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Market Leaders Deep Dive: Technology Providers

An insider's look into the latest GreenBook Market Leaders Report, on the subsection detailing technology providers. Read on for an in-depth look at what makes a successful technology provider within the market research industry.

Editor’s Note: This subsection is featured in the GreenBook Market Leaders Report. The GreenBook Market Leaders Report is your #1 guide to brand success in the insights industry, featuring the U.S. Top 50, and in-depth analysis from leading CEOs. In its inaugural edition, you’ll learn who is in the lead, who is rising towards the top, and where your company fits into it all.


Perhaps no segment in the insights and analytics space has been both a force for change as well as under the pressure of near-constant disruption as much as Technology Providers. The pace of change is constant, with new entrants into the market occurring rapidly, often from large, existing companies that were traditionally considered clients for most providers in the insights & analytics space.

Virtually every aspect of the industry has been impacted: data collection, analysis, reporting, recruiting, operational management, business management, data processing, research design, communications; you name it, chances are technology has changed it. To say nothing of the plethora of new data sources and methodologies that have emerged that simply could not have been possible even a few years ago, with many almost unimaginable just a decade ago.

With such a dynamic category, it is especially challenging to identify which companies should be included in this report, and if so, how to quantify their insights and analytics revenues. Similarly to the Strategic Consulting segment, the marketplace is now very broad with some very large participants that have forced us to redefine what an “insights and analytics supplier” even is.

With that in mind, we need to reiterate that we have elected to sample a cross-section of some of the companies we now share our market space with; it is not an exhaustive census nor is it even representative in the sense we usually use the word. However, it is indicative of the breadth of companies within the segment today. One thing we can be quite certain of is that next year there will be some new entrants here that will continue to force us to assess how we view the marketplace.

Of the four insights supplier categories, Technology Providers have the most distinct profile. In addition to identifying their main source of revenue as technology-based, more than a third also mention Full/Field Service and Data & Analytics as significant sources; no other category has as much diversity in its portfolio. More involvement with Full/Field Service, Data & Analytics, and, to a lesser extent, Strategic Consulting distinguishes larger Technology Providers from smaller ones, suggesting that either diversification or developing more complete solutions are critical steps toward reaching the highest levels of growth.

Four revenue sources are identified as ‘significant’ by a majority of Technology providers: access to the sample, licensing analytical tools and platforms, licensing data collection tools and platforms, and quantitative data collection. For no other category does a majority identify these as ‘significant;’ further, for no other category do these appear among their top three sources. Compared to smaller Technology Providers, larger ones are more likely to derive significant revenue from access to sample, licensing analytical tools and platforms, and quantitative data collection, as well as strategic insights and CX/UX, consulting.

Large Technology Providers tend to be younger than large providers in other categories: two-thirds of them are less than 20 years old while at least two-thirds of each other category are at least 20 years old. On the other hand, they tend to be older than the smaller Technology Providers and are more likely to focus on competing based on leadership in communicating insights and making multidisciplinary recommendations than their smaller, younger counterparts. The smaller Technology providers focus more on establishing or maintaining leadership in new types of data, analyzing data powerfully, and conducting meta-analysis. The contrast in priorities further supports the notion that the path to growth in the Technology category follows the development of a more complete consulting solution.

Large Technology Providers were more likely to increase revenue than large providers in other categories, and more likely to increase staff than large providers in Full/Field Service and Data & Analytics. Consequently, they are more optimistic about their company than large Full/field Service and large Data & Analytics providers, and more optimistic about the industry than large providers in any other category.

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