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So, how much money did the US Federal Government spend with analysts firms?

Well, it was a pretty fair amount.   And the lion’s share went to Gartner of course. Gartner got at least $121,000,000 in the last four years. See below for a table of spending by firm.

logo-usa-spending-gov The information came from www.USAspending.gov, which is an interesting resource for market research.  BTW, the numbers below should be considered the minimum amount the firms received in US Federal contracts because not all agencies are required to provide data. In addition, there are a few major agencies that have not submitted their 2008 numbers yet so the contract numbers could go up for all the firms in 2008. Also, there might be purchases (e.g., tickets to analyst conferences bought with credit cards and expensed) that are not associated with the firm’s DUN number. Besides the summary numbers we list below, you can also drill down to determine spending by agency and some contract details.

This is not just a fun exercise in trivia. The amount of contracts a firm has with a client can be used as an indicator for the amount of influence with that client. Using the 2007 contract amount and assuming the GAO drives a hard bargain so each Advisory seat costs $11k, Gartner could have approximately 2,700 IT manager clients inside the Federal government it is advising on technology purchasing issues. As a consequence, Gartner could be influencing tens of billions in IT spending because it has the ear of thousands of decision makers.

SageCircle Technique

  • AR professionals at companies that target the US Federal Government should incorporate this data into analyst list management
  • AR can conduct inquiries with analysts to ask about the volume and nature of inquiries they conduct with relevant Federal agencies
  • AR should communicate insights about relevant analyst Federal contracts to their sales colleagues and how to utilize these insights

Bottom Line: AR managers whose companies sell to the US Federal Government should use data from www.USAspending.gov as a data point for their analyst list ranking methodologies. Of course, analyst firms can influence the US Federal spending in ways not related to client status. However, contract status is an easily acquired, hard number that can provide valuable insights.

Gartner

  • 2008 – $23,558,453
  • 2007 – $30,680,378
  • 2006 – $34,544,716
  • 2005 – $32,267,738

Forrester

  • 2008 – $1,406,028
  • 2007 – $1,463,435
  • 2006 – $1,247,101
  • 2005 – $1,605,754

Burton Group

  • 2008 – $793,372
  • 2007 – $561,472
  • 2006 – $702,468
  • 2005 – $577,554

IDC

  • 2008 – $197,575
  • 2007 – $124,850
  • 2006 – $  96,000
  • 2005 – $187,990

Here is a random sample of other firms, all of which received zero dollars in federal contracts: Aberdeen, AMR Research, Redmonk, Yankee Group

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4 Responses

  1. Very useful infomation. Wonder what % this represents of the overall analyst market? Think you might have dropped a “zero” in your original number in first para.

  2. Hi Bob, Thanks for the comment.

    Relatively tiny. the 2008 aggregate purchases represpent about 2.4% of Gartner’s revenues. When you start getting into individual agencies then the percentages drop even lower.

    Not that 2.4% is anything to sneeze about.

  3. great insight. Is there any breakdown between syndicated research and consulting purchases?

  4. Great stuff, and very helpful with a current client I am dealing with.

    Not to nit pick because the bigger point still holds, but I get a bit different figures when I look up each analyst. For example, for Gartner last year I get nearly $9M higher ($32,047,517). Not sure why the discrepancy.

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