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The BI Bake Off Comes to Gartner

by Cindi Howson  |  March 11, 2015  |  3 Comments

Yep, a real live BI bake off among four arch competitors: Qlik, SAS, Tableau, and TIBCO! It’s a first for the Gartner BI Summit, and I hope you will be able to join us March 29, 1 p.m., in Las Vegas.

I’ve been facilitating bake offs for customers and at events such as TDWI and DAMA for several years now. It is a high-action, visual way to get a side-by-side comparison of leading visual data discovery products. The bake off is somewhat terrifying – for vendors and for me – but it’s great for BI buyers. I mean, really, would you rather wade through more paper-based RFP responses? I didn’t think so!

In the bake-off, vendors adhere to scripted demo topics that we’ve selected to best reveal each product’s strengths and weaknesses. And here is a new twist I love: we’ve asked vendors to use a consistent sample data set to allow for clearer comparisons. We’ve partnered with Posiba, an organization that uses data to support charities. For this bake off, we will be using data on homeless shelters, at risk individuals, and Census data. So it’s an educational event as well as a way to use BI for a greater good.

We are limited on time so could only invite four vendors to the main session, but a number of vendors in the exhibit hall will also be participating via scripted demos and the sample data set at their booths.

Live polling allows attendees to vote by use case and criterion on which product best meets your needs. As the facilitator, I’ll let you know where Gartner agrees on particular strengths, or where the demo might have looked better than what we our research finds.

This first bake off will focus on visual data discovery that’s driving much of the current BI buying, confusion abounds, and we’ve seen rapid innovation.  If this first bake off goes well, I hope we will be able to add future sessions on particular focus areas. I look forward to seeing you there, and if you can’t attend in person, watch the tweet stream #GartnerBI. Regards, Cindi Howson

Mascarpone Lemon Cake

My Lemon Mascarpone Cake looked better than it tasted 🙂

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Category: business-analytics  business-intelligence  

Tags: summit  visual-data-discovery  

Cindi Howson
Research VP
1 years at Gartner
25 years IT Industry

Cindi Howson is a Research Vice President at Gartner, where she focuses on business intelligence (BI) and analytics. Her work includes writing about market trends, vendors and best practices and advising organizations on these subjects. Read Full Bio

Thoughts on The BI Bake Off Comes to Gartner

  1. Bruno Aziza says:

    Can’t wait for this. This is going to be a great session. Nice to see Cindi bringing some controversy into the conference!

    Analytically Yours,

  2. Pierre says:

    who won the competition?

  3. Pat Hennel says:

    Data visualization is definitely one of the BI hot topics today. Can’t wait to hear how the event went, and what other areas you may focus on in the future!

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