Berlind: IT Research Desperately Needs More Transparency

    March 8, 2005

David Berlind takes the IT research industry to task in his latest post on the Media Transparency Channel …

So, I think we’re in agreement that the media needs some transparency. And based on what I see being written elsewhere, some PR transparency appears to be on order as well. So, what about research? In our industry — the tech industry — if there’s a part the business that desperately needs more transparency, it’s the research part.

David shares some insight/examples of how research studies and reports can be misleading. He also questions why some of the biggest and most authoritative firms (cough, Gartner) fail to divulge their client portfolios and more important, potential conflicts of interest. The investment industry does this (albeit it was forced to), why can’t/don’t big research firms do the same?

Research transparency is definitely a discussion that needs to be had. For example, when presenting scoreboard like research like Gartner’s Magic Quandrants, shouldn’t the charts say which of the companies listed in the chart are also Gartner clients? Or how about when the press gets pitched on “new, earthshattering” results as a proofpoint of some vendor’s readership?

Update: Andy Lark and Elizabeth Albrycht chime in on the situation.

Mike Manuel is the founder of the award winning Media Guerrilla blog. Media Guerrilla is an insiders take on the practice of technology public relations with a focus on the issues, tactics and trends that are specific to the tech industry.

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