In praise of open source analysis
Does this sound familiar?
What amazes me is not that these companies do this but that so many others choose not to. In my opinion people the real value of an “analyst report” is the 80% of data that is not included in it.
To put it bluntly an analyst report is little more than a press release that screams to the reader – come and talk to the author if you want to know more.
James blogged about this earlier this year (along with James McGovern and Barbara at Tekrati) when they highlighted the open source analysis analysts (OSAA) wiki. I will be joining this debate but to kick-off here are a few of my answers to James’ questions:
- What is open source analysis?
Analysts who give away their research for free (e.g. via blogs, free downloads, journals etc)
- Why is it different from traditional industry analyst models?
Some analyst companies (like Datamonitor) have a transactional methodology as their business model and rely on selling their research
- How do we best engage with open source analysts?
The same way as you normally would in so far as the focus of this engagement centres around what is important and timely for the analyst.
I believe that the dated model of transactional-based research will come to an end. Unless you are a strong quantitative player (e.g. IDC) or have a unique value proposition (e.g. Gartner’s Magic Quadrant) then there is little reason why someone in search of data will not use the seemingly infinite resources given away for free on the web as oppose to purchasing it directly.
My advice to analyst houses is to recognise why people come to you in the first place – they are after bespoke information and not generic research. It is the analysts and what’s in their head that counts not the small amount they can put onto paper.
Open source analysis perhaps is the only way that smaller companies will be successful in a market that is dominated by a few big names. They will never be able to compete in the scale and scope of what these companies can offer. If this means that I am now able to access what the analyst thinks for free then I applaud this move… I may even pay a few for more specific information.
Filed under: analyst relations, noteworthy | 22 Comments