Blog post

BI Bake-Off Rocks The Virtual Data & Analytics Summit, 2021!

By Rita Sallam | May 12, 2021 | 2 Comments

We just completed our live Virtual BI Bake-Off as part of our first ever Virtual Data & Analytics Summit.

The Bake-Offs are fast-paced, informative sessions that let you see vendors side-by-side using scripted demos and a common data set in a controlled setting. We had been doing these BI Bake-off sessions in person at our D&A summits prior to the global pandemic– in fact they have been some of our most popular sessions. But, like all of you, the pandemic has forced us to innovate as we did our very first virtual BI Bake off last October and it was awesome! This year’s was too!!

For the vendors that participate in the Bake-Off, it is in equal measure fun and extremely stressful. It’s a high stakes session where they put everything on the line in from of their arch competitors, revealing what’s coming and coveted sales tactics all while being judged by attendees. It takes a fair bit of preparation, extreme commitment and an ability to shine under pressure. Our distinguished panelists did not disappoint! This year, the added dimension of the virtual format allowed attendees to engage with the session in an open chat, encourage panelists and comment with each other in ways they have never done in in-person Bake-Offs. I loved seeing all the insightful comments and well wishes! This engaged community of BI Bakers was a much welcomed side benefit of going virtual! This blog post highlights key findings and gives you access to participating vendor demos and post event blogs.

If you are a registered attendee of Gartner’s Data and Analytics Summit Americas, 2021, you can access the Bake-Off session replay on demand starting May 13, 2021 through your Gartner conference registration account for 90 days from the start of the conference.

Also, any registered attendee of any of the five global D&A Virtual Summits will be able to access the session on demand through their Gartner conference registration beginning at the start of each conference.

We use the Bake-Offs as a platform for data for good. In this session, we used global vaccine data since it’s quite relevant to all of us now. We have asked the vendors to answer some very important business questions related to vaccine administration, its impact on spread, deaths, containment successes, economic recovery and what governments can do to improve distribution, equity, reduce hesitancy and outcomes.

In the Bake-Off last October, we used population health data. In 2019, we used loneliness and happiness data. And in the past, we have analyzed opioid epidemic data , traffic fatalities, college costs, and homelessness.

The results were hopeful for some regions of the world and heart wrenching for others in terms of the human suffering resulting from global vaccine inequities.

Below are some notable findings and videos from participating vendors. Microsoft, Qlik and Tableau were selected for this session because they are MQ leaders. AnswerRocket was a wildcard random selection of MQ or MQ honorable mention applicants to give you a chance to see a smaller innovative vendor.

We are also highlighting other analytics and BI vendor videos below that were submitted by May 3, 2021 at 3:30pm EST, the start time of the live session.


AnswerRocket’s exploration paradigm centers around natural language query, dynamic data stories and proactive alerts instead of dashboards. Here is a link to AnswerRocket’s bake-off video and post conference blog. Key insights discovered include:

  • New deaths are down 4.8% worldwide.
  • The majority of new vaccination increases month-over-month were concentrated in 3 countries: India, China, and the United States. Further, nearly 90% of the gains came from just 15 countries.
  • By June 5th, weekly vaccines will drive the unemployment rate below 4.5%.
  • When it came to containing the spread of COVID cases, countries with a higher prevalence of domestic travel restrictions and mass population testing measures faired better than those that relied predominantly on awareness campaigns.


Microsoft found a number of interesting insights below. Here is the link to Microsoft’s BI Bake-Off Blog and Microsoft’s BI Bake-Off Video.

  • Climate has an impact on COVID-related cases. In the US, between states with roughly the same vaccination rate, states that have an overall cooler climate are seeing caseloads creeping back up while states that have an overall warmer climate see caseloads come down and stay down. This seems to support the notion that the COVID virus is struggling to survive and spread in warmer temperatures.
  • Among health-related indicators present in the dataset, smoking rate among the female part of the population is world-wide the biggest influencer of COVID-related cases: when the rate goes up 10%, the total cases per million increases by approximately 18,000. However, in Asia, diabetes prevalence is the biggest driver for COVID-related cases.
  • Central and South American countries suffered the biggest loss in GDP (8.4%). In comparison, countries in Asia suffered a 3.6% GDP loss. The driver in Asian countries was workplace closures. Countries with less than a 100 days of closures actually saw their GDP grow by 4.5%.
  • In Central and South American countries, the biggest influencers were the domestic travel restrictions. Countries with over 300 days of restrictions saw their GDP shrink by 11%.


Qlik found a common theme. Promise in richer countries that are far along in vaccine distribution and significant uncertainty for poorer countries that lag far behind. Here is the link to Qlik’s BI Bake-Off blog. Here is Qlik’s BI Bake-Off video. Other insights Qlik found are below:

  • While the United States and the UK have administered a relative high number of vaccinations per 100, several central African nations are either yet to begin or report their first vaccinations, suggesting there’s work to do to ensure equitable access to the global population.
  • This skewed distribution was further highlighted by identifying that the top nine countries which are responsible for 80% of total vaccinations, account for only 48% of the global population.
  • Although Qlik’s birthplace of Sweden is currently experiencing a third wave of cases, deaths continue to trend downwards. Similar patterns are seen in The Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland and France.
  • Comparing current COVID outcomes against government policy responses, those countries that have seen a higher total deaths per thousand rate generally seem to have been less stringent with international travel control measures at the onset of the pandemic.


Here is a link to Tableau’s post Bake-Off blog and videos. Some interesting findings are below:

  • The global vaccination rate is 10% below goal of 75%.
  • Vaccine nationalism and equality is an issue with 47% of doses having been secured by the wealthiest countries with just 15% of the world’s population. But at first glance, wealth isn’t necessarily an indicator of better outcomes as first thought.
  • Canada is one of the biggest offenders of vaccine inequity. It is wealthy and has secured 3.35 doses per person.  But Canada has not necessarily had better outcomes than some poorer countries. For example, Kenya has twice the population than Canada and is 24 times more dense, but has a COVID death rate that is lower than Canada’s. This can be explained in part by the Stringency index, Kenya responded stronger and faster than Canada.




The vendors below did not participate in the Bake-Off, but provided their videos based on the Bake-Off script and data set.


Domo is a challenger on the 2021 Analytics and BI Magic Quadrant. Here is the link to Domo’s video with the following insights:

  • Data around public health policies show how countries tried to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic leading to significantly different outcomes.
  • In most countries, vaccines do not appear to have hit a threshold to reduce spread significantly.
  • In the United States, states with higher estimated ‘Hesitant’ or ‘Strongly Hesitant’ populations have been lagging in vaccination rates in recent weeks compared to states with smaller ‘Hesitant’ and ‘Strongly Hesitant’ populations.


Oracle is in the Visionary’s quadrant on the 2021 Analytics and BI Magic Quadrant. They submitted this video and the following insights:

  • While vaccinations rates are increasing throughout Europe, new case counts have been trending upward from February onward. As late as December, it looked like cases were heading down.    Vaccinations started in the UK in late December, but rollout in the EU has been slower than other geographies, leading Europe back into a COVID case growth curve.
  • North America is also showing upward trajectory on COVID cases, but only starting in March. Peak vaccination day in the US was Apr 11.  Two days later, safety concerns over one vaccine brand were raised, leading to lower uptake of vaccines in the US since then. The vaccine rate has not recovered in the US since that date.
  • All geographies are showing an uptick in cases, even as vaccinations climb. While vaccinations are often viewed as the panacea, the disease is outpacing the ability to get shots in arms.
  • High Income and Upper Middle-Income countries are far ahead in vaccine doses delivered. No surprise there.  But absolute numbers of vaccine shots delivered isn’t the key factor—it’s percentage of total population getting fully vaccinated that’s the difference. For example, USA is fully vaccinated at about 30% (as of last data update), whereas India has a high number of vaccines distributed, but only about 2% fully vaccinated.
  • Twelve countries make up more than 50% of the vaccines given based on Vaccines per million measures.


Tibco Spotfire is a Visionary on the 2021 Analytics and BI Magic Quadrant. They submitted this video and the following insights:

  • Since the vaccination rollout began, partial vaccination rates across US states had kept pretty steady until around mid-April, when there seemed to be an inflection point in vaccination adoption. In southern states, this flattening of the vaccinations curve is quite apparent and may indicate signs of vaccine hesitancy. The opposite is seen in California, where their partial vaccination rate has far surpassed the national average.
  • In April, Michigan was an extreme outlier, having a case rate far higher than any other state. A possible cause could have been the prevalence of the B.1.1.7 variant. See our most recent blog for more detailed analysis, including analysis of pango lineage, and SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern distribution and prevalence.
  • The single-dose strategy from the UK proved to be very effective at reducing COVID spread. As of the beginning of May, the UK has just 3 new cases per 100,000.


Thank you to all our amazing BI Bake-Off panelists!!

Happy Baking!


Rita Sallam

The Gartner Blog Network provides an opportunity for Gartner analysts to test ideas and move research forward. Because the content posted by Gartner analysts on this site does not undergo our standard editorial review, all comments or opinions expressed hereunder are those of the individual contributors and do not represent the views of Gartner, Inc. or its management.

Leave a Comment


  • Thanks Rita for featuring Oracle Analytics!
    I’d vote for your croissants 🙂