IDC Methodology

IDC employs a number of assets that set us apart from other market research firms. Our comprehensive coverage promotes understanding of multiple industries. Additionally, our "global" research model, which is our study of both local and regional markets "on the ground," helps us to understand the nuances of local country markets while improving our global coverage. By promoting research standards and methodologies worldwide, we ensure forecast and analysis consistency across a wide range of geographies and coverage areas.

Research Standards

IDC has developed a set of standards to guide analysts. These standards consist of the documentation of methodologies used and forecast assumptions, projections from only surveys that are statistically sound to ensure only objective and accurate data is used, validation and "sanity checks" to help provide boundary conditions for major forecasts, implementation of standard definitions across geographies and coverage areas, and the use of common analytical tools to ensure consistency.

IDC Objectivity

At IDC, we recognize our duty to preserve objectivity, integrity, and independence in the creation and dissemination of our research and analysis.

We are committed to avoiding bias and conflicts of interest. Our internal policies are designed to enforce the objectivity of our research agenda, analysis, and opinions. In addition, IDC employees are committed to supporting the highest standards of ethics in every aspect of the operation, and conduct business in a manner that is fair, honest, and lawful.

For certain document types, technology buyers and vendors are permitted to review IDC research prior to publication to assure factual accuracy. The review varies in duration based on the type and length of the research document.

IDC's Terms of Use policy provides guidelines for authorized use of IDC research and analysis.

Methodologies to Fit Market Segments

Although IDC maintains a philosophy of fitting the methodology to the market segment, all of our studies share a core set of methodological elements and approaches. These elements consist of demand-side data, data integrity cross-checks, global data collection and analysis at regional and local levels, verification and updating of segmentation, supplier models, distribution channel models, analysis of external drivers and linkages, and vision of the future.

IDC MarketScape

IDC MarketScape criteria selection, weightings, and vendor scores represent well-researched IDC judgment about the market and specific vendors. IDC analysts tailor the range of standard characteristics by which vendors are measured through structured discussions, surveys, and interviews with market leaders, participants and end users. Market weightings are based on user interviews, buyer surveys and the input of a review board of IDC experts in each market. IDC analysts base individual vendor scores, and ultimately vendor positions on the IDC MarketScape, on detailed surveys and interviews with the vendors, publicly available information and end-user experiences in an effort to provide an accurate and consistent assessment of each vendor's characteristics, behavior and capability.

Learn more about IDC MarketScapes

Market Sizing and Forecasting Methodology

IDC's most fundamental research mission is to accurately assess and forecast the size and shape of the key IT market segments. The first step in market sizing and forecasting is data collection. IDC uses a variety of primary and secondary sources for sizing and forecasting markets including, but not limited to, interviews with IT vendors, public financial records, historic market data, and user surveys. The next step is the entry of demand- and supply-side data into proprietary models of market segments in order to generate IDC market data and forecasts. Then, the preliminary values in the market model are validated using a number of different procedures. And lastly, the market models are adjusted accordingly.

The Importance of Analysts

For all the strength of our analytical tools, research methods and standards, and foundation research, it is our analysts that will put it all to work analyzing the future on behalf of our clients. We have made major investments in analyst training and in tools to facilitate collaboration and research. Our analysts, our methodologies, our tools, and our processes are the elements behind our claim to help clients "analyze the future."