Friday, 16 December 2005

Do analysts only size markets & do case studies?!?

The wonders of Trackback! I've discovered Serendipp's sniping at us and Duncan. We are "almost hedghoglike" while Duncan is "bilious".

I am not familiar with Serendipp, but it seems they are AR advisors in England. Good luck to them because, if their blog is evidence, they have a lot to learn.

They feel that we and Duncan are missing the point in our discussion about analysts and how deeply they need to research: 'Analysts only do two things: size markets and do case studies'.

This is so far from being right, it's not even worth calling wrong. Sizing markets and writing case studies is what gets outsourced to India. The real work of analysts is quite different: and that is why analysts have substantial advisory, consulting and custom research businesses. If an AR advisor doesn't realize this, then heaven help their clients.

It would be far better to understand one's limitations and keep only do what you know how to do. In that respect, kudos to Hill & Knowlton. If Duncan's latest post is correct (my Norweigan is rusty) their European AR is led by their partner agency in Oslo, Gambit, which hired a former IBM AR manager in 1999. It takes guts to admit when you need help, but it's much wiser than pretending you know what you don't.


Ahmed said...

Dear ARpro,

My original post on the Serendipp blog was in response to a post on this blog raising concerns about where analysts get their data.

As someone who has worked as an analyst at senior level (and who knows many other senior level analysts intimately), I reiterate and clarify: the source of most analyst opinion and data is from market sizing and developing case studies of clients, vendors and markets. How this is actually used is secondary to your own original point. It can go into published work or can form the basis of the credibility and trust used to win consulting work. Any analyst who cannot understand the market sizing process or create case studies- whether it be for a report, building an RFP for a client, or advising on vendor capabilities- isn't worth his/her salt. Market sizing and developing case studies is pretty much must of what analysts do. And as my posts says, the AR function is still important for this, just as it is for the bigticket consulting work.

Just because some Analyst houses may outsource some of the process doesn't mean it’s of no value. Or do you use a different argument for convincing vendors to outsource AR to you?

Am I sniping at you? The original post on this site has points that are so egregious, they are so far from right it’s not even worth calling wrong. I'm not sniping at Duncan. If you bother to read the post you'll see I agree with his own comments on his blog and this one about statistical accuracy. I agree with Duncan that the AR function (as well as many vendors) still need to understand where and how analysts generate opinion- if you don't understand the inputs why bother commenting on the outputs?

Incidentally, "bilious" isn't an insult. It is however over-strong, so we'll tone that word down a bit.

And you didn't "discover" us; the post actually had a trackback to this site- we effectively told you about the blog entry.



theARpro said...

Hi Ahmed,

I'm afraid I don't know you, or where you worked. But our experiences are clearly different. You assume that your experience is right: I think it simply tells us about you, but not about other analysts.

That is part of the reason why I'm against outsourcing AR (except as an emergency measure perhaps). I've no idea where you get the idea that I convince vendors to outsource their AR to me. I'm in-house and actually spend my time trying to make sure that my colleagues steer away from such ideas.

Part of the reason for this is that there are suppliers like that out there, who are just so wrong is scares me. Sorry.

Honestly, I think you missed the reason why I flagged up bilious. It is an insult [it comes from bile] but that [like "egregious"] just remind me of one of these guys with a word of the day subscription.

I'll write more after brunch...


PS Who are you?

PPS I mention the Trackback in my opening sentence, but you say that I'm the one you doesn't read? I think you read, but you only see what you want to see.

ARonaut said...

Hey Ahmed,

You should have done a bit more research on ARmadgeddon and you would have discovered that:

1/ we're all for in house AR, as in general PR firms doing AR aren't usually great at it.

2/ Our comments on sample size, DRE et al echoed several posts and comments including [Analyst Equity:] ARmadgeddon and ostrich and [ARmadgeddon:]Who do the advisory analysts think are their clients? but in particular this one: [ARmadgeddon:] My customer is not your client, or why RAS analysts need to go beyond DRE.

With this bit of reading, you would have discovred that analysts don't only produce market statistics or case studies (BTW, did you know that KGC and Lighthouse offer AR training?) but also advise end users... which was the starting point of the discussion: RAS analysts tend to trend a very limited number of enquiries and oppose this to vendor-marketing-speak...

PS: I would have gladly commented on your blog but don't have a typepad ID. Get a real blog mate!