Pseudo-scientists, stat whores and one trick ponies

Pseudo-scientists, stat whores and one trick ponies

Posted by Pete Loughlin in Insights 07 Aug 2011

In a piece on communication from a few months ago – you can read it here – I explained why I believe that management consultancy speak it is a substitute for plain speaking. And it’s not just management consultants – analyst are much the same. To quote directly from a quiet brilliant article by Dennis Howlett:

“If you’ve seen them you’ll know what I mean: pseudo-scientists, stat whores, one trick ponies, buzzword bingo compliant at every turn with a phraseology that reads like someone trying to get their head as far up the corporate rear end as is conceivably possible. It’s not pretty but you know what? Some vendors love it. It is not sustainable because sooner or later the really smart people knock them down and trust evaporates from those who play that silly game.”

Purchasing Insight logoI couldn’t put it better myself.

Dennis goes on to describe the evolving nature of the industry analyst making reference to another superb article on the subject by Phil Fersht, CEO of Horses for Sources. Phil provides some great insights about the analyst industry, 3 in particular:

  • There’s too much “research” being produced that’s not telling us anything new
  • Too many analysts are following the hype and avoiding reality
  • Buyers don’t read research these days.

This is so true. The reality is that buyers, especially senior, seasoned buyers and decision makers have rumbled the analysts. It’s not just the use of convoluted jargon – (just google your choice of analyst firm and the word “trends” and you’ll get loads of stuff like this: empowered technologies, process-centric data and intelligence, agile and fit-to-purpose applications, and smart technology management – you couldn’t invent better) – it’s the fact that many analyst’s reports have one important ingredient missing – analysis!

Regurgitating the vendors’ pitch is not insightful, it’s not helpful and buyers know it. Instead, C level decision makers are increasingly turning to what Jason Busch refers to as the analyst 2.0 – the analyst that is also the expert. And it’s a trend that we think is going to continue.

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