Phil Fersht, who previously admitted on his blog to spiriting away concierge level booze from hotels -- go, Phil, go! -- raises a most insightful point in a comment from last week when he notes the potential danger in research that inevitably comes up with the same conclusion: buy more. Perhaps even more insightful, he suggests the new Aberdeen model might be more insidious that the old. To wit, "Everyone knows a white paper sponsored by a single vendor is blatant marketing and gives it little mindshare, but when the research is disguised as an 'industry report' and only focuses on hyping up a space, then the research firm is making some potentially dangerous statements. They have to be balanced and focus on the challenges and issues of an industry / technology, and not just the upside."
Now, I've read some Aberdeen reports which are balanced. But we should all be on the lookout for those who would take a hypothesis and then seek or analyze data to prove it out (especially when dollars are at stake -- e.g., no vendors are going to sponsor a report that is overly cautious about buying technology). I'm not saying Aberdeen is doing this, but it's something to consider next time you think about citing Aberdeen data. Perhaps the best solution to this would be for Aberdeen to include a dynamic comments section to each report -- like a blog comments feature -- that would allow for readers to chime in with their own fact-based perspectives.
- Jason Busch