Analyst myths revisited – “Analysts know everything” still #1 for IT managers and vendors

There are several lists of myths about the IT analysts.  These include Tekrati’s Analyze This: 5 Myths About Analyst Briefings; KCG’s Under the Influence: Myths About International AR; and Valley View Ventures’ IT Industry Analysis Myths. There are probably other lists that I don’t know about, but suffice to say that are plenty of myths to go around.
 
SageCircle first published its list in early 2001 and tweaked it later that year. I’ve used that list ever since, including when I was the Director of Corporate AR at HP. While I have been tempted to add or delete myths, this is still a pretty good list.
 

Myth #1: Analysts know everything
Myth #2: Analysts opinions are bought; the more money = the better result
Myth #3: Analysts use only primary research to find out what end-users think or do.
Myth #4: Written research is their primary delivery mechanism
Myth #5: Analysts slam vendors — and enjoy it
 
The first myth, “Analysts know everything,” is still the one that is potentially the most destructive because both research consumers and vendor spokespeople buy into this perception. Why this one remains #1:
 
Research consumers (especially IT managers) – By believing in this myth, some analyst end-user clients take everything the analysts say at face value as if it was written in stone. This is not a wise course because sometimes the analyst information has to be applied to a client’s particular situation to be relevant or might be based on relatively few data points. To be a good consumer of research, analyst clients should probe the analyst for the data behind the research and provide the analyst with their specific situation and background.  The use of inquiry is important to fully understand the analyst research.
 
Vendor spokespeople – “We don’t have to tell the analysts that, they already know it” is something I have heard many times since I left Gartner. The reality is that maybe the analyst does not know it. The vendors are an incredibly important source of information for analysts and not telling them a critical fact because “they already know it” might come back to haunt the vendor. Obviously, if you are personally familiar with an analyst and what they have briefed on in the past, there is no need to completely repeat an earlier factoid. But it is better to err on the side of redundancy than to leave the analyst with a critical knowledge gap. Just be sensitive and move on if the analyst impatiently says that they already are familiar with a topic.
 
Bottom Line: All the analyst
communities should be on the lookout for analyst myths, but especially for Myth #1. Making this assumption could lead to negative consequences for research consumers and vendors alike.
 
Questions:  For everybody: what are other myths or lists of myths? For vendors: have you ever decided not to tell an analyst something because of your perception that they should already know it? For IT managers: do you always probe the analysts about how they came to a conclusion or recommendation?
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9 Responses

  1. Myth #6: analyst predictions, forecasts and market shares are accurate.

  2. That is a great one!

  3. [...] Recent Comments What is the ideal st… on Gartner’s Cool Vendor annual…What is the ideal st… on Should tech startups invest in…ARonaut on For PR… Why PR and AR need s…Merv Adrian on For PR… Why PR and AR need s…sagecircle on Analyst myths revisited – … [...]

  4. [...] about risks or problems, it is not so certain they will hear about how to manage those risks (see Analyst myths revisited – “Analysts know everything” still #1 for IT managers and vendors). Thus, vendors can be doing themselves and their market a favor by having a frank conversation [...]

  5. [...] reinforces the recent postings about vendor sales reps asking customers about analyst usage, the myth “Analysts know everything”  and how IT managers should use Forrester Waves and Gartner Magic Quadrants.   The AR manager was [...]

  6. [...] know? Ask them to ask around. [Inquiry] Posted on January 30, 2008 by sagecircle Despite Myth #1 (The analysts know everything), there are times when clients, end users or vendors, can stump the [...]

  7. [...] Line: Myth # 1: The Analysts Know Everything is obviously something that pertains to many members of the analyst ecosystem, including the press, [...]

  8. [...] Myth #1 – The analysts know everything (see Analyst Myths Revisited) [...]

  9. [...] are really not informed about the IT Industry analysts.  They often believe one or more the Analyst Myths.  Frequently, tech vendor executives also view the analysts as predators or, worse, as irrelevant. [...]

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