While not as useless as PR pitches about technology companies cracking some other publication's Top 10 list, "independent" research reports commissioned by vendors are right up there.
Why last week we even got a pitch about two vendors that "revealed the findings of a joint independent study." Reminded me of this line from Hermey the dentist/elf in the Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer TV classic:
I've lost count of how many times of late I've shot down pitches on such self-serving research, but in an attempt to try quantifying the scope of this issue I asked colleagues to forward me any such solicitations that they received last week, including for canned infographics. Some of my co-workers, unfortunately, had already jettisoned the pitches and emptied their trash before receiving my request, but the combined two dozen that they did send or that I received from publicity-hungry companies will at least give you a feel for this (I'm not including reports sent to us by research firms, not that I'm under any illusions of their work always being pure.)
Ironically, a lot of the pitches I've been hit with in recent months have been for big data and analytics firms -- the kind of firms that you would think would know better than to waste their time sending out this kind of stuff based on their data crunching capabilities. Then again, they're the ones with the AI and machine learning on hand, so I guess it must be paying off for them. It's not as if in weak moments and on slow news days we haven't written up some of this stuff.
Security and privacy were the hottest topics from last week's contributors, with special emphasis on revelations of higher-ups realizing security is an important issue!
Anyway, on to the numbers of this independent research (as in, I did this by myself). My colleague Steve Sauer worked with me to boil down the information into one compelling infographic that should really be self explanatory. But experts are standing by to comment if need be...