Forrester Research (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.
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.
Forrester asks vendors to examine our findings, provide comments, and suggest changes to improve the accuracy of the Forrester Wave at three points in the Forrester Wave process:
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. Vendors can escalate their concerns along the following path:
1. The research director (RD) and group director (GD). If a disagreement between the analyst and the vendor arises during a Forrester Wave that cannot be resolved to the satisfaction of both parties, loop the role RD and GD into the discussion. At Forrester, the RD and GD are empowered together to handle all possible Forrester Wave conflicts, so escalations should start and stop at this level.
2. The ombudsman. If a vendor feels that the methodology has been breached, they may request a meeting with Forrester’s ombudsman. However, the ombudsman reserves the right to decline to hear an escalation if we feel confident that there has been no methodology breach. The ombudsman is not a subject matter expert and will not review specific scoring disputes.
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.
These matters of opinion can be contentious. Forrester's clients hire us for our opinions, and Forrester Waves provide Forrester's clear, unambiguous call on the vendors and products in a particular market based on a comprehensive methodology. We are 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, which is why we crafted an escalation path. Know, however, that we are also committed to making sure all information in Forrester Waves is factually correct and that we follow the evaluation process and methodology correctly and fairly.