Tech.co is here to help you find the right technology for your needs and we take that job very seriously, because we believe tech matters.
It matters when you're investing your hard-earned cash and need to see results without delays, hidden costs, or catches. It matters because choosing the right solution will set you up for success, save you time, and grow your business.
So, for every product, service or provider we recommend, we spend hours researching the market and reviewing the serious contenders in depth. This way we can be sure we're giving you the best advice, and you can benefit from clear and accurate breakdowns and comparisons, without having to do all that work yourself.
But how do we do it?
Whether you're looking for accounting software, project management tools, or social media management services, you will find dozens of brands and options reviewed, ranked and rated across Tech.co – and each one has its own various features, price points, and quirks.
Rather than leaving our readers in the dark, we thought it was only fair to explain our process for gathering and sorting this information, creating scores and rankings, and discussing the various products that we cover.
One thing you can rely on, is that our recommendations will never be bought. While Tech.co is monetized through client and affiliate partnerships, which allows us to continue operating, it never affects our editorial integrity: if we say something is the best, you can be sure that it is. Learn more about Tech.co
The First Steps
While we discuss a range of different products, our method for gathering information is the same whether we’re talking about HR software or email management software.
Firstly, we find the best contenders for these products. There can be anywhere from tens to hundreds of products in any one area, but to cover them all would take too long, and wouldn’t really help anyone. So typically, we try to nail down a top 10 to 20 key products within a certain market.
For example, if we were researching social media management, we’d first find the top 10 to 20 social media management platforms that are worthy of reviewing through market research and user reviews.
Breaking It Down
Once we have the list of key products we want to analyze, we then determine what aspects of these products will matter most to our readers. We do this by simply asking users like you, as well as by looking as case studies and reviews of the most popular products.
For example, we’ve found that an email marketing software with generous sending limits will be valued more highly by a small business than an email marketing software with a very niche engagement tool. We’ll go granular and find out which products offer which exact services, and at what value.
There are some aspects that we’ll always consider important. These include price (a factor in almost any purchase ever made), ease of use (which, while subjective, is a crucial part of any tool) and features, which are the meat and potatoes of any tech solution.
In order to get the most comprehensive view of a product, we examine every option closely, meticulously analyzing and cataloging each significant feature or point of comparison we chose in the previous step.
We will then get stuck into every free trial and demo on offer, as well as sign up to paid plans for a limited time, in order to get a feel for each product’s ease of use. We’ll usually design a test, including a specific set of actions to attempt with each of the options we’re comparing, and find out how each product really responds. This helps us to validate or refute any marketing info a brand claims on its website.
In many cases, we’ll also speak directly to company reps to clarify pricing, features and other details, and get a feel for a brand's customer service. Every scrap of information that we gather is entered into a large database that helps us cross compare products.
Our researchers' final job is to compile everything they’ve found into a final rating. Having and discussing paragraphs of information is useful, but sometimes you just want to know if one product simply outweighs the other, on the balance of information.
We gather up every scrap of data we have on each product, assign each aspect we’ve considered a score and percentage weight based on our understanding of user needs, and throw it all into an algorithm. This gives us an overall score out of five, which we use to organize the order of our recommendations.
Our overall scores will be weighted differently in different contexts. For example, when taking a general look at all social media management software options, Zoho Social comes out pretty middling, scoring 3.7 out of 5. However, when looking at it through the eyes of a small business, its value for money and tools for engagement with a business’s audience boost it to the top of the list, for a hearty 4.7 stars for small business needs specifically.
From Research to Recommendations
Now we’ve gathered all the information we need, it’s time to use it. Our researchers and writers collaborate closely, in order to ensure a consensus and understanding on what all this data means for potential customers. We can then give clear and accurate recommendations for you to read on Tech.co.
Rather than publishing an unappealing spreadsheet that indicates, for example, that a software provider doesn’t offer analytics services on its lower-tiered plans, our articles tell the reader what this would mean for a typical user, whether it’s worth springing for certain extra features or not, and whether there are other products that might be a better fit for their needs (and why).
It would be possible to take our findings and upload them straight for general viewing, but the sheer amount of data a product can produce can be overwhelming, so we transfer our research into written form to help you cut through the white noise and compare products with ease.
We include the key findings in easy-to-digest tables and reviews, and we also offer price comparison tools and charts, so you can access tailored results for your needs.
So, now you know how it’s done. The next time you read a Tech.co review or recommendation, you can trust it has been through the same rigorous process as described above. We take pride in helping you find the right tech solutions for your needs.