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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 500,000 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™ Vendor Review Policy

Executive Summary

The Forrester Wave is designed to be a collaborative process between research teams and vendor companies — a process that provides opportunities for dialogue and review for the purpose of accuracy, prior to Forrester Wave publication.

Several touchpoints are built into this process to provide transparency and clarity. At the outset, analysts request feedback from vendors about the criteria we have chosen to use for the evaluation. After we conclude our Forrester Wave research, vendors have three distinct periods of review to assure them that the Forrester Wave accurately represents their product and corporate strategy. Forrester designed the research process this way to provide structure, minimize misunderstandings, and eliminate inaccuracies.

Review Periods For Forrester Waves

Forrester asks vendors to examine our findings, provide comments, and suggest changes to improve the accuracy of the Forrester Wave at two points in the Forrester Wave process:

  • Criteria review. Soon after the kickoff of the Forrester Wave, the analyst drafts criteria for use in the scorecards as part of the product/vendor evaluation. Participating vendors may then comment upon criteria or suggest that criteria be added, modified, or deleted. After we have gathered and reviewed all the inputs, the analyst assesses whether the comments and input from participating vendors warrant any changes to the criteria, makes adjustments if needed, and distributes copies to all the participating vendors. Analysts have the final call on which criteria to use.
  • Fact check and scorecard review. After we have concluded our research, the analyst scores each vendor offering against the criteria. Forrester gives vendors two weeks to examine their scorecard to identify any factual errors and communicate with us to clarify any outstanding points with the analyst. In some instances, the time frame for review may vary, but it is the same for all vendors in a given Forrester Wave. We encourage vendors to carefully review the information with all internal stakeholders. The fact check and scorecard review process is the last opportunity for vendors to point out factual errors so that we can correct them prior to writing the Forrester Wave report. The vendor will also receive a copy of their write-up from the report and their placement on the Forrester Wave graphic during this period.

We recognize that there may be times during the scorecard review process or the overall process when a vendor may want to escalate their comments and feedback to a manager at Forrester. The Forrester Wave uses scores to capture the facts we gather about the vendors in a category, and it uses criteria, scales, and weightings to express our analysts' expert opinions about what should matter most to enterprise buyers in that category. Disagreements about scores have to do with the facts. Disagreements about criteria, scales, and weightings are a matter of opinion.

Forrester is committed to providing an independent, authoritative voice that provides the highest-quality advice to our clients. Sometimes that mission may be in conflict with vendor viewpoints. We are committed to making sure all information in Forrester Waves is factually correct and that we follow the evaluation process and methodology correctly and fairly. Forrester will consider escalations under either of the following circumstances:

  • You believe the analyst has given your product or service offering a score that is inaccurate based on the scale explanation.
  • You believe the research process was not consistent with the Forrester Wave methodology.

Forrester will not consider escalations when:

  • They occur outside of the fact check and scorecard review phase. We do not allow escalations during the 48-hour preview period; at that point, the research is complete and not subject to further revisions.
  • They are based on vendor concerns about how other vendors in the evaluation scored or placed on the graphic.
  • They involve disagreements about criteria, scales, or weightings, which are matters of opinion.

When appropriate, vendors can escalate their concerns along the following path:

1. The research director (RD). If a disagreement between the analyst and the vendor arises during a Forrester Wave and cannot be resolved to the satisfaction of both parties, the vendor may request an additional conversation, looping in the role RD.

2. The group director (GD). If disagreement remains after the initial escalation call, a vendor may then request an escalation to the GD (to whom the RD reports). The GD will review the situation with the RD and analyst and decide whether or not the disagreement warrants further escalation. If he/she agrees to take the call, it will include the RD and the analyst for continuity as well as a peer from the senior research leadership team in order to provide perspective from outside the reporting structure responsible to the Forrester Wave in question.

It is Forrester's policy, for the sake of the integrity and fairness of the Forrester Wave process to all participating vendors, that Forrester's C-level executives and other employees not mentioned above will refrain from becoming involved in escalations. If contacted by a vendor with an escalation request, they will redirect the communication back to the RD responsible for the Forrester Wave in question, per the Forrester Wave Methodology escalation path.