How Do Software Research Analysts Come to Their Conclusions?
Software research analysts perform rigorous research in order to reach their conclusions.
First, they establish their objectives — usually by asking themselves a series of questions that will become the basis of their research and, ultimately, the criteria they use to come to their conclusions. From there, they begin drafting formal and informal surveys to share with users, academics, other researchers, investors, and business leaders. They then use the data they’ve collected from all of their various sources to determine trends, patterns, strengths, weaknesses, and potential for each platform in a given space and/or vertical.
Here are just a few of the ways analysts might conduct their research:
- Distributing surveys
- Vendor showcases
- Product demos
- Internal peer discussions
- Reviewing public research materials
- Speaking with vendors directly
- Interviewing vendor customers
- Networking with industry investors
As they go about researching each vendor, analysts also spend a lot of time speaking with applicant organizations to gain insight into:
- Where their platforms excel
- Where they are going to market in the foreseeable future
- Where they are innovating
- Where they think the industry is heading
These conversations can last several hours and often take place over the course of several months.
Now, armed with their initial conclusions, these analysts release their analysis to a larger community of analysts who can further examine and debate these findings from different perspectives — for best results, anonymously.
Analysts then take all of this information into account as they attempt to validate their findings by comparing them with related internal and external research on the same topic. As they go through this process, they often engage in an informed debate of their findings with their peers to come to their final conclusions.
Depending on the industry and software type they do this for dozens of platforms and then bundle their review in an annual report that can either be purchased by consumers or made available to the public. In either case, all vendor promotions and messaging are usually heavily regulated, and most (if not all) marketing materials must be approved by the research group before it can be released.