Our LinkedIn discussion board is seeing a lot of activity recently based on a member-provided post, "Does industry analyst research always represent the right perspective of the marketplace?" The question has spurred comments from a variety of areas within the industry. But the comment that stood out was "Why do insurers need research at all? What prevents them from sharing what works and what doesn't in public forums such as LinkedIn?"

The line between analysts and consultants has blurred over the past 20 years. Many analyst firms have consulting arms, and therefore, are perceived as one in the same. This debate is one for another time and place. Staying on task, let's get back to the question about the need for research.

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