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The Year Ahead in Analytics and BI – The Bake Off Goes Bigger

by Cindi Howson  |  January 15, 2019  |  2 Comments

Happy New Year!

I hope everyone had restful and rejuvenating holidays. We have a lot in store for you in 2019 and no doubt the frenetic pace of innovation and activity in analytics and BI will continue throughout the year.

The BI Bake Off Goes Bigger and Global:  This will mark our 5th annual Gartner BI bake off and my 14th year running these events.  This year we are also bringing the bake off to London and to the data science and machine learning category. These are fast-paced, educational sessions in which you get to see vendors demo their capabilities, argue their differentiators, and show the most powerful innovations in a controlled environment. No smoke and mirrors, no FUDing (or I have to called the vendor out on the spot). They are exciting for you and highly stressful for the vendors and me. Okay, exciting for me too. You can see Microsoft, Qlik, Tableau, and ThoughtSpot in Orlando, Florida, March 17, and the first three vendors in London, March 5 (shorter on time as it’s our first time running the bake off in Europe).   Watch this blog in March for vendors who participate virtually.  Watch Carlie’s blog and tweets for the data science and ML participants.

Data for Good: We use a Data for Good theme in the bake offs (in past years we have analyzed the Opioid epidemic, traffic fatalities, college value, and homelessness).  I would love your ideas on possible data sets for this year’s bake off. This could be a public data set, or if you are an international NGO or nonprofit willing to donate your data, let me know (this week). Last month, I was also honored to be a judge in the #Visualize2030 contest and have been impressed by the work done by these university students from around the world. The winners were announced at the World Economic Forum, and you can see their apps. My colleague Jorgen Heizenberg has also been looking at data for good work from D&A service providers, and we hope to publish a note on this in Q2 (here is last year’s note).

Summits: Book Your One-on-Ones Promptly! We love talking to customers in person. One-on-one sessions at our summits are open to all attendees and are like mini consulting sessions. But we fill up quickly (it sometimes feels a little like scoring tickets to that rock concert!). Please note the dates that these open for London:  January 21 for Alumni and February 4 for all attendees.  For Orlando:  February 4 for Alumni and February 19 for all attendees.

2019 Analytics and BI Magic Quadrant:  This normally publishes in February. If you can’t make it to one of our summits or inquiry calls, then save the date for our webinar on March 28th, 11 EST – URL to follow.

Cool Vendors for Conversational AI. BI Search and NLP has been a strong interest of mine since I first wrote about it in the first edition of my Successful BI book, back in 2008. It’s hard to believe these powerful capabilities have taken more than a decade to become more mainstream and a Gartner top 10 strategic technology trend.  So I am excited to work on this note, due out in Q4, but that means I mean to be discovering these cool vendors throughout the year. If you are a vendor who fits that description, I look forward to discovering you!

Timely Product Insights:  We already published our first note of the year, the updated Critical Capabilities for IBM Cognos Analytics, also integrated into the interactive view. Moving to these more frequent updates is a pilot across Gartner that I am excited to see expand in 2019.

Have you set your new year’s resolutions? My family and I still pin ours to the kitchen cupboard to see how well we do each year.  Some are work related, some more personal. I had to chuckle looking at how my yoga goals have changed over the years. (try yoga once …get to yoga once a month … once a quarter during kids’ swim season …you get the idea). You can probably imagine that I am not one to sit still much, but I am finding that it is the great healer and focuser for a stressful job with a fair bit of travel. So the family got a gift certificate to Hot Yoga! Let’s see how well we do with that throughout the year!


Cheers and Namaste!

Cindi Howson




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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 Year Ahead in Analytics and BI – The Bake Off Goes Bigger

  1. […] getting our “ski legs” the first time around. Check out Cindi’s tweet (@BIScorecard) and blog to learn more about these popular, exciting […]

  2. David Trujillo says:

    Have you guys ever participated in the International Data Analytics Olympiad? It’s a Russian based competition that attracts teams from numerous companies and universities. They supply problems from different dicsiplines each year.

    Congratulations on your success. And p.s. a gift certificate to hot yoga was a great idea!

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