Gartner 2018 Magic Quadrant

Andrew Lang

So it's that time of the year again, it seems like only yesterday that we were looking at the shifts and changes that came with the 2017 quadrant, and now here we are again.


So for anyone unfamiliar with the concept of the magic quadrant, it’s a tool for visualising how the various platforms and companies within a space stack up against each other, there are two main axis on the chart, Completeness of Vision and Ability to execute. Companies/Products are ranked on these two main metrics and plotted on the chart, which is then divided into four regions, as seen in the 2017 version of the chart below, from leaders and challengers down to visionaries and niche players, Gartner, of course, has a complete report that goes into detail on all the companies featured explaining their thoughts and reasoning behind the positioning within the quadrant, which is definitely worth your time to read and can be found (via Tableau) here. Companies are included in the quadrant if they meet Gartner's inclusion criteria, which broadly speaking is based on Market share and if their tools main focus is in this space.


2017 Gartner Magic Quadrant


So without any more fanfare here is the new Analytics and Bi Magic Quadrant:


2018 Gartner Magic Quadrant


So the first thing that's worth noting is that there is now a greater distance between the niche players and the visionaries than there was last year, though the makeup of the companies in these quarters of the chart has remained unchanged from previous years (mostly).


Alteryx has also dropped off this chart, but that is more of a reflection of the purpose of the tool, and they can now be found in the leader quarter of the Machine Learning and Data Science Magic Quadrant:


2018 Data Science and Machine Learning Quadrant

Which makes total sense given the target audience for a tool like Alteryx, so dropping off the Analytics and BI Quadrant is no bad thing for them.


There are Four (and a half) Points of interest to me in the Analytics and BI Magic Quadrant this year


1. A New Name

There is this year a re-ordering of the name for the magic quadrant from “Business Intelligence and Analytics” to “Analytics and Business Intelligence” this represents the culmination of the shift from the world of heavyweight Business Intelligence tools and processes to more agile and intuitive IT-optional Analytics Tools, I think this is a good decision reflecting where the space as a whole has moved to.


The agility of these new analytics tools and the ease of use factor plays a significant role in the Gartner report and two of the five key use cases this year, reference self-service analytics both as an end goal in itself and as part of a workflow to a more governed process.


2. A Bigger Spread of fewer tools.

As noted above there now appears to be three main clusters, the niche players and visionaries are now substantially more separated out, and there are a few fewer companies on the quadrant, 20 this year compared to 23 last year.


I’m not sure what to make of this change my gut instinct is telling me that this may be a case where the visionaries are starting to pull away from the pack a little and consolidating their vision, as for the losses, Alteryx, as we noted above, has been left of this quadrant and is appearing on the Data science and machine learning quadrant, as for the other losses, there is an inclusion exclusion criteria section in the report for those interested, and the reasons for exclusion are given in the document.

Looker is the only addition to this years magic quadrant.


3.  Microstrategy

I must confess a certain amount of surprise at the change in Microstrategy's position this year jumping from being on the border of niche player and visionary to the position of a challenger, but digging a little into the report it becomes clearer. The Microstrategy platform appears to have undergone some significant changes over the last year including enterprise features and improvements, such as tools for collaboration and certification, as well as increasing the extensibility of the platform with API’s and an SDK.

These couples with improvements to the user journey and analytics capabilities make Microstrategy something to watch in 2018. Though as the report notes its likely a tool that will struggle to find traction beyond its existing user base, and its very much still a very large scale tool not so ideally placed for more agile and nimble deployments. In may respects still wedded to the older notions of Business and Management Intelligence.


4.  Microsoft & Tableau

The big two maintain their positions, the gap in completeness of vision widening only a little, and this is very reflective of both tools having significant market shares and impressive feature rosters. In my opinion both tools have, in their own way, come to define the  analytics platform, in terms of both Ease of use (Tableau), and Ease of Access (Microsoft) and with continuous innovation and improvement they could be well on their way to similar positions next year.

Microsoft's completeness of vision is significantly higher than Tableau’s and has been since last year, this is reflective of the fact that unlike tableau microsoft can offer a complete package from database through to delivery.


4.5 Qlik

The case of Qlik is an odd one, still in the leader quadrant its position with its Qlik Sense product and the ability to edit online, but has improved only marginally, its ability to execute still lower than Tableau and Microsoft, but it clings on, its survival as a leader this year makes it another tool to watch to see what improvements may be in the pipeline.


So that's the landscape of the Analytics space this year, and we can't wait to see what new tools and techniques come to define this year in Analytics.

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