The IIAR Tragic Quadrant 2018

Fashionably late but always on point and by popular request here’s the IIAR Tragic Quadrant 2018, a representation of how Analyst Relations Professionals (AR Pros) have rated analyst firms in the 2018 survey we ran for the Analyst and Firm of the Year 2018.

IIAR Tragic Quadrant 2018 v02 with 451 Research, ESG, Everest Group, Forrester, Gartner, HfS Research, IDC, Kuppinger Cole & Partner, NelsonHall, Ovum, EJL Wireless, Lopez Research, Mobile Experts, Novarica, TECHnalysis
IIAR Tragic Quadrant 2018 v03

For new readers here, the Tragic Quadrant is of course a pun on the infamous GartnerMagic Quadrant’. We do not pretend this as an exhaustive analysis -nor is it a completely serious piece of research (the “Tragic” moniker is there as a reminiscence it should be taken with a pinch of salt). Nonetheless it is based on data and, as opposed to the Gartner Magic Quadrant, there are no magical and secretive weightings. As such, it is a good indication going back several years of the changes afoot in the industry analyst landscape and the judgement analyst relations professionals cast on industry research firms. And it provides actionable insights AR pros can use, something other surveys in this field often lack.

The ‘AOTY‘ survey allowed us to collect data on AR pros’ preferred industry analysis firms, which we group in three composite indicators:

  • Impact as plotted on the Y axis is a relative position of firms based on how AR pros view their ‘Impact’ on purchase decision and moreover on the ecosystem at large. This also relates to their perceived credibility and capability to provide an objective opinion.
  • Relevance on the X axis is the relative position of analyst firms as seen by AR for relevance in their own ecosystems, including capability to cover the market, technologies and geography. It also covers the depth of expertise of analysts.
  • Interaction is the size each bubble, translating how it is easy to do business with each firm according to AR pros. The smaller the bubble, the harder it is to work with the firm. This is also a relative rating.

Without further ado, here is the 2018 IIAR Tragic Quadrant, presenting some big surprises this year as you can see from below.

IIAR Tragic Quadrant 2018 v02 with 451 Research, ESG, Everest Group, Forrester, Gartner, HfS Research, IDC, Kuppinger Cole & Partner, NelsonHall, Ovum, EJL Wireless, Lopez Research, Mobile Experts, Novarica, TECHnalysis
IIAR Tragic Quadrant 2018 v03

My comments on these results… but your guess is as good as mine.

On relevance (horizontal axis), it seems it pays for firms to be specialised or focussed on a specific expertise area accorded to AR pros, something that should be put in perspective by the fact those very specialised firms attracted less nominations. The larger firms are relevant by virtues of coverage and space, Forrester being on the left of Gartner having de-focussed from IT is probably the counter example.

Impact presents a more curious picture, with 451 clearly also benefiting from having a laser-focus on its enterprise audience for instance.

The most revealing dimension is the ease to do business with, where AR pros rate the leading industry analysis firm, Gartner, much lower for ease to do business with. We’re seeing a net regression there this year, maybe as Gartner is its increased domination on the market to impose rigid practices and T&C’s? Everest is perplexing as their size should make them more amenable. We would caution firms to watch this indicator as we said last year:

Analyst firms might also use this tool to monitor the ‘transactional tax’ that they impose on analyst relations professionals. If they raise the ‘interaction barrier’ too high (e.g. make it too difficult for analyst relations professionals to interact with them) while not providing sufficient coverage and showing impact, this could affect their vendor information source. They may be left with only a partial view of the market (raising exhaustivity and fairness issues). Finally, their vendor revenues might suffer too.

Neil Pollock, The IIAR Tragic Quadrant for 2017

Also worthy of a mention, is besides the ‘historic’ firms 451 Research, ESG, Everest Group, Forrester, Gartner, HfS Research, IDC, Kuppinger Cole & Partner, NelsonHall, Ovum and the well publicised ZK Research, we find relatively new firms:

Bottom line

Analyst relations professionals should watch closely the ecosystem and balance their efforts towards firms that are relevant in their space, have more impact on the goals they pursue (see the AR SOSM model) and arbitrage budgets to deliver better value for money, avoid friction and un-necessary ‘transactional taxes.’

By Ludovic Leforestier (LinkedIn@lludovic).

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2 Responses to The IIAR Tragic Quadrant 2018

  1. Stephen England Friday 11th October 2019 at 21:22 #

    In a world where Gartner gets roughly 85 cents out of every dollar spent globally on advice about what to do, who to do it with and what to pay for it – this chart completely confounds me.

    With up to 10X as many end user clients as their nearest rival by some estimates, how is this chart even vaguely logical?

    AR’s job is to leverage analyst’s influence to SELL MORE. This chart does not help in doing that at all.

    If it were a “pay to play” chart of some kind… maybe – but that is NOT the game.

    Can someone explain to me who voted in this cuts to generate these numbers?

  2. Ludovic Leforestier Monday 14th October 2019 at 22:48 #

    Thanks for your comment Stephen.

    The findings are somewhat surprising, I guess they’re the AR pros view on a desired state rather than reality?

    On your point about AR’s job, it’s a very narrow view, one that’s not very strategic IMHO. Check this paper > https://analystrelations.org/2013/05/10/iiar-best-practice-webinar-the-ar-compass/

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