By Xabier Palacio
The GRBN has released the 2018 Global Top 25 Report, an overview of the largest 25 research and data analytics companies in 2017. This year’s report showed an increase in revenue of 5.9%, in part driven by the extraordinary growth of just one company, Gartner Research (+33%). Without this player the Top 25 would have reported a combined growth of 3.7%, slightly lower than for 2016. All in all, total revenue increased by about US$ 1.5 billion in 2017, with unequal results across companies.
There has been a general decrease in the number of both double and single-digit growth rates in favour of flat and negative ones. This highlights the challenging international landscape of 2017 impacted by currency exchange rate fluctuations and a stronger domestic focus – about 67% of global revenue was generated outside the companies’ home country, 3 points lower than the previous year.
The top 10 companies account for over 85% of global revenue, a position virtually unchanged from 2016. At the bottom of the 10, the British dunnhumby overtook the Japanese INTAGE and now occupies 9th place. The American IRI comes in at 7thposition above Westat, which slides to 8th. Gartner jumps to 4th place and leaves Ipsos and GfK in 5th and 6th place. Finally, the top 3 remains unchanged with IQVIA, Kantar and Nielsen in spots 3, 2 and 1.
In general, companies are not only witnesses but authors of change in this complex industry. A read through the company profiles shows stronger focus on online research, panel research, social media measurement, data analytics and customer experience. Essential studies conducted by companies increasingly include syndicated and tracking studies, measurement of audiences or consumer purchases and behaviour. This necessary expansion shows the increasing affordability of certain research methods along with new trends in studies.
Xabier Palacio is a Senior Industry Analyst at ESOMAR.