Industry Analysts: The Beasts Within The Necessary Evil

This post has been slanted by an article I read today about Yankee Group analyst Laura Didio (hmmm…no bio on the site), and an encounter I had today with a real industry analyst. [James Governor points to this article as well.]
Ms. Didio has been accused of placing a very hard slant towards Microsoft in most of her Operating System analyses, to the point of being almost completely invalid and useless. If Microsoft pays the bill, I don’t have a problem with her coming out and indicating where Microsoft server OSes are strong compared to Linux. But to take facts which are inconclusive and then skewing them to favour the client…well, please get out of my office.
Then I was a passive participant in a call with a well-known analyst (no name or firm here). My takeaway frm the call was: I want his job. Not because he had brilliant things to say, or incredible insights to offer, but tbecause he was being paid repulsive sums of money to state the obvious.
I spent most of the meeting shaking my head and wondering how he did it. It was like delivering a monlogue in an echo chamber: he had one thing to say, and anything that our team brought up was routed back to his topic, in a cursory way.
It was clear he had no idea what our company does, what our positioning and strategy are, and how our services could help our customers.
And we paid for this.
The analyst industry is so corrupt and meaningless. I am glad that there are folks like ARmageddon, GartnerWatch, and Analyst Insight out there to expose the industry.
I hate blogging about blogging, but the whole area of analyst research is being eroded and corroded by blogs. Companies are doing their own research using Technorati and Feedster and making their own judgements.
The best way to make analysts extinct is for companies to tell their own story, in their own words, within their own context, and give it meaning.
Analysts have stolen our the ability to find and tell our own stories.

2 Replies to “Industry Analysts: The Beasts Within The Necessary Evil”

  1. I am an analyst and I have certainly not stolen anyone’s ability to tell their own stories. on the contrary an important part of what i do is help my clients and even firms that just happen to be briefing us [briefings are of course free]. We believe in the power of narratives and try and help people communicate better using their own, and other available memes.
    eroded and coroded? i would say improved and made leaner… blogs are a great tool for analysts and their customers. blogs help make smarter conversations.
    didn’t you brief this person *before* the consultation?
    Its all about the cluetrain and multiple conversations. Does RedMonk have some things we return to in consultations? Sure. Any analyst has a story to tell, same as an vendor should.
    I dunno. i am a bit tired after last nights redeye.
    But just because one analyst sucked doesn’t mean we all do.
    Hasn’t anyone give you a powerbook yet>?
    are you sure you want this job? wouldn’t you rather build something? See my C++ blog today – Flickr and bloglines are both hiring.

  2. eroded and coroded? i would say improved and made leaner… blogs are a great tool for analysts and their customers. blogs help make smarter conversations.didn’t you brief this person *before* the consultation? Its all about the cluetrain and multiple conversations. Does RedMonk have some things we return to in consultations? Sure. Any analyst has a story to tell, same as an vendor should. I dunno. i am a bit tired after last nights redeye.But just because one analyst sucked doesn’t mean we all do.Hasn’t anyone give you a powerbook yet>?are you sure you want this job? wouldn’t you rather build something? See my C++ blog today – Flickr and bloglines are both hiring.

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