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Who are industry analysts and what do they do?

analyst firms wordcloud

Industry analysts are top influencers, consistently ranked in the top 3 for B2B technology solutions and services, throughout the decision making process.

  • The 2020 IDG Decision Makers Study found that 48% of tech buyers made purchasing decisions based mainly on analyst opinions, and Analyst firms were the most important sources in the evaluation and selection phases of the decision making process.
  • Analyst content is the most important content consumed during the buying process – more so than vendor presentations, media or input from peers
  • They are thought leaders, creating and establishing new solution categories and with a following that extends way beyond their subscribers
  • Some are also strategic visionaries that can provide future vision, roadmaps, ref architectures to senior end-users for longer term planning 
  • They also influence buyers directly by prescribing approaches and recommending vendors for consideration 

The IIAR> defines an industry analyst as:

An information and communications technology (ICT) industry analyst is a person, working individually or within a firm analysing and publishing research and/or opinions, forecasts, market sizing, on ICT products and services trends, adoption, market-fit, procurement, deployment and/or advising independently technology buyers and vendors and/or providing go-to-market services.

See the IIAR> Best Primer: Who are industry analysts and what do by Caroline Dennington (@CDennington, Linkedin) and Ludovic Leforestier (@lludovic, LinkedIn), August 2013, updated May 2021.

Analysts benefit from a unique vantage point as they speak to all market players, on both the buy side (technology and services users) and the sell side (ICT solutions and services vendors), which in turn makes them invaluable sources of insights for vendors. 

  • They routinely give advice on M&A on the vendor side and are part of due diligence for the technology users side. 
  • They inform product engineering and marketing on roadmaps and positioning 
  • Analysts provide guidance to communications on messaging and have the ear of vendor C-suites as they provide invaluable market insights and unfiltered feedback.
  • Influence the company/brand perception to a wider audience via many routes including social media

Example of industry analyst firms include:

See also the list of firms and analysts awarded the IIAR> Analyst and Firm Of The Year.