All firms that participated in the survey will receive a complimentary report, where we compare the firm with all other firms that responded to the study. These reports are now set up and we will begin sending them out soon. We are leaving the survey form open for June, so even if your firm did not “officially” participate in the study, you may still fill in the questionnaire and obtain a report about your firm.
This blog post descries the content of the firm reports. An example report is available here. The reports are mass customized from a template where each table and figure is generated specifically for the responding firm. We have three different types of figures that are showcased next.
The first figure is what we call a percentile plot. We provide an example comparing the firm size and age below. The red dot marks the response for this year and smaller dots with years show what the firm responded during earlier years. This particular figure type is probably familiar for anyone that knows how the growth of children is tracked by the Finnish health care system. The height of a child is measured periodically as the child matures and the measurements are are recorded in a chart where the horizontal axis is the age of the child. The chart also contains lines that present how typical child, or a child that is taller than, say, 75% of other children grow. These charts are very useful in detecting any problems related to growth that the child may have and can also be entertaining for the parents, who can use them to guess how tall their small baby will eventually be.
The example figure below presents this same growth curve figure with the exception that instead of children and height, we are looking at firms and revenues. The curves in the background show that firms typically grow up to about 7 years of age after which growth seems to continue for the larger firms, but smaller firms tend to stagnate. Here we have data for the last 5 years for our example firm. These data show a small decline during the recession, but steady growth after that. Comparing with the performance of other firms, the example company is clearly in the third quarter of firms. More than half of the respondents are larger in the comparable age, but also more than a quarter are smaller. This is not terribly bad, and depending on the characteristics of the business could be considered also a good achievement.
The second example figure shows pie charts that describe the sources of revenue and compares these to other firms in the same age class, revenue class, and firm type. Firm type is based on the first question in the survey, where we asked the informants to choose which of the six listed business models or firm types best described their firm. Among all responding firms, the provision of software development services is clearly the most significant source of revenue, amounting to approximately a third of all revenue. Clearly smaller shares of revenue are generated by license sales, followed by maintenance services and ASP/SaaS sales . Together these intellectual property related sources of revenue account for more than a third of revenue. The rest is generated by various kinds of software related services, hardware sales, and sources that are not related to software.
The final figure type is what we call a comparison or thermometer chart. The example figure compares the firm against all other firms on three different dimensions of willingness to grow. The black dots show the position (rank) of the firm compared to all other firms, firms in the same age class, and firms in the same revenue class. Black dot on the left side of the scale would mean that the firm is less growth willing than other respondents and a black dot on the right side would indicate higher growth willingness. We typically use this chart type for questions that were asked on a 1 to 5 scale, so these charts may not be as reliable as the other figures that are based on questions where we asked exact numbers.
We would like to thank all the participating firms. As always, if you have any questions about these reports, you may contact. The up to data contact information can be found here.