You may (or may not) have seen that two weeks ago, together with Horace Dediu of Asymco, we published an interactive report about the state of the global mobile phone industry. This is our first step towards what we’ve termed the “reinvention of business research”, and this term is what I’d like to discuss in more detail here.
Timetric is one of the many start-up companies in the data-as-a-service space. I’m sure that multiple research reports(!) will tell you that this sector is forecast to grow substantially over the next few years, which means there’s quite a lot of interest in the things we’re up to and why.
Personally, I joined Timetric because I’m shocked by the time, resource and money being thrown away by many firms on sourcing and managing data in primitive ways.
Some examples of the things I find especially frustrating:
- the amount of data which is duplicated because it is not shared intelligently, but sits within infinite numbers of spreadsheets that always seem like too much hassle to combine;
- the amount of extra work which has to go into many projects, because people re-do research which someone else in the firm has already done but which they haven’t been informed about;
- and, ultimately, the time that intelligent and expensive people waste just updating a couple of data series manually
Like the supposed fact that we know more about the surface of Mars than the seabed on our own planet, it’s often true that we know more about what’s going on outside our organisation that inside it.
My personal feeling is that the research industry, much like the media industry, need a rethink. The only difference is that the research industry’s average-revenue-per-view is much higher, so it’ll get away with being inefficient for longer.
However, I do believe the timeframe during which they need to do this rethink is shrinking rapidly. This is driven both by demand-side factors, such as the fact that more and more business is being done in emerging markets where deal-sizes are smaller but data is essential, and supply factors, which is mainly that companies in the data-as-a-service space are making the acquisition and visualisation of data much cheaper. This means that good, reliable data needs to be cheaper, and can be cheaper. The best analysts will remain expensive, but their output will be maximised when we’re able to give them better data, quicker.
So, why do I think Timetric can help solve those problems which frustrate me so much?
We’re providing our services to analysts who want to publish their research in a user-friendly format, and spend more of their time on the analysis of data rather than finding, inputting, cleaning, checking, uploading and visualising tasks. If that’s something you’re interested in, just drop us an email to talk further.
Finally, it’s important to give special note to Horace Dediu with whom we launched our first report. An incredibly forward-thinking and practical analyst who is able to see the bigger picture whilst appreciating that small details can make a massive difference. We could not have asked for a more appropriate partner to launch with. Many thanks for working with us.