The Silicon Review
“We are a premier provider of healthcare competitive intelligence, targeted market research, sentiment analysis,and strategic vendor evaluations worldwide.”
Since 2002, Black Book has been recognized as a Top 25 international market research niche firm, specializing initially in outsourcing, technology and business service sectors across all industries, and in 2010 fully focused on healthcare. Black Book has served over 20,000 clients including all of the nation’s top 100 financial institutions and investment firms, 300 largest hospitals and healthcare networks, 40 top managed care organizations and health insurers, 60 global pharmaceutical and biotech companies, 100 major media outlets, and the world’s 400 largest technology firms.
Black Book is committed to continuing research and surveying on the strategic issues, buying trends, technology advances, and user satisfaction in the marketplace
The company developed specialized surveying tools, opinion mining and knowledge management systems that enable our researchers to create and share innovative approaches to keep pulse on the experience, satisfaction and loyalty of providers, payers, and healthcare consumers worldwide.
The company today serves a wide variety of prominent national and international clients. Black Book offers complete quantitative and qualitative research services, excelling in the design of customized surveys and research approaches to meet specific client needs in hospitals, medical centers, pharmaceutics, biomedical devices, managed care, physician practices, health insurance, and information technology.
We open a conversation with the groundbreaking personality: Doug Brown, Founder and President
Why was the company set up? How did you select the vertical and decide to be a part of the global platform?
Since 2002, Black Book has polled the vendor and service firm satisfaction across over thirty industries in the software/technology and managed services sectors around the globe. The founders of Black Book authored “The Black Book of Outsourcing” published by Wiley & Sons in 2005 and was featured on the bestseller lists of Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Wall Street Journal and Business Week. Black Book started on an international scale with outsourcing buyers in business processes, call centers, information technology, finance and legal services. In 2009, Black Book’s outsourcing research business unit was sold to Datamonitor/Informa. At the height of the offshoring upsurge, Black Book original founders Doug Brown and Scott Wilson shifted the assets of the outsourcing industry research unit to the internationally recognized firm based in London UK that sought to complete its global research and analyst organization offerings with Black Book’s renown outsourcing division.
In 2010, Black Book’s founder Doug Brown, a former hospital administrator and managed care executive, returned to his career roots and launched the Black Book trademarked business that polled the experiences of healthcare software users and managed services clients.
Tell us about your first product that was launched.
Black Book first began client experience and satisfaction polling in the international outsourcing and offshoring industries. Banking, insurance, retail, technology, manufacturing, and energy sectors were Black Book’s focus and the company quickly became the kingmaker of several top performing outsourcing vendors, as well as recognized new services delivery locations such as India, Philippines, Brazil, Eastern Europe and China. The bestseller status of The Black Book of Outsourcing (Wiley Publishers) ushered in a spectacular demand for competitive data on technology, call center, business process and support vendors worldwide.
The Black Book survey system was devised to crowdsource feedback on key performance indicators of vendors and celebrated research reports soon included “The Best Managed International Outsourcing Companies” annually covered by the Wall Street Journal and “The Most Dangerous Offshore Outsourcing Destinations” covered by CIO Magazine. This unique KPI approach on qualitative measures allows for peer review and recommendations difficult to otherwise uncover in consultant engagements or analyst-recommended vendor selections. Black Book KPI scores are continuously collected on technology and services companies to provide yearly comparisons or trending performance by select periods, such as quarter-to-quarter data for investors, corporate development and banking.
What were the grounds on which you have expanded your company and its offerings over the years?
Black Book, its founders, management and staff do not own or hold any financial interest in any of the vendors, consulting and/or public relations firms covered and encompassed in the surveys it conducts. Additionally, Black Book does not contract for, barter, exchange or accept direct services from any company, vendor or affiliate mentioned in the rankings. Black Book reports the results of the collected satisfaction and client experience rankings in publication and to media prior to vendor/firm notification of rating results and does not solicit vendor/agency participation fees, review fees, inclusion or briefing charges, consultation requirements, and/or vendor collaboration as Black Book polls’ clients. The response has been phenomenal because, in large part, the healthcare technology industry was not accustomed to unbiased, independent vendor evaluation, surveying and crowdsourced insights.
How big is your organization today? Briefly explain the organizational structure?
Black Book has grown 500% over the past three years and featured in the 2017 Inc Fastest Growing Companies and was just named the #1 Data Collection Firm (all industries) by Corporate News Magazine. The organizational structure is nimble, lean and flat. We can react to a new technology, trend or regulation with polls, panel and results immediately. All Black Book survey and research managers report directly to the company President so new research directions and initiatives don’t get stalled in committees or waiting for bureaucratic approvals. Our team is energized and empowered to seek new opportunities for delivering fresh insights to healthcare leaders. In order to focus as much attention as possible on industry research, events, trends and delivering new products, Black Book outsources many of the non-research, support and operational services including third party validations of survey responses, IT, human resources & payroll and audit.
You wanna know this man?
Doug Brown is a Founder of Black Book Market Research LLC, and co-founder of Black Book of Outsourcing LLC, and Brown-Wilson Group, Inc. As a worldwide recognized thought leader in technology and services marketing, particularly in the healthcare industry, he is a frequent speaker and presenter for associations, agency networks, universities, and business conferences. The Black Book of Outsourcing was recently included as #70 on the 100 Best Business Books compiled by the International Association of Media Editors.
Doug’s global expertise in the areas of business development, economic expansion, market share growth, private equity, client experience polling, customer satisfaction surveys, loyalty assessments, predictive analysts and qualitative market research is the driving force behind Black Book’s success. Doug is the sole founder of Black Book’s healthcare research unit, also known as the Black Book Rankings and leads the survey and polling organization daily operations, as well as firm’s strategic planning and marketing.
Before starting Black Book, Doug had worked in operations and sales/marketing leadership in hospitals and health systems, managed care organizations, and healthcare technology services companies.
He attended the University of Florida earning a bachelor’s degree in Political Science/Public Administration, and the University of Houston masters’ program in hospital and healthcare administration.