Why we need more responses to the 2014 Analyst Value Survey

We’ve started planning the 2014 Analyst Value Survey, and we’re asking for your feedback. One thing’s clear: the survey’s getting better and better with each year. In the last five months there have been around 8,000 views of the findings on slideshare, and we’re continuing to see interesting trends in the data when we make custom segments of the data.

This week we were discussing the trends in the telecoms industry’s use of analysts, and comparing how those people see analysts with the folk in other sectors who took part in our survey. In this chart, for example, you can see how people in our survey viewed the independence of analyst firms, segmenting the telecoms people (21% of the total described themselves in that way) from the others. As you can see from the trendline, firms with more of a focus on telecoms are going better in that segment and those who focus less on telecoms do less well. That’s perhaps not something that’s really surprising. But that is surprising is that “others”, our bucket of long tail firms, does very well in the telecoms sector.

There’s partly something rather micro-economic there: over the last several years many people at Yankee (which doesn’t even get into the most mentioned firms on that question) and niche leader Ovum have set up for themselves.

But there’s also something about the telecom’s industry’s substantial appetite for insight. We often see carriers and vendors with more impressive analytical insight than the analysts. There’s a real market for highly granular data, from firms like GSMA Intelligence,  and niche players like iGR, Rethink Research and Signals.

The more I look at the data, the more I see the paradox: the more data we get, the more we can show the impact of those long-tail firms by breaking them out from the “others” basket. On the other hand, the more firms we target, the more confusingly full of dots our charts become.

The answer to this is pretty clear: we need to improve the sample size enough so that we can produce focussed segment studies, for the major user groups (enterprises, carriers, vendors, media, public and non-profit) and for the major technology domains. One way we are doing this is by working with vendors who want custom studies to show the impact of analysts on their clients, and all the time we are building Panalyst, our database of the users of analysts’ services.

Let us know if you have other suggestions about how we can do that.

Duncan Chapple

Duncan Chapple is the preeminent consultant on optimising international analyst relations and the value created by analyst firms. As SageCircle research director, Chapple directs programs that assess and increase the business value of relationships with industry analysts and sourcing advisors.