Which analysts get the most attention from AR?

Rick Shuri, CTO, ARInsights[Note: this guest post is from Rick Shuri the CTO of ARInsights, the provider of the ARchitect™ ARM (Analyst Relations Management) system. ]

 Over time our clients ask for a variety of new features to be added to ARchitect.  One of the requests was to advise them on which analysts were getting the most attention from AR staff.  ARchitect users can easily get these types of reports based on the data they have entered, and analyze the data to ensure they are focusing their efforts on the most influential analysts in their market space. 

However, knowing the relative importance of an analyst among all vendors was not something a client could obtain.  We elected to compute a set of statistics based not on a single client, but as an aggregate of all our clients.  Using this method we produced an overall ranking of those analysts that our vendor clients seem to feel are most important.  Without revealing other client information it also gives an AR team a sense as to which analysts may be busy working with other vendors.

ARchitect Power 100ARchitect™ Power 100 analysts are the top one hundred analysts ranked according to their activity level among all ARchitect users.  These are the analysts with the most sustained “buzz” in the industry right now.    

In order to create the ranking we considered a wide range of criteria which included the frequency of interactions, emails, and captured research & media as well as how recently each of the postings was entered.  Obviously those analysts with a lot of current activity are high on the radar of the client teams.  A ranking algorithm assigns different weighted averages to each factor and employs certain data smoothing techniques.  Analysts are re-ranked daily to reflect all current aggregate activity.   

The most current analyst list information is available in a number of ways: 

  • We place a small icon next to their name on the profile page for each Power 100 analyst.  This alerts Continue reading

Automating AR activities with an ARM like ARchitect

icon-tools.jpgLast week in Las Vegas Dave attended the ARchitect™ Users Group meeting, which was hosted by ARInsights.  This Analyst Relations Management System (ARM) and its features has been discussed in previous posts.

ARchitect’s new “briefing book” feature, which is about to be released, was previewed which sparked a lively discussion.  This new functionality allows clients to create “templates” in Microsoft word which will then be populated with information from the database.  The template process allows each client to create very custom pages including headers and footers, company logos, and company standard layouts.  ARchitect then returns a complete report in word format which can be further edited as needed.

A best practice for using this new feature, as well as the standard features for any ARM system, is to carefully determine the desired results and then ensure that the data needed to create the output is properly entered into the system.  AR teams need to take the time to establish goals for their reports, including metrics reports, and then work toward data consistency that will automate these routine tasks. This is actually an easy process that does not take a lot of time, but has a huge payback. 

In the case of the briefing book, SageCircle recommends that you think carefully about how you hope to use the output.  Most executives will be happy with – or likely prefer – a very concise and targeted page that explains who this analyst is, why they are important to the company, what to expect for Continue reading

Integrating your ARM into your daily activities using an Outlook plug-in

icon-tools.jpgWe often hear AR teams complain about the difficulty getting full team participation in their Analyst Relationship Management (ARM) application.  It seems that some team members don’t appreciate the value or perhaps are not sufficiently trained.  When only part of the data is entered it limits the ability to generate metrics or encourage good collaboration.

Dave was speaking with the CTO of ARInsights the other day during one of the periodic calls we have with them about ways their product can more effectively manage an AR program.   The discussion was about their soon to be released Add-In for Outlook 2007.  Just as with the 2003 version this code helps to integrate their ARchitect product into the normal work day and automate data entry.

If you send an email to one or more analysts, even using blind carbons, the integration allows you to create an interaction and post the data directly into the ARM.  This makes tracking activity such as sending out quarterly earnings, press releases, or simple exchanges very easy.  You can also track your email threads automatically – allowing team members to know about activity with analysts you have in common.

Forward planning is critical for an effective AR program.  Integration between your Outlook calendar and ARchitect enables you to easily create future interactions, add then to your personal Outlook, log them to ARchitect, and display them on Continue reading

ARchitect Users Group Meeting – lively discussion on AR metrics

icon-tools.jpgLast week, following the Forrester Technology Leadership Forum in Orlando, ARInsights held their second ARchitectTM Users Group meeting.  ARchitect is the leading Analyst Relationship Management (ARM) system with a significant number of client companies using it.  It was nice to see some of those companies represented at the meeting and the dinner that followed. Of course, there was a lot of good informal information exchange during the reception, aka the booze and schmooze.

