Analystanalyst’s Weblog

Who analyzes the analysts? –

Just journalists spouting common sense…

Been thinking about this more, especially as this week I am attending a ‘Gartner Summit’.

‘Stating the bleeding obvious’ seems to be the theme of most presentations at these type of events. Someone I was chatting to outside said “I can’t believe these guys get respect for telling us what we already know and we pay a lot of money for them to do so” – fair comment?

How do analysts at these type of events show they add value?  Surely they should tell me something new?

So, what am I looking for at this event?

  1. Insight into new techologies.
  2. inspiring vision and direction.
  3. End user case studies/real-world stories.

From experience what am I expecting?

  1. Being told what I already know by regularly reading the web etc (i.e. Journalism).
  2. Some chronically bad presenting (They need to listen to Seth and Garr)
  3. General reporting and bad stats (“I/Gartner estimate”) that I can easily find or make up myself if I wanted to (more journalism).

I’ll let you know how I get on…


June 23, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment


Long busy week, so sorry for lack of posts.

This however annoyed me this week. A mail from someone in my organisation who is trying to get some software sold. The techies and business guys have spent a long time reviewing the software, spoken to other customers, done a proof of concept and everyone wants it, however the purchase needs to ratified by the ‘governance board’ Here is the comment from the company we are talking to:

“2 of the Governance Board are very ‘into’ Gartner’s views and our champions will be asked for Gartner info on you. Please see the comment from our sponsor below:

With regards to the Gartner information, it is important I have the information to hand, in case it is raised during the presentation. If I do not have the information when questioned, I will have to admit that I had requested it from you, on more than one occasion, and nothing was delivered. This is not a situation that would be particularly comfortable for me, or you.

I’m sure you’ll all agree this is a ridiculous situation for us to be in.

They need Gartner information on:

1. Your company (generic would be OK)

2. Products”


Why on earth are they paying all these experienced in-house people and external consultants to test and evaluate software, companies and relationships if after many months of testing and investment it’s going to come down to the opinion of one guy from Gartner who maybe read some stuff on our website and didn’t speak to any of our other customers?

How did we get to this?

Will Gartner give them a refund or accept liability if the decision is wrong?

It used to be ‘you’ll never get fired for buying blue’, has it now become ‘you’ll never get fired if Gartner say it’s OK’?

June 14, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | 7 Comments


Apparently some valid comments made recently have been deleted by WordPress as spam.

I am sorry for this and have fixed it, if you don’t see yours, please re-post.

June 5, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Times are tight – How do you sell better?

Got cold-called today by a well-known UK Analyst firm.

The lady started to tell me about some new reports they had and how they would change my life.

I told her that we had big contracts already with Gartner and Forrester and why would I need her reports, also if I did need them that justifying the expense would be difficult in light of these contracts.

She gave up, instantly!

Surely it’s not that easy?

Belts are tightening, the big analysts firms are looking at lay-offs – what’s your plan to get my money?

June 5, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Aren’t analysts just another kind of journalist?

OK, great question from an ‘outsider’ yesterday.

“What makes analysts different from journalists?  Surely they are the same thing?”

So people, what does?  Are the lines blurring?

Does the switch from the irregular output research paper world to the blogging and twittering mean that analysts are becoming journalists?

What makes them any different?

Do they lose credibility by this?

(Apologies for absence last week, various factors including school holidays prevented me from posting, but it means I had a lot of thinking time too… 😉 )

June 3, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

One person’s opinion???

OK, you’re about to spend several tens of thousands for you chosen currency on something for your IT evironment.

You’ve for some strange reason decided to make your decision based on a report from Gartner.

Written by one person.

One person’s opinion.

One ‘worldview’ (to quote Seth Godin)

Shouldn’t you get a second opinion?

Or do you feel that you spend so much money with them that they must be right?

Step back, think again…

May 22, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | 4 Comments

Dare to step out?

Duncan raised an interesting point on his page and in the comments here:

Do vendors have the courage to unsubscribe?

If you don’t, why not – what do you see you get from your subscription to ‘the big boys’ that you couldn’t do either yourselves or by engaging an independent specialist?

May 19, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Thanks Duncan!

Duncan Brown (who I have read frequently and respect) has passed some interesting comment on my blog.

I love his comment: “So here’s a question: what would happen to your organisation if you didn’t pay the money? What’s the bottom line impact of cancelling your Gartner subscription?”

This is exactly what I am talking about, AR is obviously biased towards the use of analysts as it keeps them in money.  The self-fulfilling prophesy circus of the analyst community is daunting to many.

To answer a couple of your points Duncan, I am not resentful – I am a cynic (and yes I do currently work for a vendor, but have been an end-user and my job is to talk to end-users).  I don’t ‘hate’ analyst firms and analysts, I know some very good analysts whose opinion I value – I just am very cautious.  I want things to get better and more open.

Best quote I had recently from a salesman from a large analyst house was he asked me “How do you know what your customers are thinking?”, the beautifully succinct answer to him from my colleague was “We talk to them”.  This salesman is still struggling to show us how his firm can add value to our organisation, apart from the fact that we can appear in more magic quadrants… 😉

My anonymity is for personal reasons, and allows me to hopefully speak freely.

I want to use this blog to ask tough questions, and get vendors, end-users and analysts to look at themselves and ask themselves some tough questions too…

May 15, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Can I reference you?

I want to talk to other end-users/vendors that have used you before.

Why?  Because I don’t trust what you say and need to validate it but can’t because there is no analyst of analysts, no reference guide.

Your big name just isn’t enough for me.

Show me where you got something right in the past.

So can you tell me who to call to tell me it’s OK to trust you?

May 13, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Quadrants and Waves don’t count – references do?

Is this the case?

Clearly Quadrants and Waves help with drawing up shortlists of vendors, but surely some good solid references are gold.

I wouldn’t buy into anything without a good solid reference on the product and the vendor, or just the vendor if the product is brand new.

But how do we skip the quadrant? The whole IT vendor org seems so hung up on it, yet most people see through them pretty quick. Vendors get damned if they put up the quadrant in their pitch as it is cheesy, and when people don’t put up a quadrant people get suspicious. Is this really the way to do things?

From an end user perspective we skip the quadrant by talking to someone knowledgeable in that space up front (those people are difficult to find, see earlier posts), and as a vendor you should start talking references.

Ultimately in this world we buy from people, not organisations and it comes down to one simple word – SERVICE.

Where’s the quadrant for customer service?

May 8, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment