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Gartners Magic Quadrant for BI Platforms 2016

A quick visual analysis of the 2016 Gartner Magic Quadrant for BI Platforms. This analysis first appeared on a personal blog.


In order to understand this new quadrant and compare it to the ones of previous years, it's important to realize the different market definition of BI and analytics platforms that Gartner is using. The buying decisions for BI and analytics platforms has gradually shifted from IT to the business. The focus of buyers has shifted toward easy-to-use tools that support a full range of analytic workflow capabilities and do not require significant involvement from IT to predefine data models upfront as a prerequisite to analysis.

Comparision with 2015

SAP, SAS, IBM and Microstrategy all dropped out of the leaders quadrant. In IBM's case the different definition Gartner uses to look at the segment of BI and analytics platforms means that they are taking Watson into account, and not Cognos - that will be covered in Gartners market guide for enterprise reporting-based platforms.
Microsoft excels on the completeness of vision axis, where also Qlik goes forward. Compared with Tableau and Microsoft, Qlik scores significantly higher on complexity of analysis - which Gartner attributes to its stronger ability to support multiple data sources, a robust calculation engine and associative filtering and search.
Tableau drops a little on the ability to execute, mainly due to difficulties with complex implementations and limited support when it comes to integrating combinations of different sources in preparation for analysis. This creates the need for Tableau to be deployed with another tool to cover this aspect of an implementation - which magnifies the TCO.

Logi Analytics and Pentaho both move into the Visionaries quadrant, with Logi Analytics losing some ground on the ability to execute axis due to limited market awareness of the product and less positive client references. Pentaho, that was acquired by Hitachi in May 2015, has a strong focus on Big Data and the IoT, with native integration with i.e. Hadoop and MongoDB. Tibco keeps dropping further on the Y-axis and reflects the reality of keeping pace in a rapidly evolving market.


This newcomer in the Magic Quadrant for BI falls in the quadrant of Niche Players. Although Salesforce generated widespread awareness and consideration of Wave Analytics through successfull showings at the past two Dreamforce events, the solution lags behind the Leaders and Visionaries in key measures of market understanding that reflect mainstream buying. Cloud deployment and mobile capabilities are clear strenghts, while absent functionality, low complexity of analysis and low scores for ease of use for developers are clear weaknesses for Wave analytics. The roadmap contains many of the features that would close the gap on data discovery, and the functionality of the product is enhanced with each of its six annual releases.