External company evaluations and scores can help buyers and dealmakers narrow the field when assessing vendors or deal prospects, especially as the pool of available opportunities only grows.
I see 3 approaches being used, and will offer my thoughts on each method below:
1) Analyst evaluations are the bailiwick of research shops whose analysts look at a sector and use a specific evaluation rubric to classify companies. For example, Gartner uses the magic quadrant methodology, where analysts evaluate companies based on completeness of vision on the X-axis and the ability to execute on the Y-axis. They then group companies into leaders, challengers, niche players, or visionaries (see figure below).
2) Crowd evaluations use the power of the open web to enable the wisdom of the crowds to score individual companies. For example, ProductHunt uses a simple Reddit like model that allows their community to list and up-vote companies. Companies receiving the lion’s share of up-votes in any given sector are the presumed leaders in a particular sector.
3) Programmatic evaluations use algorithms that take in available data from the web to determine an overall score for a particular company. For example, Mattermark uses week-to-week growth data on a company’s web traffic, mobile downloads, inbound links, Twitter followers, Facebook page likes, and LinkedIn followers to arrive at an overall score for the company.
Ultimately, each of these approaches provides part of the solution, and at Venture Scanner we believe the final answer lies at the intersection of all these approaches. Our approach of “analyst coverage as a service” combines a sector analyst’s primary research with aggregated and synthesized data from the web to provide our customers with the necessary insights to make a decision.
Are there other approaches or pros/cons that I’m missing?
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