Working, as we do, with so many providers of software and services to the insurance industry (among others), we take particular delight and morbid interest in seeing the various … uh … research reports and their supporting graphics that come from the so-called and self-titled analyst community. Needless to say, none of them applies the same criteria to anything. Few of them share their criteria at all. And most of them apply different criteria to their ostensible reports in any given year. If the term, crapshoot, comes to mind, trust your instincts. Oh, and hide your wallet.

Exhibit A

One of the members of this esteemed analyst community produces what it calls the magic quadrant. Since it’s fair to assume neither that one member nor the entire community possesses a sense of irony, it’s no doubt lost on all the implicated parties that, in the absence of any consistent, objective criteria, magic is just as good as anything else to describe the output.

One might wonder why one member of the analyst community includes 40 providers in its … uh … research reports, while the magic quadrant from another member contains just 12. But that would constitute a failure to willfully suspend one’s disbelief. It would also amount to a colossal waste of time.

Hell, even Billy Preston knew nothing from nothing leaves nothing. If that’s all we expect, it’s exactly what we’ll get. And if we’re willing to make business decisions based on magic, we’ll get exactly what we deserve.

magic (noun): the art of producing illusions as by the use of sleight of hand, deceptive devices, etc.; legerdemain; conjuring: to pull a rabbit out of a hat by magic.

Nothing up my sleeve. 

The Rules

If you’re wondering how this game of pecuniary prestiditation is played, it’s easy. The rules of this road as determined by those to whom the driving has been abdicated are these:

  • Pay us, and we’ll include you in one of our reports and graphics.
  • Pay us more, and we’ll include you more prominently in our reports and graphics.
  • Pay us still more, and we’ll recommend you to the insurers who pay us even more than you do.

Trust us. If you like playing fast and loose with your money — and if you have no regard for logic or common sense — you’re going to want to get in on this.

As Curly says to the court clerk (1:40), “Soiteny, what have I got to lose?

Image by Eduardo RS from Pixabay