Rick Shuri, ARInsights’ Chief Technology Officer, outlined some of the new features recently implemented as well as plans for the upcoming year.  The development schedule is strongly influenced by customer requests and some discussion of what the group felt was important gave an indication of where the product is likely to be expanded. It has been our experience managing an actual ARchitect deployment that ARInsights is very responsive when it comes to listening to customer and prospect suggestions.

Sunder Sarangan of Infosys shared his perspective on why it is Continue reading

Who are you? Analysts better make sure they are in the AR databases.

icon-tools.jpgHow do AR teams get the information for building and ranking analyst lists? How do they know the people claiming they are analysts really are analysts? In many cases, the AR professional will look it up in a commercially available AR database or contract with an AR services firm that has analyst list creation product.

Are you in the database? Is the information accurate?

One of the important AR tools that AR teams have is their trusty Analyst Relationship Management application (ARM tool, think CRM specifically for AR) or standalone analyst database. The reason why these tools are so valuable is that the database is maintained by the vendor, saving AR the grunt work of tracking an ever changing universe of analysts.

AR teams use the electronic directories all the time to create new or to refresh existing analyst lists. Just go into Continue reading

Word cloud generator by Wordle

From the website: “Wordle is a toy for generating “word clouds” from text that you provide. The clouds give greater prominence to words that appear more frequently in the source text.” And a cool toy it is.

Obviously, SageCircle really, really focuses on AR and the analysts (click on the graphic to the right to enlarge).

However, Wordle is not just a toy, but potentially a useful tool for analyst relations professions with analysts that blog. Now you can in a minute with only a simple cut-and-paste of a URL get a feel for the most frequent – and by extension, most important – words in an analyst’s blog. For example, the word cloud to the left is for  Continue reading

The value to team collaboration – The ROI of an Analyst Relationship Management System [part four]

icon-tools.jpgThis is the fourth in a series of posts that will explore the resources required and the advantages gained in using a formal analyst relationship management (ARM) system.  In this post we investigate how these systems can enhance collaboration.  Other posts will explore metrics and look at the values that can be obtained.  Your comments are encouraged.

It is 11 PM, do you know where your analyst is?

AR teams should know the perception of analysts long before the curfew of a Magic Quadrant.  Getting blindsided by a presentation, or knowing you have been dropped from a short list is never fun.  There are many ways to determine current analyst perception – but one not to be overlooked is simple team collaboration.  This becomes especially true with larger AR teams, or those that are organizationally or geographically distributed.

Tracking your AR activities and the perceptions that analysts have about your company is not an individual effort, but requires teamwork.  Methods that promote easy sharing of Continue reading

SageCircle announces the Analyst Relations Wiki, a tool to help AR teams be more efficient and effective

icon-social-media-blue.jpg[May 20, 2008] Silicon Valley. SageCircle announces that the firm is launching a wiki (an on-line encyclopedia) covering topics of interest for the analyst relations (AR) professional. The goal of the SageCircle Analyst Relations Wiki is to make AR professionals more effective and efficient by making new and classic SageContentTM and SageToolsTM available in an easy-to-use form. SageCircle AR Wiki clients will be able to take advantage of the easy-to-use interface to access the content through a number of navigation techniques and download templates quickly.

SageCircle co-founder Dave Eckert is the editor of the SageCircle AR Wiki. Dave will be leading the effort to translate SageCircle’s AR industry leading repository of content into a searchable and hyperlinked resource. According to Dave “There is a huge library of AR best practices and tools that frankly is not available to AR professionals because it is locked into PDFs or as files that are hard to search. Much of the content is in the form of individual SageNotesTM that were never designed to be linked and clients find it frustrating to find all the content related to a topic. One of our big jobs with the SageCircle AR Wiki is to organize the content so that all related content can be read in a linear fashion like a book, accessed by a topical hierarchy, surfed using hyperlinks or just searched by specific words. Needless to say, the volume of intellectual property available makes this an interesting challenge.”

Discussing one of the options, an innovative approach to content navigation, Eckert explained Continue reading

Getting value out requires putting effort in – The ROI of an Analyst Relationship Management System [part three]

icon-tools.jpgThis is the third in a series of posts that will explore the resources required and the advantages gained in using a formal analyst relationship management (ARM) system.  In this post we review some best practices in using a system.  Other posts will explore metrics and look at the values that can be obtained.  Your comments are encouraged. 

Data entry needs

A good ARM will allow you to append interaction information to each analyst record.  This information can include personal entries about analyst perception, but most significantly it can be the corporate memory of analyst interactions.  By recording the date, type, and results of each interaction with each analyst you build a history that is available to the entire AR staff as well as new members. 

