the list of vendors they wish to consider for a project. Vendors hope to score well so they can tout their company’s rating in their marketing material. In Net, you get information that is “filtered” through the lens of an expert.
Client Opinions collects, analyzes and provides unfiltered information to clients. Filtering information can make life simpler, but it also adds an additional layer that can inhibit a clear understanding of the market. This is because vendors, or clients, lose direct contact with the market and the voice of the customer. When an analyst serves as a filter, the information is processed according to that analysts unique perceptions and value system which may well differ with the views of much of the market and/or with the views of a particular company.
It can be very helpful to get the views of an analyst who has great expertise. However, one should never lose touch with market as direct market feedback is essential to sound decision-making.
Rick Thompson, Executive Vice President