Stephen E. Arnold’s latest blog on flaky enterprise search reports resonated with my own frustration at the steady stream of eDiscovery market reports press releases showing up in my daily search feeds. I have followed Arnold’s blog for years because of his deep understanding of the enterprise search market. He bluntly calls out the lack of attribution or substance in the reports hidden behind the paywall. I ran down one of the recent eDiscovery Market Forecast 2020-2025 reports blasted out by something called Aeresearch, ‘Powered by Market Study Report, LLC.’ Sounds like another Gartner/Forrester wanna-be, right? Not hardly.

Source tracing:

Aerearch has no US corporate filing that I could find. They have no address. The About Us page shows two young PR developers based in Pune India with no actual market or research experience. Mr. Kedari’s LinkedIn profile shows him currently employed by Global Market Insights, Inc. As it happens, the Delaware state listing for Market Study Report, LLC. shows it as a 2018 company with GM Insights Holding Inc. as the registered agent with the same 4 N. Main St Selbyville, DE address. Strangely enough, that address is a little converted residence with a ‘photos by holly’ and Edward Jones storefront.

I went through that exercise to demonstrate the difficulty in spotting a potential scam behind a series of professional websites and free press releases. Is the market report real research? Who knows. You cannot actually buy Product ID 2449809 from the landing pages of the press blasts*, just request a sample copy (not delivered) or a ‘Customization on This Report’. A sales rep called me pretty fast when I requested a sample of the report. He could not tell me who wrote the report or what their methodology was. He just wanted to schedule a ‘consult’.  I did convince him to send me a direct link to the report page with the $6,960 price for corporate consumers.

Better yet, I was able to trace the report source and methodology to Hong Kong based Global Info Research. Here is their blurb:

“The company owns large basic databases (such as National Bureau of Statistics Datbase, Customs import and Export Database, Industry Association Database, etc.), Expert reesources (including industry experts who own more than 10 years experiences on marketing or R&D in dustries of energy, automotive, chemicals, mediacal ICT consumer goods, etc.)”

The report methodology claims 80% primary research (interviews), but I doubt that based on their Table of Contents. They have extended listings for publicly owned companies (very few last long in the eDiscovery market) and single entries for the rest. This company and the others promoted by Market Study Report are global data scrapers. While publicly owned companies must disclose their product sales, revenue and profit/loss, the rest of the eDiscovery market will not even tell you their prices without an NDA. So either these companies are somehow getting eDiscovery customers/reps to break confidentiality agreements or they have an anonymous ‘expert’ extrapolating this public data for the majority share of the eDiscovery iceberg under the surface. This and the other similar reports may have useful raw data and metrics for VC and industry players. They are not a market analyst report with qualitative assessments of products and market player positions that buyers need to make purchase decisions.

Real market research takes time, money and real subject matter expertise. As much as I disagreed with the big market analyst firms ‘pay for play’ approach and conclusions, I always recognized their direct access to real company execs and data leveraged from major market players who wanted to be represented in their mystical market diagram. That was one of the reasons that eDJ Group never published any market numbers, buyers guides or rankings. We would not publish anything that we could not stand behind with real data. Despite being around for over 20 years, but it still feels like we are trying to define eDiscovery market space.

Stay skeptical my friends.

Editors Update: A sales rep followed up on my request for a report sample (which was never sent). I asked for the names of the principal analysts, their research methodology, etc. The rep could not answer any of those questions, but promised to get me the sample and have someone from the team call me (never happened). He did confirm that  the market data complier is based in Hong Kong.

Greg Buckles wants your feedback, questions or project inquiries at Greg@eDJGroupInc.com. Contact him directly for a free 15 minute ‘Good Karma’ call. He solves problems and creates eDiscovery solutions for enterprise and law firm clients.

Greg’s blog perspectives are personal opinions and should not be interpreted as a professional judgment or advice. Greg is no longer a journalist and all perspectives are based on best public information. Blog content is neither approved nor reviewed by any providers prior to being posted. Do you want to share your own perspective? Greg is looking for practical, professional informative perspectives free of marketing fluff, hidden agendas or personal/product bias. Outside blogs will clearly indicate the author, company and any relevant affiliations. 

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