How to get educated about analyst credibility?

Discussion in 'Site and Forum Feedback' started by FloatingBones, Oct 14, 2013.

  1. FloatingBones macrumors 65816

    FloatingBones

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    Jul 19, 2006
    #1
    In a recent thread about 2014 iPad speculation, Arn noted that Kuo has been a reliable analyst in the past. Is there a way on MR to be able to gauge the past performance -- good or bad -- of specific analysts/predictors?
     
  2. arn macrumors god

    arn

    Staff Member

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    #2
    I believe Kuo's the only real reliable one, though Wild Cowboy might have more nuanced view of it all.

    For any given article, it generally mentions if the person is reliable or not.

    http://www.macrumors.com/2013/10/13...inch-macbook-with-retina-display-in-mid-2014/
    http://www.macrumors.com/2013/10/11...ome-automation-be-more-than-iphone-companion/
    arn
     
  3. WildCowboy Administrator/Editor

    WildCowboy

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    #3
    We frequently do give some assessment of the general reliability of a given source, but we don't currently have a one-stop location to check on reliability of past predictions.

    As for Kuo specifically, he's had some misses, but in general he is quite accurate. Some of his predictions could be explained away as "me too" followers of already circulating rumors or "obvious guesses", but he's had a number of correction predictions where he was out on his own and people thought there was no way they'd pan out. (See the 17" MacBook Pro discontinuation, arrival of Retina MacBook Pro alongside instead of as a replacement for the non-Retina models, etc. as examples.) He's had enough hits on things both big and small that it seems clear is very well sourced into Apple's supply chain.
     
  4. stridemat Moderator

    stridemat

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    #4
    You could always create a thread and track the success and misses of each analyst against the rumours displayed on the front page. It may help other members in the future.
     
  5. FloatingBones thread starter macrumors 65816

    FloatingBones

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    #5
    You're right. But I'm like a bunch of MR users: I come and go and don't consistently follow the news stream. I am not a good source to curate such information for the community. I can't think of an obvious way for the community to reliably provide this information.
     
  6. rdowns macrumors Penryn

    rdowns

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    #6

    Analyst credibility. Reliable analyst. You funny.
     
  7. roadbloc macrumors G3

    roadbloc

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    #7
    None. They're about as informed as anybody else in the world.
     
  8. FloatingBones thread starter macrumors 65816

    FloatingBones

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    #8
    I'm not sure either of you read Arn's comments in this or the referenced thread. You personally are welcome to ignore any reports form analysts. OTOH, repeating the stereotypical attitudes towards analysts here is not particularly useful. Arn highly characterizes analyst Kuo as reliable; do you also discount his opinion? :confused:

    The world is a bit more complex than you portray it. Some analysts are good and some are not. All things equal, I'd prefer to learn from people who have studied the past predictions of these individuals.
     
  9. rdowns macrumors Penryn

    rdowns

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    #9

    Am I not allowed to discount Arn's opinion? An opinion is not a fact. Arn also published stuff from Digitimes, arguably the least reliable source out there.
     
  10. FloatingBones, Oct 16, 2013
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2013

    FloatingBones thread starter macrumors 65816

    FloatingBones

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    #10
    Of course you are allowed. Unfortunately, I don't believe you appreciate the irony of your comment. The problem isn't your comment; the problem is the amount of due diligence that is behind your commentary. Arn has noted the record of earlier predictions from analyst Kuo. If you think that we should discount Kuo's record, then you need to show us your analysis.

    Irrelevant. Any citations of Digitimes has nothing to do with the reputation of Kuo. If you think that your blanket condemnation "Analyst credibility. Reliable analyst. You funny." earlier in this conversation makes sense, you need to present the facts that support your opinion.

    I think it would be nice for MR to provide a facility for users to look at those earlier prognostications from analysts. That could be as easy as tagging the news articles containing predictions and the follow-up articles that compare analyst predictions to actual results.
     
