Last week, Aberdeen Group announced a change in the availability of its research reports, one that reflects some of the realities of today’s extraordinary reach facilitated by the Internet. Readers however, should exercise caution.

Effective April 20th, Aberdeen will opt for an open research model, eliminating its previous paid Research Vault memberships.  This so termed AberdeenAccess business model is described as allowing access to Aberdeen research published within the past three years.  We would speculate that Aberdeen had not experienced significant revenues from its previous user paid research business model, opting instead for this revised strategy. The move is also a reflection of the changing fortunes of today’s industry analyst business model where sites such as ours have made their impact.

There is a catch however, one that we advise our Supply Chain Matters readers to carefully heed.

In return for accessing and downloading any research, users are required to submit certain information. In conjunction with this change, Aberdeen revised its Privacy Policy and User Terms and Conditions to clarify use of personal data. Personal data will apparently be shared not only  with the specific vendors who may have sponsored  research, but other vendors or service providers as well.

Readers should understand that Aberdeen is actually an operating group of Harte Hanks.  On its web site that company describes itself as the following:

Harte-Hanks today is a worldwide direct and targeted marketing company that provides insight-driven direct marketing services and shopper advertising opportunities to local, regional, national, and international consumer and business-to-business marketers.”

In essence, the Harte Hanks business model is to package marketing and inbound lead generation programs for technology and service provider clients through is ability to mine personal data related to customer prospects.  If you carefully read Aberdeen’s revised Privacy and Terms of Use policy, the language, by our interpretation, indicates that the agreement to share information is directly with Harte Hanks. According to the Privacy Statement, personal identifiable information would include name, telephone, email, postal address, business interest information, and includes the web sites and associated applications visited by the registrant.

We again remind our Supply Chain Matters readers that since our founding, we have always subscribed to an open research model , Further, Supply Chain Matters has  a stated policy that we will never share any of your specific  personal information with third parties.

Bob Ferrari