Analysis – Informa buys Datamonitor

17May07

InformaAfter the initial excitement has died down, it’s a bit easier to reflect and analyse just how good… or bad the acquisition is.

I will explain my view at the end, but to get the ball rolling this is what everyone else thinks:

  • ARmadgeddon and Barbara believe that this move puts Informa more as a competitor to IDC than Gartner
  • David sees Informa more on par with Forrester or Yankee
  • ARcade thinks that the price paid means that Informa has very aggressive plans.
  • Duncan believes that Informa have spent too much on this.
  • Datamonitor through various comments (here and here) sees this move as the first correct step in appreciating that analyst houses should not focus purely on technology
  • Nancy’s contacts at Datamonitor say that this now makes them a tier 1 analyst house
  • Martin Atherton gives his own unique view having been inside DM who believes that success depends on the management

My view is slightly more long term. If you consider what the key elements are of a successful analyst business model are, and then apply them to the Informa Group you can see that they ‘potentially’ fare very well.

  1. Research (Informa and Datamonitor have great scale here)
  2. Events (Informa and to a lesser extent Butler have expertise here)
  3. Advisory (Ovum, Butler and [a few Datamonitor analysts] are great here)
  4. Market (Ovum have positioned themselves superbly within the Telco space, DM within Healthcare)

Obviously success is not guaranteed.

Management of these companies must work hard together to ensure that synergies can be achieved without removing the very things that made each firm successful.

Datamonitor have a great transactional approach to AR and sell research in a way that would make any publisher proud (like Informa). Ovum meanwhile are experts at the advisory component and manage to retain and up sell to big-ticket companies due to their industry expertise.

Keeping hold of staff is also a must – the dozen or so analysts at Ovum/Datmonitor that have enabled them to get in front of execs who they normally would never had access to are a valuable asset they must retain.

Where does this leave us? I still believe that handled correctly the sheer scale and size of Informa enables them to be a credible competitor to Gartner. In a world where I am regularly hearing the demand to speak to someone else beside Gartner this is a welcome move.

Time will tell whether this happens but I hope it does.

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6 Responses to “Analysis – Informa buys Datamonitor”

  1. 1 h

    completely agree with your sentiment here – my email down but like your thinking re your last mail

  2. 2 Jonny

    Thanks H – glad you agree (disclaimer H is my brother)

  3. 3 h

    no disclaimer required

  4. Interesting summary Jonny. Transactional is indeed the right word.

  5. 5 G

    I agree with the assessment that keeping their key analysis in Pharma, FS, Automotive, will be necessary to bring any value on the advisory side.

    disclaimer: spent 9yrs as DM analyst


  1. 1 Informa buys Datamonitor (and Ovum, Butler) « Technobabble 2.0

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