Magic Quadrant for Analytics and Business Intelligence Platforms

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For businesses looking to leverage data to drive more effective business decisions, improve operational efficiency and gain a competitive advantage, business intelligence solutions are a must. One effective way to determine the best tools to use for your analytics and business intelligence needs is the Magic Quadrant rankings.

What Is Magic Quadrant?

Magic Quadrant is a methodology used by Gartner, an IT consulting firm. It uses proprietary qualitative and quantitative analysis to identify market trends and to rank solutions in four categories:

  • Leaders — These vendors have market share, strong sales and marketing, credibility and a deep understanding of market needs.
  • Challengers — These vendors are a serious threat to Leaders, delivering strong products but without the size or influence.
  • Visionaries — Vendors in this category have innovative products but have not demonstrated the influence or sustainable profitability.
  • Niche Players — These vendors are often focused on a few markets or industry verticals.

Is There a Magic Quadrant for Business Intelligence?

Yes. Gartner released its 2018 Magic Quadrant for Analytics and Business Intelligence Platforms, basing its rankings on several strategic planning assumptions for 2020, including:

  • Augmented analytics, which uses natural-language querying, augmented data preparation, automated analytics and visual data-discovery capability, will be a growing driver of new platform purchases.
  • Platforms using augmented data discovery will provide twice the business value of those without it.
  • Ninety percent of business intelligence platforms will include natural-language generation and artificial intelligence as standard features.
  • Half of all analytical queries will use natural-language processing, search or voice … or will be generated automatically.
  • Businesses offering their users curated catalogs of internal and external data will derive twice the value of those that do not.

What Criteria for Business Intelligence Does the Magic Quadrant Consider?

Gartner uses 15 criteria to determine its rankings, including:

  1. Platform architecture, administration and security
  2. Cloud capabilities to build, deploy and manage analytics applications
  3. The ability to connect to structured and unstructured data across storage platforms
  4. Metadata management allowing users to capture, search on, store, reuse and publish metadata such as hierarchies, performance metrics and measures
  5. The ability to access, integrate, transform and load data into a self-contained performance engine
  6. Self-service data preparation allowing users to combine data from different sources and create analytic models
  7. Scalability that can handle large data sets and complex data models
  8. Ability for users to access advanced analytics via menu-driven options or importing and integrating external data models
  9. Highly interactive dashboards and content with visual displays
  10. Multiple visualization options, including charts, maps, scatter plots and other visuals
  11. Augmented data discovery that automatically finds, displays and narrates key findings without needing to build new algorithms or models
  12. Capabilities usable on mobile devices
  13. Capabilities to use open standards or APIs to create and modify content, visualizations and applications and embed them in business processes, portals or applications
  14. Publishing, sharing and collaboration capabilities
  15. Visual appeal, ease of use to create content and interact with other users, and workflow integration

Which Solutions Are Leaders in the Business Intelligence Magic Quadrant?

Gartner identifies three Leaders in its 2018 Magic Quadrant — Microsoft, Qlik and Tableau.

Microsoft’s Power BI product is lauded for its low per-user price point, visual appeal, ease of use, product vision and high customer experience marks.

Qlik Sense received high marks for its scalable applications, developer-friendly scripting engine, enterprise governance features, differentiating marketing, commitment to corporate social responsibility, product vision and partner network.

Tableau is considered the gold standard in interactive visualizations and exploration, focus on customer success and flexible and expanding deployment options, according to Gartner.

Who Can Help Us With Choosing and Using the Right Business Intelligence Solution?

Looking for a strategic partner to help with IT strategy for your growing business? CIO Advise works with leading organizations to help streamline efficiencies, improve workflows, boost valuations and increase profitability. Schedule a no-obligation consultation at


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