Gartner, HfS & Forrester again top demand-side Analyst Firm Awards

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Users of analyst research in hundreds of demand-side organisations (those which buy ICT solutions, rather than those which supply them) have given their opinions to the Analyst Value Survey and, as a result, we’re able to announce the ten firms that are delivering the most value to them. Almost 70% of those who responded in this category were in enterprises with over 250 people; 31% were in mid-size and small businesses.

A very wide range of firms were mentioned by the demand-side and we’ve been thinking hard about where the line is between analyst firms and their substitutes. A good example of this is Deloitte, where I used to work. Deloitte is a valuable provider of two of the services that analysts provide: events and business leads. However, a very small part of the value it is delivering to the demand side comes from the traditionally core analyst services: research and inquiry. Those services reflect around a quarter of the value delivered by the top analyst firms, but a much smaller fraction of that delivered by Deloitte. The more we think about this, we think it just doesn’t make sense to really count Deloitte as an analyst firm: it isn’t one, even if some of its users think it is. It’s a substitute for an analyst firm, and a very significant one. So, we’ll not be considering firms with a very low level of those core services for future Analyst Firm Awards. As a result, CEB/Tower Group takes the tenth place in the list below, which would have gone to Deloitte.

  1. afa2016-TOP5DEMANDSIDE600x400Gartner is the overall winner, and by quite some way. It has clear leadership in delivering purchasing recommendations and events.
  2. HfS Research remains in a very impressive second place because of strong peer communities, events and research. It’s a testament to the reach of the freemium model, although freemium firms struggle to monetize the value they create.
  3. Forrester Research didn’t quite make it out of third place this year, but it’s certainly in second place for demand-side revenue. Its peer communities are the most valued, and its inquiry call service is highly rated.
  4. IDC was pushed up into fourth place by strong research and the wide availability of its reprints.
  5. Pierre Audoin Consultants made it into to the top five for the first time this year, reflecting strong purchasing recommendations and valued peer communities.
  6. afa2016-TOP10DEMANDSIDE600x400NelsonHall narrowly squeezed past DCG into sixth place, buoyed by its strong research and data.
  7. Digital Clarity Group, which has now grown to pretty much the same size as NelsonHall, is very highly valued for its advisory and strategy days and for its reprint rights.
  8. Everest Group was most highly rated for its reprints and its research.
  9. ISG’s ability to deliver business leads was very highly valued.
  10. CEB/TowerGroup made it into the top ten for the first time this year, driven by its unique peer community model and strong inquiry service.

To see the agenda for the remaining awards, click here.

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