30 years ago People & Computers (http://www.pc.co.il/), the Interdisciplinary Center for Technology Forecasting (http://ictaf.tau.ac.il/) in Tel Aviv University together with IBM and Digital (I was in Digital at that time) tried to understand the Information Technology Market in Israel (with a clear focus on Hardware and Software Products).
The study highlighted the problems involved in conducting surveys in a small market with very few players. We received about 1000 interview results (by Tel Aviv University students) from vendors and users. We tried to get a result we could agree on but failed. The numbers showed that the procurement managers (although they agreed to the survey interview) distorted the truth. The vendors were sure to double or triple their sales numbers.
If we added up the “interview dollar results” the amount that industries bought with what the vendors sold, there was a one to ten correlation.
After the unsuccessful first try, some of us (vendor marketing) decided to work together and try to share data that wouldn’t be used (by the others) except for statistical results.
By 1986 we started sharing data for analysis (we all added a little to make our results better) and we started to get a picture of the market.
Each one of us used the data together with their own analysis/methodology.
We tried to correlate data with account managers (sales) but found that when sales quotas are involved we couldn’t get a straight answer. We couldn’t get them to understand the difference between total IT spent and Digital’s sales potential in a certain account.
Example: when an AS/400 or IBM Mainframe was in an account, Digital sales people didn’t count IBM sales in that account in their reports…. IT spent not relevant (they said).