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The Role of an Analyst Firm

by John Moore | May 17, 2012

The 2012 HIE Report was released last week and sales have been brisk – thank you. But in spite of those brisk sales and even during the process of creating that seminal report on the Health Information Exchange market, there are times when it seems that a significant proportion of the market does not understand the role of an analyst firm.

For example, prior to publishing the report, we allowed vendors to review their profile for fact checking. They could also refute some of our findings but we were under no obligation to comply. One vendor profiled in the HIE Market Report tried to have us completely change their profile write-up (actually they rewrote their profile for us and submitted it). Their write-up was an abomination – it sounded more like something in a conference brochure under list of sponsors than an objective review. Needless to say we rejected their request outright and threatened to throw them out of the report altogether. They quickly complied to our original request. Then there was another vendor who after purchasing the report, could not believe that we did not accept all the changes they asked for and demanded that we “correct” their profile. We politely declined.

The reminders below hope to set the record straight.

An analyst firm strives to provide an objective, informed analysis of the market(s) it studies.
We are not a Public Relations firm, we are not a magazine or trade journal. We are a research firm that conducts in-depth research to determine how a market will develop, how well vendors within a given market are serving current and future market needs and what may be some challenges as well as successes in the adoption of a given technology and best practices for adoption. We strive not to play favorites with Any Stakeholders in a given market, be they users of technology, providers of such or even regulators/government agencies. To us, all are fair game for fame and shame.

So vendors, when we do a report such as the recent HIE Market Report and we ask you to fact check your profile for factual accuracy, please try to keep your comments limited to such. And when you do believe it necessary to refute one of our findings, rest assured, we will take it under advisement but we are under no obligation to agree with you.

An analyst firm is a business- this is what we do for a living.
We are like any other business, we work hard and for that hard work, we expect and receive compensation. So why is it that some organizations approach us thinking that we’ll just give them a report for free? Seriously folks, do you have any idea what kind of work goes into producing a 100+ page report such as the HIE report? That report took months of work, countless interviews, a lot of hard thinking. One could liken it to doing a graduate level thesis – many have said as much. So it is insulting when an organization comes to us, typically with far, far greater resources than this small analyst firm, and asks for a free copy. You put me in a bad mood when you do that and that is not a good thing.

Then there are those that we may interview as part of the primary research stage of a report who come back and say: Aren’t we going to get a free copy – to which we typically answer; No.

Trust me, we really really do appreciate your input during the interview or your response to our questionnaire. Your thoughts and experiences are invaluable to us. In turn, hopefully over the course of the interview we were able to provide you with some valuable feedback that we may have picked up from interviews previous to yours – in a sense, that is our payment back to you. But please remember, that interview we had took maybe 30-45 minutes out of your day. For a report we will interview many more just like you, we’ll also do a significant amount of secondary research and then digest it all and ultimately produce a cogent report. For a small report, we’ll invest 100 or more hours of hard work by highly skilled, extremely talented analysts. As mentioned before, a large report is many times that amount. So please, if you want us to succeed, help us to stay afloat and allow us to make a living at this by ponying up the modest fees we charge for what are some of the best research reports being produced for this market.

In closing, just want all to know that we here at Chilmark Research are extremely passionate about wanting to help the healthcare industry move forward by successfully adopting and using healthcare IT. Every one of us believes that there is a huge untapped potential to truly improve the quality of care delivered through the effective use of IT. It is our hope that through our published research reports, subscription, and consulting services, we will provide objective analysis of what is a very critical market for the health of our nation and others.

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“As biometric data becomes cheaper and easier to collect through smart sensors, devices, and mobile apps, expect to see more innovations in consumer health.”

-Alicia Vergaras