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Summer Shake-Ups in BI and Analytics: SalesForce, BeyondCore; Workday, Platfora and more

by Cindi Howson  |  August 23, 2016  |  Submit a Comment

What a busy month!

I had only just arrived amid the rolling hills of Tuscany for a family reunion, vowing not to check email for a few days, when I got word of the Platfora acquisition. Then Oracle of NetSuite, and last week, Salesforce of BeyondCore. Here are my thoughts on what this means for you and for the industry, plus some updates on Tableau and Qlik.

Smart Data Discovery Disruption

Just as the data discovery vendors disrupted the traditional BI vendors, evolving into the new face of modern BI and analytic platforms, the next wave of disruption will come from smart data discovery. As described in this note, smart data discovery combines the best in brain research, visual perception, advanced analytics, machine learning, natural language processing and natural language generation. As discussed in the hype cycle, the time to maturity is still 5-10 years out, but the impact is transformational. BeyondCore – the poster child for smart data discovery – was new to the Magic Quadrant this year, as was IBMs’ new product Watson Analytics. SAP’s new BusinessObjects Cloud also includes smart data discovery. So with big vendors like Salesforce moving into this space, it is good news for the industry. Expect to hear more about the vendor’s roadmap at their Dreamforce conference, but for now, Salesforce says they expect to continue to sell BeyondCore as a standalone solution as well as embedding it in Wave Analytics and apps. If you haven’t seen BeyondCore before, check out their BI bake off video here.  Read more in Rita’s blog for potential impacts.

Cloud ERP Meets BI, Analytics and Big Data

Platfora was also a newcomer to the Magic Quadrant this year with some unique capabilities around advanced analytics and Hadoop-based discovery. Workday has done a number of advanced analytic acquisitions in the last few years (Identified, Updshot), integrating them into their reporting and analytics capabilities for HR and finance. Workday has said they will no longer sell Platfora standalone but will continue to support existing customers through contract end. So for now, no change. Beyond that, can I suggest an inquiry call?

So this acquisition got me thinking about where else might we see some industry consolidation, similar to the ERP-BI consolidation in 2007-2008. Just as we were wondering if NetSuite might acquire somebody, Oracle announced that acquisition! I look forward to hearing how the NetSuite BI front end will be impacted, as well as the BI vendors that partnered with NetSuite.

Tableau Announces a New President

Yesterday, Tableau announced that Christian Chabot, co-founder and CEO, will assume the role of Chairman of the Board, while Adam Selipskywill take over as President.  Selipsky comes from Amazon Web Services. The move is not a shocker as Tableau had previously said it was searching for a President. For now, we take this is as a positive, as Chabot is willing to hand over the reins to take the company to the next level whereas some founders are not. But then look at those founders who had to return to revive floundering companies:  Steve Jobs, Michael Dell ….time will tell. It also is very interesting that someone so strong in cloud takes over, after Tableau said in their earnings call earlier this month that Tableau Online has grown more than 100 percent.

Qlik Privatizes

Investment firm Thoma Bravo completed the privatization of Qlik yesterday. As we wrote in this note, for now, we are neutral to positive on this privatization that was driven largely by an activist investor and changing market dynamics that is less tolerant of debt and lack of profitability.   We will be watching for any changes in key personnel, product roadmaps, and release cycles. This means, though, that Q2 is the last 10-Q filing, and that showed a healthy 26% license revenue growth for Q2 2016 versus Q2 2015.

Lastly, I have to let you know that Gartner is bringing back the Customer Excellence Awards in BI and Analytics. I have a soft spot for these as many previous years’ winners became case studies in my book, Successful Business Intelligence: Secrets to Unlock the Value of BI and Analytics. I also am so excited to see even more great stories of BI and analytics delivering valuable business outcomes!

Phew! Will the next few weeks be a bit quieter? Never!


Cindi Howson



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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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