As you are no-doubt aware, we have received a record number of entries to this year's Buy-Side Technology Awards ─ 185 in all. The sheer scale of the numbers does not, in itself, present me with too much of a challenge. Sure, it takes a few days to complete the often laborious process of cutting and pasting and then allocating the individual entries to their appropriate categories, but that's the nature of this beast, I'm afraid. Perhaps one of our data management vendors can design a simple software program for collating, scrubbing, normalizing and allocating the various entries so that they can be straight-through processed and forwarded on to our judging panel with the minimum of fuss? Maybe not.
To be honest, I quite enjoy scanning each entry to see what everyone has been up to over the course of the last 12 months. I also don't mind re-formatting the entries to ensure uniformity ─ again, that pretty much goes with the territory, although you would have thought that people representing technology firms would know the difference between pdfs and Word documents by now!
But this year I am faced with a problem that I simply cannot overcome: Entrants have obviously learned from judges' feedback over the past number of years, which is reflected in the quality of the entries this year. Suffice to say ─ and I'm sure all entrants will be happy to hear this ─ that choosing a winner from a dozen or more worthy recipients in many of the categories is taking more than a little deliberation. Talk about agonizing decisions...
But this is a good thing: When we launched this awards program five years ago, we were determined to ensure that it would by driven by the pursuit excellence only and not be influenced by who threw the most money at us during the course of the year through subscriptions and advertising, or who wined and dined me at the best London or New York restaurants.
Matthew Crabbe, the MD of Incisive Media's Risk Division, warned me five years ago that I was creating a rod for my own back with the Buy-Side Technology Awards. "Be prepared to lose some friends," he quipped. Matt was right, I have lost one or two friends over the years, but I'm happy to say that I've made more. I guess it's just a case of swings and roundabouts.
Anyway, this year, more so than any other, there will be a large number of disappointed entrants. It would be nice to be in a position where we can guarantee everyone an award, but unfortunately that's not what this exercise is about: This is not the "egg-and-spoon race" at kindergarten where everyone gets a donut and a Coke for simply pitching up ─ this is about acknowledging a single product in a category that we, as a panel, feel is more worthy than any other of the winner's tag.
Again, thanks to everyone for your support of the Buy-Side Technology Awards. All your hard work is done. The rest now is up to us.
Editor-in-Chief, Waters and WatersTechnology.com
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