a week in wireless

And the survey said…

As the Telecoms.com awards draw closer, the Informer notes a general ramping up of such things. A close cousin of the industry award is the market survey, which aims to add some insight into a given part of the market. Once more, Telecoms.com does such a thing and many of its readers seem to find it useful, but the industry survey can take many forms.

A common variant is the survey that concludes, to the utter surprise of the company that commissioned it, that people need to buy more of that company’s products. As if anticipating this week’s AWIW rant, tech giant Samsung was kind enough to share a great example only this morning.

Having apparently concluded there isn’t currently enough information on technology, Samsung took it upon itself to launch the Smart Society Barometer, which is “an in depth study into the UK’s views and adoption rates of smart technology.” By “in-depth” Samsung means 1,000 UK businesses and 2,500 members of the public.

Now the Informer is not completely naïve, companies don’t operate like industry news sites; they don’t conduct surveys primarily to inform an audience. Typically the research will be intended to be a news hook designed to bring publicity to a product or brand. We all know that, but still accept this research as objective. That’s not to insinuate any lack of rigour on the part of whoever conducted the survey, but the trend seems to be for the findings to support the business objectives of the company paying the bills, that’s all.

Having said that, Samsung has been pretty up-front with this study, admitting “These findings are being fed back into Samsung’s development team as the company looks to reinforce its position as a leader in the UK’s move to becoming a smarter society.”

So let’s see if the Informer’s jaded cynicism is supported by the findings of this Barometer.

  • UK businesses could lose up to £5.6bn in the next year by not unlocking the benefits of smart technology
  • Businesses believe they could save an average of £81,000 over the next year if smart technologies were adapted across every aspect of their business
  • UK consumers are losing out on up to £3.6 billion through a lack of understanding of the benefits smart technology can bring
  • One in ten British businesses have yet to adopt any smart technology

“If we are to accelerate as a smart society, we need to fully understand how to get the most out of this technology,” urged Andy Griffiths President of Samsung UK & Ireland. “At Samsung, we understand that in order to help achieve this, we must play our part in educating businesses and consumers on unlocking the true potential that smart technology can bring to the UK.”

Let’s just leave that there and move on to KPMG’s cyber security practice, which was blindsided by its own research earlier this month that concluded UK consumers are living in a state of constant fear of their cyber security. And then there’s conference call provider Powwownow, whose survey concluded rival BT had rubbish hold music.

A personal favourite is a survey from hosting company 34SP.com called “The New Anatomy of a WordPress Developer”. It turns out to be mercifully free of anatomical details and is focused more on their views and habits. The top-line conclusion is that it turns out WordPress developers are far from the socially inadequate geeks the survey presupposed them to be.

“The study, of over 1,000 WordPress developers by hosting company 34SP.com, found over a quarter (28%) of those asked choose to spend their free time socialising. This flies in the face of the accepted idea that these so-called ‘geeks’ spend much of their spare time coding and surfing the web.”

So almost three quarters of WordPress developers don’t socialise, and that’s presented as evidence of their gregarious, party-loving nature. “There is a perception that developers can be quite introverted, but our research has found that the opposite is actually true,” persisted Daniel Foster, technical director at 34SP.com. “Our research has found that WordPress developers are quite sociable and liberal people, and don’t spend enormous amounts of their spare time buried in perceived geeky hobbies.”

No doubt WordPress developers are delighted to be studied like laboratory rats, especially when the premise of the study is so flattering. For once the conclusion of the survey seems to have been the exact opposite of what was sought by the company that commissioned it, and you have to hand it to them for persisting with their favoured conclusion regardless.

Take care.

The Informer

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  • Global Telecoms Awards

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