We have heard comments from AR managers who believe that data entry into any ARM takes too much effort and the value is not worth the work involved.*  This is a short sighted view for several reasons.

  • Generating metrics – SageCircle is a strong believer in metrics. If you don’t record your activities and Continue reading

Commercially available systems – The ROI of an Analyst Relationship Management System (part two)

icon-tools.jpgThis is the second in a series of posts that will explore the resources required and the advantages gained in using a formal analyst relationship management (ARM) system.  In this post we look at some of the commercially available products.  Upcoming posts will suggest some best practices in using a system, and look at the values that can be obtained.  Your comments are encouraged. 

Where is your ARM?

Analyst Relations programs can use systems that are built in-house or use commercially-available software either on-site or hosted.  Significant factors in making the decision are the available IT support resources and the methods and resources you use to maintain the database.  Some teams have also expressed concerns about data privacy with hosted applications, but these concerns are effectively addressed by commercial providers with state-of-the-art security features.

If you do elect to create and maintain the database internally you will need to plan AR resources for ongoing research and maintenance Typical AR teams do not have Continue reading

Definition and basic characteristics – The ROI of Analyst Relationship Management Systems (part one)

icon-tools.jpgThis is the first in a series of posts that will explore the resources required and the advantages gained in using a formal analyst relationship management (ARM) system.  In this post we will look at the characteristics of a good system.  In future posts we will review some of the commercially available products, suggest some best practices in using a system, and look at the values that can be obtained.  Your comments are encouraged. 

What is an ARM?

Sales and service organizations have long used customer relationship management (CRM) systems to provide customer service, track and promote sales, and maintain general customer records.  These can range across home-grown in-house systems, commercially-available software run by IT, and hosted solutions provided by outside firms.  The value of these systems is well documented.  Public Relations departments often track their work in PR-specific systems that fit into the same three categories.  Analyst Relations teams need to look to Continue reading

You need a strong ARM to help you lift your AR program

icon-tools.jpgManaging relationships with your IT Industry Analysts is not unlike salespeople managing their customer relationships. Therefore it is surprising that so many AR teams do not employ a CRM-style system tailored to analysts. An Analyst Relationship Manager (ARM) system can greatly improve group collaboration and efficiency while maintaining a corporate history of analyst interactions. A survey of AR teams can turn up processes that use spreadsheets, small databases, paper files, or modified sales contact systems. Record keeping and group collaboration may take the form of shared file spaces and extended email threads. These piecemeal attempts generally do not Continue reading

Tekrati – a go-to source for news and information about the analysts

logo-tekrati.gifLast week Dave Eckert and I sat down with Barbara French for lunch at Buck’s, the renowned hangout of VCs and digerati. It’s always a pleasure to chat with someone knowledgeable and opinionated about the IT analyst industry and analyst relations. The conversation ranged from industry gossip to AR best practices to the small but dynamic AR services market and ideas how to get a more active on-line community going.
 
Barbara is the founder and executive editor of Tekrati: The Industry Analyst Reporter, the leading analyst industry news site. Tekrati is an incredibly rich source of information about the analysts including: Continue reading

Newbie’s Guide to Twitter

logo-twitter.pngTip o’ hat to Forrester analyst and prolific blogger Jeremiah Owyang for the tip about The Newbie’s Guide to Twitter. Of course, he tweeted it and because I follow him I saw it.
 
If you have not checked into microblogging yet, playing with Twitter is not a bad idea.  I’m starting to use it as a research tool and it has been interesting so far. You can join for free and find folks to follow in the Analyst Twitter Directory and the AR Twitter Directory (both in the “Pages” section of the left navigation menu).

If you “follow” me, I will do the same with you.

A nifty free utility for capturing bits and pieces of content from the web

graphic-hp-smart-web-print-utility.jpgThe free HP utility Smart Web Print gets a thumbs up from The Mossberg Solution by way of the Wall Street Journal. From the article:  
 
“Some people try to organize Web research by opening Microsoft Word documents alongside their browsers. They copy and paste data from sites into the documents, but this is usually a messy process that traps users into wasting time fixing formats and deleting ads. Others press Print whenever a helpful site appears, resulting in wasted paper and ink. Savvier users create folders within their Web browsers that hold multiple URLs about a research topic, but these data can’t easily be shared or printed for use away from the PC.
 
There’s a better way… Continue reading

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