  11. CoMoMacUser macrumors 6502a

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    #11
    I'm an analyst. Companies routinely provide analysts with information that's unavailable to the press, such as product roadmaps. Often that information is under NDA, but we still have the freedom to aggregate that input to write reports and other collateral about trends, challenges and opportunities.

    Some analysts also do research without a company's participation or blessing. Channel checks are one example.
     
  12. roadbloc macrumors G3

    roadbloc

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    #12
    And what is stopping a company from telling you analysts false information to say... double down on secrecy? How do you personally know that what a company is telling you is the truth other than their word?
     
  13. CoMoMacUser macrumors 6502a

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    #13
    Everything a company says has to go through a reality check. For example, if one operator or vendor says it will launch [insert technology] next quarter, but all of its competitors are still struggling with it in the lab, it's likely that that company is blowing smoke. Another example is when one company claims that LTE chipsets will drop to sub-$20 by early 2014 when the average currently is closer to $100.

    Experience with a company and the industry, and comparing notes with colleagues and even rivals (e.g., at an analyst conference), are some of the common ways to perform a reality check.
     
  14. roadbloc macrumors G3

    roadbloc

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    #14
    So basically, other than common sense (or as you put it "reality check"), nothing? You have to estimate whether they're telling you the truth or not?
     
  15. CoMoMacUser macrumors 6502a

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    #15
    No, it's a bit of common sense but more about years of experience covering individual companies and the industry as a whole.

    Sometimes these reality checks are visible, such as at an analyst conference. When an executive is speaking and makes an outrageous claim, it's common to see a lot of the analysts look at one another and roll their eyes or smile.

    BTW, there are two major types of analysts: financial and industry. I'm the latter. I don't get much into balance sheets except high-level stats such as ARPU in the case of operators. I'm more focused on the companies' technologies.
     
  16. roadbloc macrumors G3

    roadbloc

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    Okay then. Because I'm still not understanding what you analysts actually do, I'll come up with a scenario. So lets say Apple tells you they are making a smart watch and then tells another analyst they they're not and they're instead focusing on a bigger screened iPhone. Which would you believe and how would you come to the conclusion, because the way I see it, everybody has an opinion on which is more likely. What makes your 'reality checks' (educated guesses) better than anybody else's?
     
  17. Carlanga macrumors 604

    Carlanga

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    #17
    I wished I could be payed to be an 'analyst' for future products/trends. Real easy job, especially since most 'analysis' for future products or trends are wrong 77% of the time... Why 77% you asked? I "analyzed" it. :apple:
     
  18. CoMoMacUser macrumors 6502a

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    One way is by checking with Apple's suppliers. This is where relationships are key because the suppliers' analyst relations folks aren't going to set up a briefing. Instead, you have to know people deep inside those companies so you can go straight to them. Another way is by looking at recent executive hires and lower level job openings. Do those examples help?

    Research, and lots of it. Someone reading articles and blog posts about a company will know a lot about a company. But someone who speaks with that company's executives multiple times a year will develop an understanding of how those people strategize. That's useful for predicting what they might do next in terms of product development, acquisitions, etc.
     
  19. roadbloc macrumors G3

    roadbloc

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    #19
    Anybody could do that. I'm still not convinced that analysts actually do anything other spout off their ad-hoc often misinformed reckons based on very little. The way I see it, it would be very easy for a company to lead you all astray.
     
  20. FloatingBones thread starter macrumors 65816

    FloatingBones

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    #20
    But can you convince us your own claim isn't ad-hoc and misinformed? ;)

    Your claim is not falsifiable. If you said something like, "No analysis ever performed by Kuo [and reported on MR] has ever been valuable" that claim might be testable.

    Different people have different opinions. If you don't like analyst predictions, don't read them. In any case, a discussion about the value of analyst predictions seems off-topic for this particular discussion.
     

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