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DCIG’s Internal Guidelines for Inclusion of Products in Each of Its Published Buyer’s Guides

The recommendations and in-depth information presented in each DCIG Buyer’s Guide have led technology providers, resellers, and end-users to view these Guides as a “Go-To” resource when making technology buying decisions. The success of these Guides stems in large part from the methodology that DCIG uses to first gather and synthesize disparate product data and then to present its finding.
Since DCIG started producing these Guides in 2010, it has become apparent that individuals and organizations have used these Guides in ways DCIG did not originally intend or envision. To assist these individuals and organizations better understand and utilize these Guides, DCIG implemented the following internal guidelines that direct its process for product inclusion.
1. A product must meet the stated inclusion/exclusion criteria for each Buyer’s Guide Edition.
DCIG has always listed its inclusion/exclusion criteria for each Buyer’s Guide that it publishes. This has not changed. However, DCIG has since adopted a body of research approach. Following this methodology, DCIG researches products that satisfy a broad product definition. Once DCIG completes its research, it creates inclusion/exclusion and scoring criteria based upon different defined use cases and then applies those criteria to the product data. The criteria for each use case could influence a product’s inclusion as well as its ranking in a specific Buyer’s Guide Edition.
2. DCIG must minimally rank a product as Recommended, Excellent, or Good to include it in a Buyer’s Guide.
DCIG’s decision to create Buyer’s Guide Editions based upon defined use cases have resulted in specific products receiving ratings perceived as unfavorable. Further, when DCIG published its findings, it sometimes resulted in those products with “unfavorable” rankings receiving more attention than those which DCIG awarded more favorable rankings. To minimize these occurrences and to highlight products that DCIG ranks well, DCIG will only publish information about products in its Buyer’s Guides that it ranks as Recommended, Excellent, or Good.
DCIG ideally likes to include at least 20 products in each Buyer’s Guide Edition that it publishes. In these Guides, DCIG also prefers to only cover products that best align with the use case as defined in that Buyer’s Guide Edition. DCIG views those products that rank as Recommended or Excellent, as best aligning with that use case. However, in those instances where DCIG ranks fewer than 20 products as Recommended or Excellent, it may include products it ranks as Good in a Buyer’s Guide Edition.
3. Regardless of the number of products included in a published Buyer’s Guide Edition, DCIG no longer includes any products it ranks as Basic.
DCIG stands behind its rankings regardless of how it ranks an individual product. However, DCIG also recognizes that publishing product rankings of Basic provides little or no value. Further, a Basic ranking often garners unwanted and undesired attention for those products while unnecessarily drawing attention away from other products with a higher ranking.
To mitigate this situation, DCIG has opted to exclude any products it ranks as Basic from its published Buyer’s Guides. If an organization or individual would like to view and access a ranking about a product, they may do so by subscribing to the DCIG Competitive Intelligence Portal.
4. DCIG no longer includes product scores in its published Buyer’s Guides.
DCIG originally included product scores in its Buyer’s Guide to demonstrate and explain how it arrived at its various product rankings. However, over time, DCIG became aware that individuals were making buying decisions based upon score differentials between products that were as small as one point or even one/tenth of a point. This was not DCIG’s intent for including these scores. As such, DCIG has stopped publishing product scores in its Buyer’s Guides. Those looking to access product scores may do so by subscribing to the DCIG Competitive Intelligence Portal.
5. DCIG may choose not to include a product in a Buyer’s Guide regardless of how DCIG internally ranks it.
DCIG may choose not to include a product in its Buyer’s Guides in the following types of circumstances:

  1. The product is new to the market.
  2. DCIG receives no feedback from the vendor about its product.
  3. The differences between product models are slight.

In these cases, and potentially others, DCIG may opt not to include the product or products in its published Buyer’s Guide out of concerns that it may over or under represent the product’s actual capabilities or when publishing information about a product only adds nominal value to the Buyer’s Guide.
DCIG Buyer’s Guide Disclosures
A DCIG Buyer’s Guide may not include a product or product model for various reasons. These may include, but are not limited to:

  • The product was given a ranking of Basic or Good.
  • DCIG is unable to find sufficient product information to draw meaningful conclusions.
  • Multiple product models exist that are substantially the same.
  • DCIG is unaware of the product.
  • Vendor did not engage with DCIG during survey review.

To address these situations, DCIG includes the following two disclosures in each of its Buyer’s Guides:

  1. No negative inferences should be drawn against any vendor or product not covered in this Guide.
  2. It is a misuse of this Guide to compare products included in it against products
    not included.

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