Analystanalyst’s Weblog

Who analyzes the analysts? –

Twitter honesty reveals Gartner Magic Quadrants for what they really are…

Courtesy of Carterlusher (and compounded by him), finally it is proved by a Gartner analyst that MQs are worthless.

Here Carterlusher shows the transcript of some tweeting by Gartner ‘Analyst’ French Caldwell.

The article shows that Magic Quadrants are not based (as you may think) on the analyst doing active research as to the latest new technologies/companies in the marketplace and cool trends etc.  Oh no, you guessed it, they are based entirely on who has the biggest/best AR.

These guys have become so arrogant now that they think that they can sit back and people will come to them and they no longer have to do ‘research’ or real ‘analysis’ – just collate questionnaire answers and build MQs / form ‘informed’ opinions based on that.

Yet more indication that this is a self-serving parasitic structure offering no real independent ‘balanced’ opinion.

I’m done with you guys – not good PR for Gartner at all…


April 6, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized


  1. Thanks for the link.

    I think you miss the point. Outreach, whether to industry analysts or the press or Wall Street – is a critical activity for any vendor. If a vendor doesn’t do effective outreach then they should not complain about poor results. For example, if a company does not do press relations, then in all likelihood it will receive far less — or no — coverage than a company that does effective PR.

    This is no different than selling. If a vendor does not do a good job of reaching out to prospects then it will not close business.

    Because Gartner’s Magic Quadrant is influential in many — but not all — markets then it is only common sense that vendors invest in AR to educate analysts. In this case it is similar to other lead generation and sales support activities.

    Now one can debate whether analysts should or can do all-inclusive research (see the fact of the matter they currently do not so savvy vendors invest in AR to ensure that analysts understand the vendors’s capabilities, market differentiation and customer success stories.

    Comment by sagecircle | April 6, 2009 | Reply

  2. Are you not though helping in the self-perpetuating myth that is the MQ?

    My point here is that he has shown the true worthlessness of a MQ.

    He has finally proved that MQs are not showing how good a product or organisation is, but just how much they spend on AR.

    Comment by analystanalyst | April 6, 2009 | Reply

  3. Analyst2 does your comment “I’m done with you guys….” mean that you’re finally going to give up with this pathetic bitch of a blog?

    “Neither do I seek fame or fortune through this venture, (hence the anonymity) – just guidance to be used by all”.

    So where’s the guidance? What value do you bring to the people that read this? You’re supposed to be “monitoring the analysts” not bitching about them.

    Fortunately there are professional companies such as SageCircle that do a very good job in this space…..because they understand how the supply chain works. As you’ve never been an analyst, you’ve no idea.

    The reason you’re anonymous is because if you revealed your name, you’d surely be fired by your US parent…..and the same reason why I remain anonymous.

    Comment by anonymous analyst | April 7, 2009 | Reply

  4. Surely the guidance in this piece is not to take the MQs (or waves, circles, flows or whatever, this is not just Gartner) with much more than a pinch of salt, as I have said before and even Gartner themselves have recently started to say.

    Their findings are not the same as scientific papers, as they are not subject to the same peer review and scrutiny, yet they are often percieved as such.

    As I have said before, people are making buying decisions (naively) based on the word of just one or two analysts, who as is shown in this example, quite clearly have a view of the market they are supposed to be experts on that is limited to people who directly canvas them.

    Does this mean that the industry is lowering itself to the mechanisms of political lobbying and all of the corruption and injustice that that brings, because “lobbying=AR” is a very easy parallel to draw, especially with this example.

    “Monitoring the analysts”? Nope. Not necessarily the plan (don’t think there is/was a plan).

    “Bitching” – yes, and I do it openly as well in my non-anonymous guise…

    Does the ‘supply chain’ that SageCirle understands so well maybe need changing, revamping or a little more transparency rather than just re-enforcing?

    And no, I’ve never been an analyst. Not sure I’d want to with the reputation some are getting nowadays…

    Comment by analystanalyst | April 7, 2009 | Reply

  5. @sagecircle (Carter)

    Re: “If a vendor doesn’t do effective outreach then they should not complain about poor results.”

    To reiterate a point made by Jon Collins in a comment against your original post, we should not lose sight of who the ecosystem is supposed to be serving – i.e. the buyer. One of the problems decision makers have is wading through all of the marketing, positioning, etc that comes out of the vendor community, and we all know that the noise level and how convincing the outreach is often has little to do with the quality, completeness and fitness for purpose of the solution being promoted. One of the reasons end user organisations pay analysts is to cut through all that to the underlying goodness (or otherwise) of what’s on offer. If the analysts is allowing the amount of money spent on marcomms outreach to impact their assessment of a vendor/solution then that defeats the whole object and undermines the value of the output/advice.

    Re your drawing a parallel with other forms of outreach, I would argue that it is you that’s missing the point. The press, for example, has no obligation to the decision maker; money has not changed hands on the expectation of an independent, objective and comprehensive assessment of options being delivered, as is the case with the ‘traditional’ Gartner style analyst model, so the comparison really is not valid.

    Bottom line: Analysts that take money to provide objective advice have a *reposnsibility* to conduct the necessary research objectively and not to be influenced by the size of vendor’s communication budget, which, after all, is what this all boils down to.

    Comment by Dale Vile | April 7, 2009 | Reply

  6. Mike Rothman is right. You exhibit incredible naivety.

    You clearly don’t understand the publication process for a magic quadrant – suggest you ask to be educated.

    It’s acually impossible for French Caldwell to drop a vendor just because they don’t talk to him (even if he’d like to)….but significantly easier for him to do his job effectively if they do.

    “People are making buying decision (naively) based on the word of just one or two analysts”. D’ya think one or two vendors out there might just be lying their arse off for a sale that fleeces the customer’s pockets….and there’s plenty of examples of corruption in achieving it! Injustice…I’d say so.

    How do analysts know all this?….because if you check the bios, you’ll find that 90% used to be in your position.

    Comment by anonymous analyst | April 7, 2009 | Reply

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