One of the few academic papers discussing analyst influence was published at UCLA’s Anderson school of management in the summer of 2002. Sadly, the paper’s not been widely cited; I wouldn’t have come across it had I not been studying in an Anderson summer school that year.
In the research, David Firth and E. B. Swanson surveyed a non-random sample of Anderson school alumni and associates. In 2005, the same authors published a paper along similar lines in Business Horizons. A total of 371 firms were solicited for the 2002 study, and 88 responses were received, for an excellent response rate of 24%. It found that 74% of the Californian businesses surveyed used IT research and advisory services, predominantly those of Gartner.
The research found that users of analyst firms principally used four services:
- Research reports (97% of respondents)
- Attending events (74%)
- Talking directly with analysts (69%)
- Hiring analyst firms for specific consulting projects (42%).
What’s also very useful is that the study asked firms to indicate what percentage of their revenues are spend on analysts. The results, show in the chart above, are very interesting.