Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Statistics for Dummies

In his recent posting, Nick Carr makes the following observation:

IT companies are always throwing around seemingly precise statistics claiming to show that their hardware or software is associated with competitive advantage or superior financial results. As far as I've been able to discover, the research is almost always dubious. Either the methodology is flawed (tiny or biased samples), or the research is carried out by the company itself or some sycophantic supplier. And rarely are the full details of the study divulged. IT buyers shouldn't pay any attention to such faux statistics.

Interesting.  Assuming that people who buy any Software or Hardware are capable (can question and dig deep into the research facts), have multi-million dollar budgets, and consider IT to be a strategic investment (not like ordering supplies for office or buying a toothpaste where you can live with vendors screaming for attention and differentiation with false claims), why does this happen in the first place? 

I mean to ask this simple question:
Why do buyers of IT software and services tolerate, or live with all that is dished out ostensibly as market research or statistics?  Or do they simply believe all of it or most of it?

This should make an interesting analysis, unless you want to hear my version ;-)

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