There's been some great discussion on the idea of taking the keys from the big analyst houses who hold their research tight (and charge on both ends) . With good reason, traditional analyst offerings are another of the old-school approaches that have been made vulnerable by the Web.
As more independent new media pros and smallcos are doing the jobs that used to take place INSIDE the enterprise, we find ourselves wishing for some of the tools we had access to while inside the firewalls of the borg. It's really tough for us indies to get to the data we need, especially at the thousand-plus dollar hit we're expected to pay to download a research paper we might use a few times.
I've had some emails from folks asking, aren't we free to use what's already out there from firms like Gartner, Forrester, IDC, etc.? First of all, they don't release the most current, relevant stuff--it's not in keeping their business model because they charge a premium for the most current/relevant findings.
I learned from my old dealings that you're not allowed to cite anything unless you get permission. What I remember the case to be in the 1990s was that you could only cite research of a firm like Gartner if you were a client. Of course we'd get our hands on reports--always with the caveat, "we're not supposed to have this. don't leave it on a bus."
FROM IDC: (Hint: if you've ever used an IDC stat in your powerpoint without getting written permission, you're a violator)
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I would love to be involved in bringing a wikipedia-like analyst unfirm site -- what David Weinberger called an "Open Source Gartner" --onto the net, not because of the long-standing debate over analyst integrity, but because it's a natural evolution of what I need to do my job in a new way.
I AM suggesting that the big analyst business model is all wrong for the net, and that their client base -- or their NEEDS base, we who need the information -- is changing. More and more of us are OUT HERE. And when you add us up, someone among us will have some part of the information that, all combined, equals everything the analysts have and more.
David also notes that Information Week's cover story is on the integrity of big analyst cos -- I'm off to go read that now. But again, I'm not suggesting the undoing of the analyst firms--I'd rather see them make some moves to change their business models in such a way that allows them to more freely share the vast stockpile of information they house.
In the mean time, let's at least start getting what we can together in a centralized, accessible, updatable, collaborative place... No?
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