conducted and, perhaps more importantly, the interpretation of the results by a skilled analyst. The
analyst is responsible for applying the intelligence to the specific business context associated with the
decision being made, and provides recommendations that can be acted upon by the client. Clients are
looking to analysts to provide an expert opinion, and perspectives based on their knowledge of the
topic in question, not simply data.
This can sometimes be a daunting task and many PLRs simply provide summaries of data, without
taking the extra step of interpreting the results, in view of the objectives that led to the ordering of the
report in the first place.
It is also important to recognize that the client does not necessarily understand the nuances of patent
information, and may likely misinterpret the data if they are not provided with conclusions generated
from the analyst. Having an analyst expertly interpret this critical data source also saves the decision-
maker from having to develop these skills themselves.
5.2.3 – How does it add value to the decision making process?
Many decisions are made without proper intelligence, or analysis, leading to higher risks associated
with them. Senior-level managers, in particular, tend to rely on a network of familiar advisors, as
opposed to data driven decision-making, for developing organizational strategy. In technology-driven
industries, the volume of information available, and the complexity of the issues surrounding the
decision-making process, is such that relying on personal networks increases the risk that a
suboptimal result will take place.
Data analysis allows for all available options to be explored, including allowing for historical
information that might not otherwise be considered, to approach decision-making in a systematic
fashion. Since more options, and information, are being considered the risks associated with the
development of a strategy, or a specific decision, are lowered. Risk cannot be eliminated completely,
but when all available data is analyzed, using a variety of complementary methods, and procedures, it
provides confidence that the proposed recommendations will reflect the desired outcome for the
From the analyst’s perspective the most valuable results are achieved when a plan for presenting the
recommendations of the research is developed, and the likely implications, and impacts to the
organization, are clearly stated. Practically speaking, this requires forming an opinion, supporting it
through interpretation of data analysis, and providing business perspective for acting on it.
5.2.4 – How will the user evaluate the effectiveness of the report?
As stated at the beginning of the chapter, the generation of a PLR is a time intensive and expensive
endeavor, and it is embarked upon since an organization is preparing to make a significant monetary
or headcount investment. Understanding how the user will evaluate the PLR is a critical component in
ensuring that the end product will be satisfactory to them.
Generally speaking, in regards to PLRs, evaluation looks at whether the right questions were asked
and whether they were analyzed correctly. It examines the rationale, and the justification of activities,
in relationship to the decision, associated with the questions. Finally, it eexamines the efficiency of the
results, or how the time and effort associated with the PLR was converted into results, and provided
value to the decision-making process.