When I launched IT-Harvest in 2006 I had a vision for a data-driven analyst firm. The name, IT-Harvest, was inspired by the annual olive harvest at Davero Farms hosted by Ridgely Evers the “Father of Quickbooks,” and the CEO of nCircle at the time. I love harvest time–the gathering in, the culmination of each year’s labor. Our tag line was “Gleaning the Best of IT Security.” You can see the stalk of barley in our logo.

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I joined Gartner from PwC in 2000. The only experience I had with Gartner was using PwC’s subscription to Dataquest which Gartner had acquired in 1995 from Dun&Bradstreet for $80 million.

I always assumed that Dataquest would provide the data I needed to get a picture of the nascent cybersecurity industry. But no, the one time I asked the DQ team for information it was not helpful.

The foundation of IT-Harvest was in collecting and curating data so I could build a complete picture of all the segments that today make up over 3,000 vendors. That allowed me to quickly assess a vendor by looking at its change in head count, funding history, founders’ history, and category. I could also know immediately who their competitors were and how they stacked up against each other.

I research each vendor to determine what they actually do and put them in my 16 major buckets and a sub-category.

You can get a preview of that data in this video I posted.

I have a team in India that helps me find new vendors and fill in the 26 fields of data we collect. They refresh that every quarter, and soon every month.

We quickly decided that a massive Google Sheet was the best collaboration tool for curating the data. But I have investigated better analysis tools for the last two years. It became obvious that I needed to move to a relational database if I wanted to ask questions like:

-How many vendors are in each country?

-How many vendors are in each US state?

-How many Security Analytics vendors are there in Europe that have more than 100 employees and received funding in 2021?

We have built that database and, now that we have complete data for 2021, we are migrating the data in from Google as well as a separate spreadsheet my team put together that lists all the investors in all the funded cybersecurity vendors. There are 3,500 investors! More than the total number of vendors.

Next step? Build an app. I am calling on my experience as a product engineer in automotive to quickly iterate. We are launching an app in February, the Analyst Dashboard, which will meet my requirements as an industry analyst. All the data at my fingertips with charts and filters and queries. The primary target audience for the Analyst Dashboard includes investors at PE and VC firms.

The first version will gain early adapter subscribers. From them we will learn what they need to make it more valuable and continuously improve the app.

Subscribers will also get “Access to the Analyst.” Similar to calling your Gartner or Forrester analyst (or any of the 100 industry analyst firms I wrote about here) you can set up a time for a call to get the analyst’s take on a category, or validate an investment thesis.

After fifteen years I will have built my vision for a data-driven industry analyst firm.

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