This 2015 post has been superceded by the 2018 Americas Analyst Firm Award.
Users of analyst insight in the Americas say that Gartner, Forrester Research, HfS Research and IDC are the firms that delivered the most value in 2015.
HfS’ move up to third place will surprise many readers. It shows that, despite IDC’s stronger research, HfS’s ability to deliver strong peer networking and events is solidifying its audience in the Americas. Even so, the gap is huge between those two firms and industry leaders Gartner and Forrester Research.
To celebrate the value that analyst firms are giving to professionals in North and South America, Influencer Relations’ 2016 Americas Analyst Firm Awards honor the analyst firms delivering the highest value to participants in the 2015/2016 Analyst Value Survey. The survey has collected hundreds of responses from the Americas. 39% of the respondents work for high-technology or telecom solution providers, 44% are in major enterprises and 17% are in mid-size or small businesses.
- Gartner is known for its huge influence on purchasing as well as an unequaled events business.
- Forrester Research benefits from Gartner’s weaknesses. Clients rate its peer communities most highly, and its reprints business is clearly a threat to Gartner.
- HfS Research pipped IDC into third place, despite having a more uneven portfolio of services and a far smaller client base. Even so, the firm’s exceptionally wide freemium base means that it is delivering highly valuable services to a wide number of users.
- IDC‘s base of paying customers means it doesn’t have to panic. Users in the Americas rate its research even more highly than Forrester’s, and its reprints business extends its audience.
- Digital Clarity Group rounds out the top five. DCG’s is highly rated for its advisory services and influence on purchasing.
- NelsonHall is rated highly for research and, even more so, for its inquiry calls. It is held back by its limited ability to deliver business leads.
- ISG, unlike NelsonHall, is very highly rated for business leads. The firm offers strong advisory and inquiry services, but is held back by weak peer networking. Its purchase of Saugatuck might help.
- Everest Group is once more highly rated for research and for reprint rights, but is held back by its lack of a major investment in events.
- KPMG, which acquired sourcing advisors EquaTerra, is a new entrant in the top ten. That reflects the broader range of services being used to consume analyst insight. Despite lacking a serious research program, KPMG seems to be effectively competing in the market for analyst-level advisory services and purchasing guidance.
- CEB, which includes TowerGroup, has a unique business model. Its peer communities are its most highly valued service, but its seems to have little impact on purchasing.
These ten firms are delivering four-fifths of all the value that analyst firms are delivering to users in the Americas. Indeed, 31% of the total is held by Gartner. While that confirms Gartner’s leadership, it also dispells the myth that Gartner alone holds most of the analyst community’s influence on purchasing. That influence is certainly concentrated, but it is by not means the only game in town.
The annual Analyst Firm Awards are an initiative from leading industry blog InfluencerRelations.com, and originally appeared there.