Our story began with a quest for better information. Before the Internet, information was hidden in books, periodicals, reports, magazines and newspapers in libraries and business repositories throughout the world. Gaining access to the right information when it was needed was very difficult and time consuming. Anyone with a demand for specific knowledge and insight knew the importance information technology would have for everyone – we saw this as a strategic opportunity to engage in the development unique knowledgebase assets.
Need to identify specialists for unique job opportunities or to conduct research on organizations working with advanced technologies was vital to the venture capital community, executive search firms, economic development agencies and all kinds of information specialists. In 1984, Corporate Technology Information Services (CorpTech) was founded to develop a unique technology coding system to classify technologies, jobs, organizations and industries/markets. The coding system was initially available in libraries in a large set of directories, but eventually was developed into a unique PC-based database for Wall Street firms, executive search and the investment community. Introduction of this unique coding system combined with advancing information technology stimulated demand for a new universe of data, analytics, databases and applications (before the Internet emerged).
During the late 80s and early 90s, corporate quest for information about products/services, processes, organizations, and industries/markets exploded. Ability to gain access to unique information in a timely matter introduced opportunity to create a competitive advantage. Need to benchmark best practices, access technology and reengineer organizations were significant and heightened need for better information. Those who learned how to access and leverage timely and relevant information were in great demand. As markets grew around the world, so did the need to gain deep understanding of sources of information. By the mid 90s, growth of desktop technology was advancing very rapidly.
By 1995, we identified media asset management as a core competency and began to develop and produce an annual market report to define this important information segment. Our research was based on gathering primary information utilizing a proprietary methodology by extracting information from knowledge-based workers and solution providers. We utilized this methodology to assess workflow, product development and organizational processes practiced by leading organizations throughout North America, Europe and Asia to establish best practice guidelines and to facilitate step change efforts. The resultant output from years of research surveying and working with decision influence team members in leading Fortune 500 companies lead to the development of unique techniques for building models, benchmarks, performance analytics, and tools to help organizations improve their operations.
To meet the demands of a changing market, we accelerated data collection efforts and engaged in hundreds of workflow projects to identify best practices related to how information is collected, disseminated, processed, analyzed, managed, leveraged and archived to support knowledge workers. This entailed developing new activity, worker, organization, and industry based models, metrics and tools to drive data collection and analysis of information to support projects and client engagements.
Research that began in the mid80s had grown significantly to encompass surveying hundreds of thousands of knowledge workers in over 15,000 organizations involved in the production and use of digital assets. This research provided a foundation for developing econometric data models and analytics use to model business operations and formulate best practice guidelines for managing the production, use and reuse of all types of information (non-digital and digital). As research expanded, so did need to educate executives to the value of managing digital assets to improve operational performance.
In 1998, we partnered with many organizations to deliver executive seminars throughout North America and Europe. We raised millions to expand research efforts and deliver findings about the Digital Asset Management market working with partners like Apple, Digital, IBM, Microsoft and hundreds of solution providers. As work expanded, so did the development of our early adopter database. To promote events and facilitate interactive data collection we created an information offer, whereby a buyer would receive a free $595 publication in exchange for completing a detailed survey. The publication fulfilled the need for information about early adopter organizations and presented the business case and ROI for digital asset management solutions. Producers and users of information were drawn to the offer in an effort to share data about media creation and reuse practices, adoption experiences and need to streamline workflow.
This foundation of research formed the basis for our ongoing best practice analysis of knowledge workers and how specific solution capabilities impact operational performance. We leverage this research to develop unique activity-based analytics, knowledge worker models and best practices to measure information and technology management practices. Identification of early adopter activities of producers, users and consumers of digital assets introduced opportunity to measure practices, tasks and activities or regarding the creation, management, and reuse of digital media to determine significant cost and time savings. Ongoing analysis of knowledge worker activities and growth of the Internet and Social Media networks expanded the scope of our work and emphasis placed on the creation, management and use of “rich media” data types (photos, illustrations, video, and animation) in addition to content (text) and all other types of digital objects developed with the explicit goal of delivering relevant and timely information in any format over any platform.
In addition to collecting data from buyer and seller of solution capabilities, we also collected information from project leaders, software engineers, product managers, marketing communications executives, and sales teams to enhance quality of our activity-based analytics. In some cases, senior executives outlined strategies and help to develop positioning statements to describe objectives within their respective organizations. We also used surveys and interviews with knowledge workers and key executives to augment research efforts to support projects and need to develop activity-based analytics, models and tools.
We also augment our research with information obtained from the following sources:
• Source data gathered from the Central Intelligence Agency, U.S. Department of Commerce, International Monetary Fund, United Nations, World Bank industry was extrapolated and normalized over a fifteen year period (1991 to 2015) and configured into a cascading research model (all numbers are interlinked and add up to a total worldwide number).
• Worldwide revenue, expenditure and population data is based on using proprietary cascading research models to create hierarchical structures based on Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and Population Census source data gathered from sources listed above.
• Industry and market source data originally configured based on Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) Code was reconfigured and reclassified with descriptive terminology that more accurately represent products/services in today’s information-based economy.
• Information, knowledge and solution-based research was originally developed using a custom database created between 1997 and 2001 surveying and profiling 250,000 early adopters of content, document, file and media-related systems used to manage, automate, store and retrieve all types of digital assets.
• Corporate and knowledge worker profiles were developed from data collect by implementing a proprietary deal flow process sponsored by Apple, Bitstream, eMotion, Extensis, DEC, IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, WebWare and many other hosting seminars throughout North America.