January 22, 2009

Gartner’s 2009 Magic Quadrant for Business Intelligence

A few days ago I tore into the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Data Warehouse DBMS.  Well, the 2009 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Business Intelligence Platforms is out too.  Unlike the data warehouse MQ, Gartner’s BI MQ clusters its “Leaders” together tightly. But while less bold, the Business Intelligence Magic Quadrant’s claims are just as questionable as those in data warehousing.

February, 2011 edit: Here’s a partial link that works right now.

Of course, some parts do make sense.  E.g.:

Parts I find more dubious include:

I don’t doubt that Gartner has done good research in support of this article. Indeed, I learned things from reading the supporting commentary. But the actual Magic Quadrant presentation methodology is, as always, fatally flawed.


13 Responses to “Gartner’s 2009 Magic Quadrant for Business Intelligence”

  1. Vincent McBurney on January 22nd, 2009 4:08 am

    Do you have any idea what this statement from the report means:
    “IBM Cognos 8 lacks robust caching, resulting in users hitting the database each time the report is refreshed; however, the recently announced purchase of the derivative rights to Composite Information Server should help to resolve this problem”

    Could not find any announcement on the IBM or Composite websites. Composite is a pureplay data federation vendor with agreements with Informatica and SAP for data federation – what has IBM purchased?

  2. Curt Monash on January 22nd, 2009 5:49 pm

    I’m not familiar with the product or the deal. Maybe some kind of federation between disk-based DBMS and Applix?

    I say Applix rather than solidDB because it’s actually focused on analytics.

  3. DW Consultant on January 22nd, 2009 6:29 pm


    Refering back to DatAllegro (before MS bought it), you mentioned that they have 10 customers and 50 million in revenue. They never had 10 customers and neither did they have 50 mill in revenue. How can we trust this blog any more? You do some interesting stuff but your credibility has gone down (atleast with my group and few more I know) after wrong information regarding DatAllegro.


  4. Stuart Mullins on January 22nd, 2009 6:43 pm

    Composite Information Server is a data federation engine. IBM/Cognos licensed it for inclusion in Cognos8 v4 to provide multi-source reporting capability.

  5. Curt Monash on January 23rd, 2009 9:17 am

    Anonymous DW Consultant,

    You’re making up a few figures there, in what seems to generally be a spate of wildly imaginative blog comments today.

    But yes, DATAllegro did create the (hard to verify one way or the other in retrospect) impression of having an average of several million dollars in product revenue per user, while also creating an (apparently incorrect) impression of having a low double-digit number of users.

  6. Gartner 2008年商业智能魔力象限 | Alex的个人Blog on January 25th, 2009 3:38 am
  7. Neil Raden on January 26th, 2009 12:49 pm


    Actually, Cognos licensed Composite quite a while ago, before being acquired by IBM. Composite’s federation, the last time I saw it, had no real caching that I could see, except perhaps of some metadata, but I’m not sure. Perhaps that has changed in the 2+ years since I evaluated it.

    As for the MQ, it was a bad idea that has reached a perfected level of badness.


  8. Larry Dooley on January 26th, 2009 1:34 pm

    A couple of comments. First, having seen IBM mess up acquisitions of BI companies in the past (see Metaphor) while pushing stuff like ‘AS’ (failed product) and QMF. I’m not sanquine about Cognos.

    Nor does BO’s acquisition by SAP make me happy either. Just can’t imagine SAP not making BO very SAP Centric.

    I see Microsoft as a good play for smaller microsoft centric shops although Microsoft doesn’t have a track record of playing well with others.

    Where does IBI go after Gerry?

  9. Pete on January 28th, 2009 11:38 pm

    I have an impression (it would be great if I am wrong) that Gartner’s Magic Quadrants is a one big joke. If vendor doesn’t pay them subscription fees Gartner will not write or include vendor even the vendor has many customer and solid revenue. But if someone with sales and customers base close to zero will hire Gartner, those crooks would write everything was paid for. Too bad it does not have a disclaimer “Paid Advertisement”. So as a customer I have to do my homework each time and pay little attention to what Gartner wrote.

  10. Curt Monash on January 29th, 2009 4:04 am


    You overstate the case. Gartner does honest research. Indeed, companies — many of which are Gartner’s and my clients alike — drive themselves crazy answering Gartner’s requests for information.

    Where Gartner goes awry is in its misleading presentation of what the research does or doesn’t show.


  11. Amy Groden-Morrison on February 5th, 2009 4:05 pm

    The Gartner MQ continues to raise controversy…look at the recent back and forth on public blogs between one slighted vendor and Gartner’s Andreas Bitterer:

    Re: TIBCO, in-memory is picking up speed but I think the cool thing with TIBCO is how it allows real-time, event-driven BI (through data streams)

  12. TIm Wormus on February 5th, 2009 4:33 pm

    I think the we (TIBCO Spotfire) scored highly on the completeness of vision more as a result of some of the things that we’re doing to integrate Spotfire with TIBCO’s Complex Event processing and BPM technologies, as well as the acquisition of Insightful, which added S+, a proprietary sibling of the R statistical language to the Spotfire platform. That addition provides predictive and statistical analytic tools akin to what SAS offers.

    In-memory analytics are cool, but you’re right that if that was all that Spotfire brought to the table, the vision wouldn’t be as complete as the MQ indicates.

  13. Curt Monash on February 6th, 2009 2:02 am

    The last time I was briefed on Spotfire was before it was acquired by TIBCO. Nor have I been briefed on TIBCO’s CEP capabilities at all.

    Yes, this is a (repeat) hint.


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