Tuesday, December 06, 2005

New research portal opens up with IT Analysis re-launch

IT Analysis was re-launched last week by its owners (who also own Bloor Research).

Its been completely re-vamped and re-positioned as an independent portal intended to provide a single source of IT research and analysis for technology purchasers.

Visit the IT Analysis site and - the plan goes - you will find a wide range of research reports which hopefully will meet your needs. There will be no need to go anywhere else - and it will be far easier to find relevant information than using Google.

From what Justin Speake says, it’s clear that this launch is about putting a stake in the ground. Now the site's live, the focus is on development. The intention during the next six to 12 months is to add additional material and broaden the number of content providers. There's also a lot more that IT Analysis is planning in order to develop a community around the site which, if it works, will help drive usage and ensure user-loyalty.

Analyst firms signed up so far are Bloor Research, Evalubase, Hewson Group, Hurwitz, IE4C, Luenendonk, Macehiter Ward Dutton, Metra Martech, Quocirca, Sageza and TechConsult. In addition, there's also content there from market research firms and other partners (eg a law firm).

It's a great idea and I hope it can be made to work. Making it easier for technology buyers to find high-quality, independent analysis and research has to help them. Especially when much of it's free.

Vendors also win because it's another channel through which they can get their sponsored research out to buyers.

And AR people like me win because it helps us demonstrate more easily that the smaller analysts have an influence on the end-user.

But does it work? Well, yes and no. I am working on something at the moment and was struggling to find relevant information using Google (I'm sure it was there but buried away beneath a thousand other results). On IT Analysis, I immediately found one article that was completely relevant and very helpful. I did other searches and the quality of the results varied considerably. Some were good, some okay, others poor.

I think the biggest problem today is that there's still not enough content there (although it's getting better every day - and getting more research on the site is a core focus of the company over the coming months). What's more, too much of the content is dated. Rather than including research going back to 1999, why not draw a line and say anything more than two years old is dropped (or only available if you chose to do an 'archived search', similar to Gartner's approach)?

It would also be nice to see more analyst firms present, something else which IT Analysis will be working on over the next year. Getting one of the big companies (Ovum perhaps?) to sign-up would give the site the international brand name it's lacking at the moment.

And though the IT Analysis management team seem to genuinely realise how important it is to be analyst-firm agnostic (they go to great lengths to stress the site's independence), it does still appear dominated by Bloor content. Again, this is something that should be resolved as more content is posted and more analyst firms sign-up. (Pulling in Clive Longbottom of Quocirca to write a blog is a real coup though – all credit to the team).

Will it succeed? As I said earlier, I hope so. I'd say the key is critical mass. If there's not enough up-to-date content present, then people won't use the site.

That content also has to be relevant. One of the elements that I initially found more concerning was IT Analysis' intention to let press releases be posted. However I’ve been re-assured that there will be a separate search option for press releases so they don’t affect the core research material.

(The reason for my concern? Unfortunately there are still too many “low quality” PR agencies out there that are unlikely to respect the site's intentions and will simply perceive it as another way of claiming coverage for their clients – regardless of the relevance of their press release. Having a huge number of press releases on the site could drown out the real content - and then the value would disappear).

Duncan has also posted on this and makes some interesting observations.

1 comment:

Muard said...

This is intersting to sound.........but its really happening that google ,the major search engine gathers the information of it not it actually all science research terms showed the news ,magazine sites first in their search result..but it should more logical..........that the research instution should show first....I have an website named http://www.4engr.com....I have always collecting data for thsi site from most of university & I have really puzzled sometimes that it really tough to get the information about the actual researchers....however thanks for this post