Serious questions are again being raised over the accuracy of GFK data after a senior executive of a major technology Company marketing Ultrabooks told ChannelNews that the European research Company is making millions selling “dud data”.The executive who has worked for a leading technology Company for more than 15 years said the data that GFK is syndicating is not accurate and that their interpretation of data they don’t collect is questionable.
They don’t monitor JB Hi Fi and several other leading stores, nor do they monitor a lot of online stores that are now selling products from leading brands, claims the executive, who said that separate research conducted by their own organisation revealed conflicting numbers to GFK.
The vendor who has been able to identify every Ultrabook shipped into Australia via data obtained from Intel and manufacturers selling Ultrabooks said that the sell through data does not match GFK data.
This is not the first time that the accuracy of GFK data has been questioned.
Back in 2010, JB Hi Fi banned the research Company from obtaining confidential information from its stores, since then several other store groups have refused to supply them with sales data.
At the time JB Hi Fi Marketing Director Scott Browning claimed that doing business with GFK is “high risk”.
Browning said, “The information we have is confidential and while we do not mind sharing it with suppliers, we do not want to share it with GFK. You could say that we are moving to the dark side and that suits us because the Australian market is small and we are growing. We do not want our competitors getting access to what we see as valuable information. It’s high risk dealing with GFK. We are very competitive and it is hard to justify doing business with them,” he said.
Retravision WA who has recently expanded their operation following the collapse of Retravision Southern has also stopped GFK collecting data.
Garry Lamb the Managing Director of GFK Australia claims that the data collected and analysed by GFK is an “accurate estimation” because of GFK’s “mathematical” and “analysis” skills which are used to “guess” what some retailers are selling in Australia. Lamb admits that in the consumer electronics market, his company does not have access to data from JB Hi Fi, despite JB Hi Fi having over 30% share of the overall consumer electronics market and over 40% share in several categories tracked by GFK with other retailers.
GFK claims they are able to use their own analysis skills, to “estimate” what JB Hi Fi and retailers like Retravision WA who don’t give GFK access to their sales data, sell.