On useless market analysis

One of the things that I have started noticing lately is how useless certain market analyst reports are. The most recent ones are the Gartner and IDC PC sales reports. They are different yet both seem to have copied the exact same ridiculous template for the tables. Here’s a though to both, if your Others category is a larger percentage than the largest manufacturer in the market … YOU HAVE SCREWED THE POOCH! It goes even further though. Even when the Others category is not that large it is still the 3rd largest one and that is just wrong.  Yes it is much easier to collect numbers from 5 manufacturers and use an estimate for the rest but it makes for a very low quality report. I couldn’t care less about the numbers however, reports are supposed to present collected performance data and analysis of things such as risks, level of competition, trends in consumer preferences, etc. Now exactly how are you going to do that when you know very little about over 40% of the market and what would your margin of error be in that case? Or maybe you need a clarification on what margin of error means?

It is sad when respected companies such as Gartner and IDG publish crap like this. Yes it is a quick hack job and yes most computer manufacturers don’t really care about the report but did you ever stop and think that maybe they don’t because you are actually not telling them anything that they don’t already know? Did you think even for a second that a company like Apple, or Dell does not have it’s own team of business analysts? They know very well how the company is doing and their forecasts are in all likelihood a heck of a lot more accurate than Gartner or IDG’s.

Oh and on top of the mediocre tables that IDG uses, the analyst even goes so far as to suggest that Apple and the iPad are responsible for Acer’s decreasing market share … uh really? Exactly how does that add up? Acer is a low cost high volume company where as Apple is a high cost low volume one. In what world would they have the same target customer? (pick up a basic Econ book if you really don’t know what I am talking about). What most likely happened is that high end PC users have switched over to Apple’s camp and they have mostly been replaced by low end ones from other PC manufacturers due to the said manufacturers providing inferior products or a slightly higher price. It is basic economics after all and no offence but you are confused by things like this maybe it’s time to think about career change …

Anyway, I guess what I believe in is that any market report should focus on the analysis of the data presented and should treat data as a by-product of the process. Tables and numbers alone might make for great newspaper articles and blog posts however, they alone are worth very little to management!

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