Metri-Mark, a marketing research and consulting firm, recently released the results of their 2003 Documentation Manager’s Survey. Here’s a summary:
More than half of the respondents say they work in the “high tech” industry (51.8%) and are most concerned about the “quality” (34.2%) and the “accuracy”(35.6%) of the content they create. No big surprises there!
They say their bosses don’t include them as early in the development process as they should— sometimes (47.3%) or never (20.2%)—but, that’s okay because they feel appreciated (51.8%) and are fairly compensated (47.7%).
A third of the repsondents say they make an annual salary of US$80,000 or more per year (33.8%); only 3.1 say they take home less than US$40,000 annually. While 35.1% of the respondents say they “single source” the content they create, a nearly equal percentage (35.3%) say they’re just thinking about it.
One-fifth of respondents are currently utilizing structured writing methods supported by XML authoring tools, while 41.9% are still pondering the possibilities.
Overall, the data presented in the Metri-Mark survey is interesting, but that’s about it. It should be much better organized and professionally formatted for ease-of-use, especially given the audience (technical communicators and documentation managers). The data collected is of limited value, except (perhaps) to the company that paid for the survey.