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Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Market research reports - worth the money?

I came across this ELN report that lists "major players in the ELN sector". Hmmmm.... I'm the CEO of one of the companies that report mentions, and I have never heard of them. I see a lot of spam email and online posts like this that loudly pronounce they are from the "#1 Sophisticated Market Research Reports Platform", but apparently "sophisticated" does not involve picking up a phone, calling the number on our website and talking to us about our product, much less actually using it, or asking the vendor anything at all about it. I can't imagine what this "report" could possible have to say about CERF ELN or RSpace ELN, but since they have never asked for product or company information of any kind, I can't imagine it would be anything useful. Furthermore, I think it is probably safe to assume they didn't speak to most of the other vendors they listed in their report either, so my advice would be: Save your money and don't bother with this "report".

I have seen a proliferation of advertisements like this in our sector, and I am surprised that this could possibly be a viable business model, since most of the time the report actually consists of a list of vendors who PAID to have a short description of their product included, and then the "report" is sold for an outrageous fee to gullible execs who don't want to pick up the phone and talk to the ELN vendor directly, which they could easily do for free.

In my opinion, the only way to really find out if an enterprise software product does what you need for your organization is to actually try it in situ, and see for yourself if it solves your problem. Relying on the poorly informed advice of others seems like a lazy strategy, and relying on the paid of advice of anyone who has never even seen the product seems even worse.

Update... I see that another (or, possibly, the same) report is now also being advertised on linkedin here:

It's unfortunate that this article uses an uncredited image stolen from our website at:

The image clearly shows a mockup of one of our products, CERF ELN on the faux computer screen.  The lazy use of this ripped-off image doesn't exactly reassure me that the content of the report is going to be professional, reliable and original. There is an argument that says any publicity is good publicity for our product, and maybe I should be flattered that they used this image, but they could have at least asked first. I feel like I owe it to my colleagues in science and data management to make sure they receive accurate information in any industry reports that they purchase. In this case, it seems unlikely that this report would contain anything that I couldn't also get for free from the vendor's website. In the words of a certain well known TV game show host turned part-time politician,  this ELN report kinda seems like it might be "fake news".