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   Re: [xml-dev] IT Manager Survey Finds 59% Of UK Businesses Are NowUsing

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On Friday 04 February 2005 11:17 am, Kurt Cagle wrote:
Pertaining to a thread about REAL XML usage:



What they ommitted to mention of course is that they only
surveyed companies large enough to have an IT Manager.

As with the pyramid effect, the large majority of businesses
are small businesses and don't even have an IT Manager.

Restaurents, cleaning companies, plumbers, tradespeople,
hotels are all valid businesses.

It should read something more like "59% of medium and large 
UK businesses are now using XML..."

Businesses with an IT manager probably constitute only
20% of all businesses in the country.  Therefore, the number
is probably more realistically about 10%.

It's amazing the spin that a good marketing department can 
put on a few simple survey results.....
I think this is splitting hairs somewhat, and even then could be inaccurate. How many of those small businesses are using OpenOffice, for instance? How many use an accounting tool which send results as an XML stream? How many restaurants are using scheduling applications that utilize XML?

I'd further argue that the 59% might actual UNDERestimate the total, as there are quite a few IT managers who may have developers using XML with them not realizing it - this sample indicated only those who were aware of their IT development effort enough to recognize the buzzword.

Overall, I'd say that the survey itself isn't that meaningful, but nor is it completely meaningless in that context. Yes, small businesses are in the long-tail of distribution and in the aggregate MAY drag down the total usage figures, but I'd be careful of making such sweeping generalizations. Use the stat as a datapoint, rather than as a definitive measure, but it's also consistent with what I've seen elsewhere and that makes me suspect XML is in much wider use than may be immediately obvious.

-- Kurt Cagle


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