Spotlight Breaks Down Gartner Vendor Identification Tool Reports

Jan 12, 2022

AR Industry

Spotlight Breaks Down Gartner Vendor Identification Tool Reports

Vendors in the Spotlight ecosystem are increasingly participating in a new report type from Gartner – Vendor Identification Tools. These reports could be extremely valuable if you understand how to use them. Let’s go through the most basic questions we hear from our clients – you’ll leave knowing exactly what these reports are, who they’re for, and if, given the opportunity, you should participate in one.

What are they, and why are they useful?

What they are:

Vendor ID reports are quantitative Excel documents listing vendors and service providers in a given market.

Example vendor data points include:

  • Size
  • Revenue
  • Headquarters
  • Market penetration
  • Regional presence
  • Key capabilties and offerings
  • Partnerships

What they aren’t:

Vendor ID reports contain NO*

  • Evaluative content
  • Analyst commentary
  • Predictions
  • Insights on market trends

*This sets Vendor ID reports apart from other Gartner branded research like Magic Quadrants, Market Guides, and Hype Cycles.

Vendor ID reports are meant to be a reference guide listing representative vendors in a market. They’re useful for direct data point comparisons (e.g. which vendors offer a specific capability, or which vendors are headquartered in your region). Since these reports contain no evaluative content, they are not useful for evaluating how each vendor performs against their peers.

Who are they for?

  • Buyers: Enterprise buyers and sourcing teams are the main consumers of Vendor ID reports. Gartner wants to give these readers a handy reference guide to utilize alongside other published research (such as Market Guides or Magic Quadrants) during their selection processes.
  • Vendors: Vendors can use these reports for competitive analysis, strictly in seeing how data points stack up against their peers. Again, no evaluative content is included, so comparisons are limited to the included data points.
  • Analysts: An important, but not often considered, audience of Vendor ID reports are other analysts within Gartner. Analysts use this data to validate vendor information, develop market sizing and forecasts, create growth hypotheses, and possibly even to guide branded research (though this wouldn’t substitute for data gathered as part of the normal MQ process). Gartner also uses Peer Insights data for similar purposes – check out our Guide to Peer Review Sites and our summary of key changes to Peer Insights in 2021 to learn more.

How can I participate, and is it a good idea?

Gartner has a survey team that may reach out to you when compiling a Vendor ID report. Selected vendors will have the option to participate in an online survey, which will gather all the required data points. No interview is typically necessary, but there could always be one-off exceptions. 

Vendors are able to decline the survey, participation is completely optional. Vendors decline to participate if they determine the requested data could create competitive or market intelligence risk, or if the data is confidential or Material Nonpublic Information.

Our Spotlight Take 

In Spotlight’s opinion, vendors only stand to gain from sharing information with Gartner, especially since this data will find its way to a lot of Gartner analysts over time. Centralized data is important to Gartner’s research methodologies, and informs several research streams. Theoretically, this data could even be used to lay the groundwork for future research inclusion, including inclusion in branded content. It also could make future conversations with analysts easier, as they’ll have a resource to learn about vendors and their offerings beforehand.

In summary, Gartner’s Vendor ID reports are extremely helpful for the right use case. Don’t underestimate the potential benefits of participating – it may not have the media buzz of a Magic Quadrant, but sharing information beneficial to both buyers and potential MQ authors gets you two wins in one.

Interested in Spotlight’s support for your next analyst engagement? Contact us.


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