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Part Three of the Magic Quadrant: The Critical Capabilities for BI and Analytics

by Cindi Howson  |  March 10, 2016  |  1 Comment

By Cindi Howson

Woo Hoo! The Critical Capabilities for BI and Analytics just published! It is one of my favorite reports. Well, I do have a love-hate relationship with this report. It is painful to create but I love it for the value for customers. It is the closest you get to my former BI Scorecard – but now powered by a whole team of Gartner analysts (Josh, Rita, Thomas, Joao, Kurt), and instead of 14 vendors, this year, we have covered all 24!

A couple common questions:

Why is Vendor X an MQ Leader but their product is not ranked higher (or vice versa)?

As we have repeatedly said, the Magic Quadrant covers both strategic considerations – like price, partnerships, vision – in addition to product capabilities. The Critical Capabilities looks only at product. Sometimes an MQ leader is the best choice for you, but other times, a Niche or Visionary MQ vendor may have the best product. You have to choose the best fit, weighing all these variables.

Whoa, Vendor X fell in the rankings, what happened?

I really hate those rankings charts. Do you like them? I’m told customers do, so we are stuck with them. I fear it boils a very complex set of requirements into an overly simplistic ranking as I wrote in last year’s blog. So you tell me.

But to answer the question, last year we included only 12 vendors in this research note. This year we included all 24 MQ vendors. So it’s a comparison against a wider range. And then there are different scoring criteria, some of which got buried last year as we included OLAP, ad hoc query and production reporting (all taken out this year). This year is based on these capabilities:


Infrastructure Data Management Analysis and Content Creation Share Findings
Security and User Administration Self-Contained ETL and Data Storage Embedded Advanced Analytics Embed Analytic Content
Data Source Connectivity Self-Service Data Preparation Interactive Visual Exploration Publish Analytic Content
Cloud BI Governance and Metadata Management Analytical Dashboards Collaboration and Social BI
BI Platform Administration Mobile Exploration and Authoring


So, please use the interactive features of this report to set your own weightings on these criteria to come up with your customized rankings (see this video for how). Don’t fall on old habits and print the N page PDF as your first step. Next, study the table on page 12 to compare scores across vendors.   Do let us know what you think of the new color formatting, heat map in this table. The formatting is a trial just for our report. Also, is it helpful to have this table more up front in the report (this year page 12, last year page 63)?

So your three parts to the full BI and analytics landscape include:  The Magic Quadrant, The Market Guide for Enterprise Reporting Platforms (aka traditional BI), and The Critical Capabilities. (and this free webinar guides you through all).

Happy reading!





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Category: business-analytics  business-intelligence  

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

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