IIAR> Best Practice Primer: Who are industry analysts and what do they do?

IIAR Best Practice Paper: who are the analysts and what do they do?

Both seasoned analysts and AR professionals love a debate – no doubt that’s why they work in this industry! Conversations about the nature of influence, analysts versus bloggers, the role of analysts in buying decisions, whether independent analysts can truly ever be independent will no doubt run and run. They can make it hard for newcomers however, who could be forgiven for wondering what the fuss is all about.

With this in mind, the IIAR is releasing a primer on the analyst industry. It is deliberately, unapologetically designed for those with no previous experience of working with analysts – while it does touch on such debates, it leaves any cans of worms tightly closed. Rather, it covers:

• The kinds of work analysts might be involved in across the working day.
• A definition of analysts, differentiating them from financial analysts and market researchers.
• An overview of firms, types, products and services across the market as a whole.
• Services offered by different kinds of analyst firms, be they “buy side” or “sell side”.

The IIAR> proposes the following definition of an industry analyst:

An information and communications technology (ICT) industry analyst is a person, working individually or within a firm, whose business model incorporates creating and publishing research about, and advising on how, why and where ICT-related products and services can be procured, deployed and used.

IIAR> Primer:Who are industry analysts and what do they do? by Caroline Dennington (@CDennington,Linkedin) and Ludovic Leforestier (@lludovic, LinkedIn), August 2013

The main question the paper aims to answer is why analysts exist at all – after all, no other industry has them in such numbers. To give away the punchline, the paper draws the conclusion that they bring necessary clarity to the still-nascent sector we call the Information and Communications Technology. If you are new to Analyst Relations or the industry and would like to learn more about it, or if you want an overview to help explain the analyst industry to others, this paper is for you.


  • IIAR members will find this paper on our Member365 extranet here.
  • This paper is also available for the general public from this site or Academia.


See also the other IIAR Best Practices Papers here.


5 Responses to IIAR> Best Practice Primer: Who are industry analysts and what do they do?

  1. Duncan Chapple (@DuncanChapple) Wednesday 4th September 2013 at 18:12 #

    I was interested to see that the Mystical Box in this paper cites 33 research companies, but only 6 of the 16 analyst firms with the most analysts outside the US and UK. These firms, like ISG, PAC and CCID are serious influencers. It says a lot about the biases of AR managers that so many people still leave them off the map.

  2. Ludovic Leforestier Wednesday 19th February 2014 at 15:57 #

    See here for an other interesting blog on the same topic > http://www.thebigpic.net/2011/05/what-industry-analysts-do/


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