The Analysts are not “Nattering Nabobs of Negativism”

One of the myths about the analysts that we talk about in the AR Effectiveness Seminar and other venues is “Myth #5: Analysts slam vendors – and enjoy it.” While a popular myth, it is not supported by the facts.

One of my biggest budget items when I was the AR director at a major vendor was tracking analyst opinion, including tagging research for tone and opinion. In reviewing sentiment data attached to analyst quotes/research with the firm we out-tasked research analytics to (Analyst Strategy Group, ASG), we discovered that analysts are not the “nattering nabobs of negativism” many executives accuse them of being.  In fact, analysts are closer to “nattering nabobs of neutrality,” based on the finding that approximately 60% of the analyst quotes/research reports and press quotes are neutral, while 35% are positive and only 5% are negative.

Makes you wonder why IT managers pay analysts the big bucks if they are not getting hard hitting advice with definite opinions.  Of course, written word is only a small part of the analyst influence and spoken word audits may show different results.

SageCircle Technique:

  • Track positive/neutral/negative opinions, not just mentions
  • Analyze data to learn analysts’ ‘real’ views
  • Focus efforts on key analysts with greatest impact-those with positive or negative opinions
  • Consider these written word audits as only part of your overall analyst measurement

Bottom Line: Contrary to common perception, the IT industry analysts are not overly focused on the negative.  In fact, “neutral” is the most common sentiment assigned to analyst quotes and research.

Question: How do you monitor analyst opinion? Do you engage a third party to help with the task? Do you tag tonality or merely count mentions?