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FreePint BlogGigaOM: A new technology research model?

Wednesday, 10th August 2011 Please login top-right to be able to star items

By Heidi Longaberger

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GigaOM Pro tags itself as a “simplified solution to market research”. I call it a welcome relief to market research.  This is not because technology research is lacking in quality or depth, plus analysts report that it a $36 billion market (http://digbig.com/5bemwt). However these services are often geared towards the multi-user company, making them out of reach for many.

It is ironic that while tech research is all about cutting edge solutions and innovation, so many entrepreneurs and innovators are locked out of actually accessing the data. GigaOM may be turning that traditional business model on its head.

The foundation of GigaOM Pro is its 100-strong analyst network, many of whom work for other firms or as independents. This format addresses the big issues of bias and objectivity that plague market research firms. Since many of the analysts aren’t fully tied to GigaOM, an atmosphere of individual viewpoint and interaction is encouraged.  The analysts provide reports on infrastructure, social media, mobile, green tech and the connected consumer.

So get this: a subscription to GigaOM Pro is, gulp, $199 per year. GigaOM warns that this is for a limited time as they ramp up the service, and indeed they have received a nice injection of capital to do just that (http://digbig.com/5bemww).

This all leads to a larger issue: technology market research has perhaps been affected like no other by the rapidly evolving environment on which it reports. Forecasts are now outdated by next quarter and analysis can be stale in a matter of weeks. Combine that with the changes in the way people give and receive information, and changes in the roles of knowledge workers, and you have some business models stretching to keep up.

I’m seeing some creative change in the tech market research industry. Some are concentrating on longer term trends so they don’t have to compete with real-time data. There is an increase in partnering and acquisitions to fill quickly forming service gaps. Access to analysts, still a premium revenue stream, is changing with the proliferation of blogs and social media. Expert communities are now a part of service line-ups.

It remains to be seen how this will fall out, if at all. Like the rest of us, technology market research may simply continue to roll with the changes and adapt as required.


 

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Heidi Longaberger is currently Research and Information Manager for NorTech, a technology-based economic development organisation with a focus on Northeast Ohio. Heidi gets to provide innovative advanced energy and flexible electronics companies with market intelligence and analysis, while providing input on NorTech's strategic initiatives. She is also developing an information and knowledge management strategy for NorTech, and gets the opportunity to write about economic development issues for the region. Heidi's background in information and research includes extensive work in the telecommunications and venture capital industries. Heidi can be reached at Heidi@Longabergerinfo.com.

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