One of the most highly anticipated and highly regarded reviews of the business intelligence market was published last week. Gartner's famous "Magic Quadrant" was released. Tableau was cited as a "Challenger." We’re thrilled to be a Challenger and especially how we were positioned relative to the measure called “ability to execute.” We think how well a vendor can execute is the critical factor in how much benefit you’ll get from your BI platform. Since Gartner's assessment is based largely on customer reviews, we have our customers to thank for that.
You can get the report itself here. The most famous element of the report is the actual Magic Quadrant itself, shown to the left. But the report is more than that. Gartner writes a detailed analysis of every included vendor, detailing each vendor's strengths and cautions. Gartner also details overall industry trends.
Because it's based primarily on customer surveys and on Gartner's own analysis of the vendor's business strategy, the report is thorough. Key findings from the Gartner Magic Quadrant report include:
- “In 2011, business users continued to exert significant influence over BI decisions, often choosing data discovery products in addition to/as alternatives to traditional BI tools. An avalanche of new use cases, content types and interaction models expands the scope for tomorrow's BI platforms”
- “Differences between Business Users and IT in how they drive product preferences: The crux of the conflict remains the same as last year: business users demand easy to use, flexible products that put analytic power into their own hands, against IT's desire to maintain standards and create a supportable BI environment with predictable performance and quality data.”
Gartner has identified the following six trends that directly impact the direction of the BI platforms market.
- Differences Between Business Users and IT Drive Product Preferences
The crux of the conflict remains the same as last year: business users demand easy to use, flexible products that put analytic power into their own hands, against IT's desire to maintain standards and create a supportable BI environment with predictable performance and quality data.
- Data Discovery Momentum Continues to Accelerate
Data discovery alternatives to enterprise BI platforms offer highly interactive and graphical user interfaces built on in-memory architectures to address business users' unmet ease-of-use and rapid deployment needs.
- The Rise of Mobile Computing Changes the Face of BI
The expansion of mobile computing devices — tablets and smartphones — has revived mobile BI by solving most of the problems that prevented success in the past.
- Putting the Focus on Decision Support
Most BI platforms are deployed as systems of performance measurement, not for decision support. This is changing as organizations are recognizing that analytic capabilities are just one (albeit critical) piece of the decision process.
- An Avalanche of New Use Cases and Content Types
This points to a facet of BI platforms that Gartner hears about often in inquiry — cCustomers are expanding the use of BI products in new areas, and looking to vendors to support those moves. These areas often promulgate new requirements above and beyond the more traditional management information analysis most often associated with BI.
- Removing Complexity From the BI Equation
BI and analytic environments are often described as difficult to implement, maintain, develop, and use. But there are additional layers of analytic sophistication that also need to be simplified so they can be consumed by business users, not just analytic experts. (Gartner) sees the beginnings of this trend emerging and expect it to have a significant impact on this market in the years to come— both for consumers and authors of business analytic content.
As many software buyers know, the overall satisfaction with a software provider is based on many dimensions including product quality, response times, business relationship, support quality, website resources, and so on. And in making a purchase decision, software buyers also know they are not just buying software for today; it likely is software that will be used for years to come. So having satisfaction with the vendor’s product of today and confidence in that vendor’s future is important.