This trend is larger than just access to analysts. Increasingly, we hear information providers tell us that companies routinely buy not just their data, but additional help in using it and extracting value from it. Many data providers with strong brands in their vertical markets report that they are regularly asked to consult to their clients on big picture issues and industry trends. This move towards advice takes many forms, but it seems to be bubbling up everywhere.
Admittedly, it is not a small decision to offer your subscribers access to your analyst staff, especially if you don't currently have one. But I will note that where we see it, such access is almost always a high-value differentiator. I know a number of data publishers who have turned down consulting projects because it is a very different and labor-intensive activity, but sometimes a smart partnership can yield most of the benefit with limited if any downside.
My advice: think about offering advice. It's not the right decision for every market or publisher, but it is a clear path away from the "just the facts ma'am" historical positioning of the data publishing industry, and has the potential to deliver a durable boost to your overall value proposition.