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Forrester (Nasdaq: FORR) is one of the most influential research and advisory firms in the world. We work with business and technology leaders to develop customer-obsessed strategies that drive growth. Forrester’s unique insights are grounded in annual surveys of more than 675,000 consumers and business leaders worldwide, rigorous and objective methodologies, and the shared wisdom of our most innovative clients. Through proprietary research, data, custom consulting, exclusive executive peer groups, and events, the Forrester experience is about a singular and powerful purpose: to challenge the thinking of our clients to help them lead change in their organizations.

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The Forrester Wave™ Incomplete Vendor Participation Policy

At the beginning of a Wave, Forrester assembles a short list of vendors by crafting a set of inclusion criteria that we publish with the final document. We invite vendors that meet the criteria to participate in the research by returning a questionnaire, doing a product briefing and demo, and providing customer references. When a vendor completes the Forrester Wave questionnaire, it confirms its participation in the research.

If a vendor declines to participate in the research — either explicitly or by failing to return the questionnaire by the due date — it must be aware that:

  • We will evaluate all invited vendors in the report, regardless of whether they participate. A Wave that leaves out a major provider would be an incomplete portrayal of the market and therefore less valuable to our clients. There is no vehicle for vendors to remove themselves from a Forrester Wave. The inclusion of a vendor in a Wave evaluation is exclusively Forrester’s editorial decision.
  • The Wave research will clearly state if a vendor did not fully participate in the research. We’ll denote a vendor with incomplete participation on the Wave graphic with a gray bubble instead of a white one (see figure). In addition, the vendor’s write-up and published scorecard will state that the vendor didn’t fully participate. We’ll use public information, data gathered via briefings, and independently sourced client interviews to score the vendor.
  • We may reach out to incomplete participants to schedule a detailed briefing. Forrester will try to gain as much information about vendors with incomplete participation as possible. If we can’t arrange such briefings with those vendors, we’ll conduct our research through secondary means.
  • Vendors that don’t fully participate in a Wave won’t be able to contest scores and won’t be covered by our Forrester Wave Vendor Review Policy. If a vendor doesn’t complete a questionnaire, we’ll consider that vendor an incomplete participant. Once Forrester has scored a vendor with incomplete participation, we won’t adjust scores based on the vendor’s input. The vendor won’t have the option to escalate feedback to a Forrester manager.

sample Forrester Wave


Understand The Rules For Vendors With Both Full And Incomplete Participation. Waves are very influential documents for clients and vendors alike. Because of their influence, Wave results can also be controversial. For vendors to avoid conflicts and ensure full participation, we recommend that you:

  • Attend the Wave kickoff teleconference at the beginning of the research process. These hour-long presentations clearly illustrate the methodology from back to front and provide key dates and deadlines — including the deadline to confirm Wave inclusion.
  • Thoroughly review the Wave policies listed on this site. This includes The Forrester Wave Methodology, The Forrester Wave Vendor Review Policy, and this document.