• Recent Posts: Influencer Relations

    Why KCG’s analyst relations awards beat the IIAR’s

    Why KCG’s analyst relations awards beat the IIAR’s

    We used 18,777 data points from the Analyst Attitude Survey to compare the two leading awards for analyst relations teams. Although we found that KCG‘s awards are more useful than the IIAR‘s, both primarily reflect corporate performance rather than that of the AR teams. As a result, there’s very little that AR teams can do better or worse in these […]

    Netscout continues unwise Gartner suit

    Netscout continues unwise Gartner suit

    Netscout and Gartner have scheduled their trial for next July. The case stands little chance of improving Netscout’s value. It does, however, risk harming the reputation of both analyst firms and analyst relations professionals. Over the last weeks, pressure has mounted on Netscout’s lawyers. Netscout claims Gartner’s Magic Quadrant harmed its enterprise sales and that the truth of Gartner’s statements […]

    Is this how the Quadrant lost its Magic?

    Is this how the Quadrant lost its Magic?

    Gartner’s Magic Quadrant is the most influential non-financial business research document. In the late 1980s, it was a quick and dirty stalking horse to provoke discussions. Today it is an extensive and yet highly limited process, based on the quantification of opinions which are highly qualitative. The early evolution of the MQ tells us a lot about the challenge of industry […]

    Saying farewell to David Bradshaw

    Saying farewell to David Bradshaw

    A funeral and celebration for David Bradshaw (shown left in this 2000 Ovum awayday photo, arm raised, with me and other colleagues) is to take place at West Norwood Crematorium, London SE27 at 2.45pm on Tuesday 23rd August and after at the Amba Hotel above London’s Charing Cross Station, on the Strand. David considered that that Ovum in that incarnation was […]

    David Bradshaw 1953-2016

    David Bradshaw 1953-2016

    David Bradshaw, one of the colleagues I worked with during my time as an analyst at Ovum, died on August 11. He led Cloud research in Europe for IDC, whose statement is below. David played a unique role at Ovum, bridging its telecoms and IT groups in the late 1990s by looking at computer-telecoms integration areas like CRM, which I […]

How does one become an analyst? [AR Practitioner Question]

question-mark-graphic.jpgAt a recent client meeting we got an interesting question: How does a person become an analyst? Is there certification? A test?

At this time the requirements for becoming an analyst consist of ownership of a laptop, cell phone, business card and an opinion. A website and / or blog are nice, but not required. There are no educational requirements, no state certifications, no tests to pass, no professional licenses to acquire, no World of Warcraft guilds to join, or secret handshakes to learn. Direct experience as a vendor or end user is not a requirement either as firms hire people straight out of collage and even outside of the tech industry as well.

Obviously, an individual has to be smart and insightful to be successful as an analyst. But to become an analyst one only has to be hired by a firm or hang out one’s own shingle.

While this statement produces chuckles and rolling of eyes in AR training or meetings with clients, there is both a serious issue and a real opportunity for AR teams in this reality. The issue is the amount and type of education – with deep and broad context as well – that an AR team has to provide new analysts who do not have direct experience in the markets they are covering. The opportunity is that vendors that invest appropriate effort into helping new analysts become well educated about a market reap the benefits of relationship building and therefore analysts that potentially buy into the vendor’s perspective.

SageCircle Technique

  • Consider an analyst’s official bio as only the starting point for understanding their experience
  • Reach out to new analysts via inquiry to learn more about their background and direct experience
  • Suggest – diplomatically – to new analysts with little direct experience that your company would be very happy to provide extensively background briefings on the market as well as your company

Bottom Line: Not all analysts start off knowledgeable and experienced in the markets they cover. AR teams that quickly identify new analysts with minimal industry experience can position their companies well with these analysts by proactively investing in the analyst’s education.

Question: Have you ever been surprised by how little a new analyst knows about your market? Were you further surprised by the analyst’s lack of direct experience?

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