What’s Changed: 2016 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Business Intelligence and Analytics Platforms

Gartner Magic Quadrant 2016 Business Intelligence and Analytics Platforms

Gartner has officially released the 2016 version of their Magic Quadrant for Business Intelligence and Analytics Platforms, and boy has the market changed. According to Gartner, the enterprise analytics industry has surpassed the tipping point, and has nearly finished its evolution from a market based heavily on reporting to one that is more business-centric and user friendly, offering self-service analytics and allowing more users to get their hands on tools that drive insights. The majority of solution buying in BI and analytics now comes in the form of modern platforms which focus on user engagement, and this fact has essentially reorganization the vendor landscape.

As a result of this major shift in focus, Gartner has identified different perspectives with which to assess vendor performance. Centralized provisioning and tightly governed platforms are becoming a thing of the past, and are being counterbalanced and replaced by tools that promote analytical agility and business user autonomy. Thus, solution providers have had to shift gears. In response, Gartner has pivoted, focusing the 2016 Magic Quadrant on platforms with modern capabilities, something that the technology research giant has been threatening for several years.

gartner-mq-for-emm-2015-1-638The 2016 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Business Intelligence and Analytics Platforms:

  • Complete enterprise market overview from leading researchers
    • Magic Quadrant graphic for quick and easy vendor comparison
  • Strengths and weaknesses of the top integration tools
  • Expert analyst recommendations
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As is customary with in the Gartner Magic Quadrant, vendors are rated based on two metrics: their ability to execute and the completeness of vendor vision. Solution providers are segmented into four quadrants consisting of Niche Players, Visionaries, Challengers, and Leaders. New vendors in this year’s report include Salesforce, Sisense, Domo, Platfora, BeyondCore and ClearStory Data. Solution providers that no longer meet the criteria for inclusion and have been replaced from the Magic Quadrant include OpenText, Panorama, Prognoz, Salient, and surprisingly, Oracle, who was a Leader in the report as recently as 2015.

In the 2015 report there was a dense clustering of vendors. However, Gartner’s newest report reveals a very different looking landscape. The first and most obvious observation is that there are only three vendors positioned in the upper-half of the quadrant, with no solution providers present in the Challengers bracket. Though the majority of vendors showed some downward regression, a testament to industry shakeup, the market has shifted to the benefit of the more innovative providers, who can differentiate their offerings for a wide variety of use-cases.

Tableau, Microsoft and Qlik are the three lone-remaining leaders in this year’s Magic Quadrant. The three providers are grouped rather tightly, with Tableau leading the pack in ability to execute for a second-straight year on the heels of their newest product update. However, Microsoft made real gains horizontally and has far-and-away the most complete vision of any vendor in the market today. Qlik continues to be a strong player as well, and it now looks like a three-horse race for enterprise BI supremacy.

With the Challengers bracket now an empty black hole, the heavily populated Visionaries quadrant deserves extra attention. Alteryx is now on the verge of becoming a market leader, improving in both Magic Quadrant metrics just a short time after receiving $85M in new funding. We do expect Alteryx to be named a Leader in 2017. With Panorama getting the axe, TIBCO is the only other returning Visionary, though the company’s standing took a major hit from their previous position atop the bracket. TIBCO now walks the line between Niche Players and Visionaries, so 2016 will be a crucial year.

Another noteworthy development is the downward movement of tech giants IBM, SAP and SAS, who now all find themselves amongst the rest of the pack. SAS and SAP remain closely grouped in the upper quarter of their bracket, but IBM’s standing dropped like a led balloon, with the company now positioned in the middle of the Visionaries space. Despite the highest product rating of any vendor in the Magic Quadrant and a brand new solution focusing on self-service data governance, MicroStrategy was also downgraded to market visionary.

Logi Analytics positioning took a considerable dive, now calling the middle of the Visionaries bracket home after a year as a Challenger. Logi’s regression comes as a result of eroding scores in the customer reference survey. Pentaho saw a slight dip in their ability to execute, though the company was able to cross the border from the Niche Players bracket with a bump in completeness of vision. ClearStory Data, a cloud and Spark-based tool offering self-service data preparation and leveraging machine learning, and BeyondCore, a vendor that touts a data discovery tool and high scores in market understanding, round out the Visionaries field, making their first appearances in the Gartner Magic Quadrant.

The Niche Players bracket includes four newcomers, Domo, Salesforce, Sisense and Platfora. It may come as a surprise to some that Birst is now a Niche Player after being well within striking distance of the Leaders column last year, but their positional downgrade comes at a time where Gartner is concerned about the complexity of their offerings and pedestrian marketing strategy. Now sitting atop the Niche Players bracket and with a new Networked BI tool recently released, Birst could go any one of four ways in 2017, and their overall trajectory will be a story-line to keep track of in the months ahead.

GoodData showed minor pullback in both Magic Quadrant metrics, though remains strong in the bracket behind only Birst and newcomer Domo. Board International showed minor horizontal improvement, finding itself clustered with Information Builders and Sisense in the middle of the bracket, just ahead of Yellowfin, who offers an easy-to-use platform, though some users complain of poor product quality and support functionality. Information Builders also saw a dip in standing and was a market leader just one year ago. On the heels of $30 million in new funding, Pyramid Analytics looks like a provider on the rise, scoring well on capabilities that support a governed self-service analytics environment and ease of use for end-users. Datawatch went from being within a stone’s throw of the Visionaries column in 2015 to the lowest on the visual this year, quite literally on the verge of falling off the map. It will be interesting to see what they have in store for their customers in the year ahead.

Read Gartner’s Magic Quadrant.

Timothy King
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Timothy King

Editor, Data and Analytics at Solutions Review
Timothy is an enterprise technology writer and analyst at Solutions Review, covering Business Intelligence and Data Analytics, Data Integration and Data Management. He holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in History from the University of Massachusetts Lowell. Timothy believes that data can allow us predict things about our future, just as history has aided in the uncovering of our past.
Timothy King
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