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Who influences technology analysts?

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Analysts following

By RICHARD LAVEN, Managing Director, Apollo Research

This post is designed to give a few key takeaways from research we’ve conducted into who influences technology analysts.  However, our research revealed too much information for one post on the writers, people, media, organisations and celebrities that are followed most by UK-based technology analysts. So we have published a 32 page report which delves into the detail and can be downloaded for free here (we’re doing a US version in a few weeks’ time).

The data for this post and the report is based on a sample of 334 UK based technology analysts and who they follow on Twitter.

The writers

The chart below shows the top 20 technology writers that the sample of analysts follow the most. Rory Cellan-Jones (BBC) is top of the list with nearly a quarter of the sample following him. Charles Arthur, former technology editor at the Guardian and Tim Bradshaw, the FT’s man in Silicon Valley, round off the top three.

One of the great aspects of researching social media is that the people who partake in social media do so of their own free will. They decide who they will, or will not, follow and so a top 20 list from this research, such as the one above, is a genuine reflection of, in this case, analyst preference. Our research revealed nearly 1,200 technology writers that are followed by more than one analyst, and the 20 above, representing, 1.7 per cent of the writers, are the ones that are followed the most. When the 20 are combined, they reach 38 per cent of the sample.

Technology Analysts

So who amongst their peers do the analysts in the sample choose to follow?

The most followed by his peers is Francesco Jeronimo, Research Director at IDC who is followed by 13.3 per cent of the sample. Jeronimo is just ahead of Ben Wood, Chief of Research at CCS Insight and Dean Bubley of Disruptive Analysis. All of the top three specialise in mobile or wireless communications.

The research revealed a very large number (935) of technology analysts who are followed by more than one analyst in the sample. The top 20 listed here represents just 2.1 per cent of all the analysts followed and when these 20 are combined they reach nearly half (47 per cent) of the technology analysts in the sample.

This research again demonstrates how important peer groups are becoming as influencers in the technology industry. We’ve already seen in my previous posts that technology writers follow more of their own than any other group, CIOs follow their fellow CIOs in ever increasing numbers, CISOs follow security specialists, developers follow developers, etc. And with this research we see that the most influential group amongst technology analysts are the analysts themselves.

Other report highlights:

  • Three of the top 30 accounts that analysts follow are AR professionals: David Rossiter at Sunesis, Carter Lusher at Informatica and Duncan Chapple at Kea Company.
  • The Economist is the most followed news feed, with nearly a third of the UK technology analysts following it.
  • TechCrunch is the most followed technology news feed.
  • The FT is the most followed business news feed.
  • Qualcomm is the most followed tech company.
  • Robert Peston is the most followed non-tech journalist.
  • Jamie Oliver is the most followed celebrity and Andy Murray is the most followed sportsman.

The report provides plenty of insight into the key influencers in the technology analyst community and also lists the top 200 followed most by them. It’s essential reading for anyone whose work involves understanding analysts and wants a greater insight into what makes them tick.

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