Infographics Or Meaningful Market Analysis?

Anything Market – July 2014


What do you need to find meaningful market analysis? Often, infographics from sources such as Statista.com are terrific – easy to find and interpret and quotable, too, but obtaining meaningful data is trickier. When a quick overview isn’t enough, companies like Feed-back.com can tell you much more!

Let’s look at a specific example. The following graph has been reproduced from a published presentation posted at Statisa.com.

Market analysis graph

                     Source: Derived from a chart posted by Statista.com [1]

In plain English, the Global Sports, Fitness, and Activity Monitor Market is forecast to grow from $1.9 billion in 2013 to $2.8 billion in 2019. That’s a great start, but what’s generating those revenues?  Do the numbers refer exclusively to products such as activity trackers, mobile phone apps, smart watches, etc.? Are services included (e.g., gym / health club memberships)? Where’s the meaningful market analysis?

People who need to thoroughly understand a particular market buy expensive reports that describe what’s sold and analyze the forces driving revenues and/or shipments. The methods used to estimate and forecast market numbers are usually explained, too.

Here’s an example to illustrate why that extra stuff can be helpful. The Global Sports, Fitness, & Activity Monitor Market data above includes some “hidden” but very important information – growth rates. Feed-back.com’s staff calculated the annual changes as shown below:

YearGrowth Rate

2013

-

2014

6.53%

2015

-1.42%

2016

9.57%

2017

-0.87%
[Derived from chart data.]

The growth rates change quite a bit from year to year. Are revenues really going to decline by nearly half a percentage point from 2013 through 2014? What’s causing that drop? It’s contrary to recent media coverage of smart watch and wearable fitness devices that forecasts increasing consumer demand this year. Maybe unit pricing is falling as more competitors enter the market. Without more information, we can only guess….

Market analysts typically expect incrementally progressive growth and “smooth” forecast curves. That’s because most markets grow slowly and steadily unless or until there’s a disruptive event that dramatically decreases or increases revenues. A specific example that may result in an abrupt change in the smart watch segment is the potential introduction of Apple’s iWatch before year-end 2014. Initially, those devices will be added to the market, and brand-loyal customers are likely to buy them quickly. Eventually, Apple’s product may be preferred to other manufacturers’ devices. What happens to market share positions after that will depend on competitors’ responses, consumer confidence / discretionary income / economics, innovations, etc. Meaningful market analysis can help industry participants plan and strategize.

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[1] “Global Sports, Fitness, and Activity Monitor Market” (chart / forecast), www.Statista.com.

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