Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Proprietary research firms are an excellent source of information

Proprietary market research firms like The Yankee Group, Infonetics, and Forrester Research study various industries and technologies. They typically make money by holding specialized conferences and selling reports and consulting services to companies that are in or depend upon those industries and technologies. For example, a report on the future of WiFi would be of interest to both WiFi chip manufacturers and to computer companies that will be using those chips in their products.

Market research firms hire highly qualified analysts and sell the results of their research to many interested companies, enabling them to share the cost of the research. That is good news -- it makes business more efficient. The bad news is that the research reports are too expensive to be used in education.

But, since the market research firms want publicity, they provide some very useful information for free. They publish press releases and executive summaries of their reports as well as blogs and webinars.

Take The Yankee Group for example. They bill themselves as "The Global Connectivity Experts," making their research relevant to our class. Twenty six Yankee Group analysts write blogs with posts in 30 categories. You can read press releases on and summaries of their research here. Yankee Group analysts also present webinars on their research. One can register to watch these online presentations as they occur or download them afterward.

Which of the Yankee Group bloggers or topic categories is most relevant to our class? Which of the previous webinars seems most relevant?