The 2011/2012 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Business Intelligence Platforms — company-by-company comments
This is one of a series of posts on business intelligence and related analytic technology subjects, keying off the 2011/2012 version of the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Business Intelligence Platforms. The four posts in the series cover:
- Overview comments about the 2011/2012 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Business Intelligence Platforms, as well as a link to the actual document.
- Business intelligence industry trends — some of Gartner’s thoughts but mainly my own.
- (This post) Company-by-company comments based on the 2011/2012 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Business Intelligence Platforms.
- Third-party analytics, pulling together and expanding on some points I made in the first three posts.
The heart of Gartner Group’s 2011/2012 Magic Quadrant for Business Intelligence Platforms was the company comments. I shall expound upon some, roughly in declining order of Gartner’s “Completeness of Vision” scores, dubious though those rankings may be.
- Gartner gives IBM credit for its broad variety of analytics-related product lines and services, whether or not they currently have much to do with each other. Examples include Cognos, SPSS, Netezza, and apparently DataStage.
- Gartner basically says that Cognos 8 users are unhappy and Cognos 10 users are much happier.
- Gartner apparently has drunk the IBM Watson Kool-Aid, notwithstanding IBM’s difficulties in articulating how the Watson Jeopardy-playing machine has any more to do with real world problems than the Deep Blue chess-playing machine did. (Deep Gene is nice, but I don’t see it as a major enterprise computing direction.)
- SAP/Business Objects
- Gartner says that SAP’s BI “customer experience” rating is the worst in the survey for the fifth consecutive year.
- Gartner further criticizes SAP for BI functionality (below average in every one of 14 categories), performance, cost, and roadmap confusion.
- Gartner ranks SAP extremely high for BI “Completeness of Vision”, apparently because it is a big company that talks a great game.
- Gartner ranks SAP much lower for “Ability to Execute”.
- Gartner praises Microsoft’s business intelligence product line for being cheap and in some respects well-integrated.
- Gartner criticizes Microsoft’s BI products for in other respects being poorly-integrated.
- Gartner speaks well of Microsoft’s in-memory BI approaches, and ties that into the success of SQL Server Analysis services.
- Gartner criticizes Microsoft business intelligence efforts for being focused on tabular databases and on traditional (as opposed to mobile) clients.
- Gartner praises MicroStrategy for its mobile offerings.
- Gartner praises MicroStrategy for its integrated architecture, then criticizes it for the consequences of its architectural choices.
- Gartner criticizes MicroStrategy for not being an all-things-to-all-people megavendor.
- Gartner says Oracle’s business intelligence customers give it below-average ranks in functionality, support, and product quality.
- Even so, Gartner says that the top reason for selecting Oracle BI is functionality.
- Gartner says that ease of use and cost do not factor significantly into the process when Oracle BI is chosen.
- SAS Institute
- Gartner has little good to say about SAS’ BI, which it ranks dead last in ease of implementation, second to last in ease of use for business users, and dead last in dashboard capabilities.
- Gartner also cites SAS’ cost as being high.
- Information Builders
- Gartner praises Information Builders’ BI for its functionality, integration, and scalability.
- Nonetheless, Gartner positions Information Builders BI as having relatively simple use cases (lots of parameterized reports and drilldown in same).
- Gartner cites Information Builders as not just losing market share, but having actually declining revenue.
The other three vendors in Gartner Magic Quadrant for Business Intelligence Platforms “Leaders” or “Challengers” quadrants are advanced visualization poster children QlikTech, Tibco Spotfire, and Tableau. That’s in decreasing order of “Completeness of Vision” — i.e., of sales/marketing maturity — but increasing order of “Ability to Execute”. Gartner gushes over Tableau:
For the third year in a row, Tableau is the “sweetheart” of the Magic Quadrant, with customers even more enamored with it this year than in the last two. It gained overwhelmingly positive customer survey feedback across the board in all measures in the survey, including ease of use, functionality, product quality, product performance, support, customer relationship, success, achievement of business benefits and view of the vendor’s future. Indeed, it earned a top or near top score in most of these key categories — even with its high revenue growth (94% in 2011), when growing pains might be expected. These stellar results in part contributed to Tableau’s strong Ability to Execute position, despite its relatively small size.
but is more measured about QlikView:
QlikTech’s growing pains are more evident. The note of realism that first appeared in 2010 grew in 2011 and became a genuine concern for 2012. For the first time, QlikTech’s customers reported having a poor overall customer experience (of the vendors on the Magic Quadrant only SAP, IBM, Targit and Microsoft fared worse), and below average ratings for product quality and support. Furthermore, more QlikTech customers than for any other vendor (with the exception of Oracle) said that QlikView became less successful in the previous year (that is, the product is being used by fewer users, or is being replaced by other tools).
and makes a good point about the whole category in a Tibco bullet:
Tibco Spotfire has among the highest complexity of user analysis score than any vendor on the Magic Quadrant, while at the same time customers rate it above average on ease of use, particularly for end users. This paradox typifies why data discovery tools in general, and Tibco Spotfire in particular, are so compelling and are proliferating.
- Gartner says QlikTech’s customers find QlikView very functional and useful.
- Gartner notes that other kinds of BI vendors, seeing the success of interactive visualization vendors QlikTech, Tibco Spotfire, and Tableau, want to attack that market.
- Gartner points out various missing pieces in those vendors’ product lines and sales coverage.
- Gartner is a bigger fan of analytic-application stories than I am.
Gartner places 11 other BI vendors in the “Niche” quadrant. Of those, the ones I know most about are the three open source vendors. Gartner’s views on Jaspersoft seem to boil down to:
- Strong, successful choice for OEM reporting (the old Crystal Reports positioning), including in cloud/SaaS deployments and in what I would call stakeholder-facing analytics.
- Used by enterprises mainly for reporting, at which Jaspersoft is low cost but not particularly functional.
- Early in supporting non-relational (Hadoop, NoSQL) data sets.
Somehow this adds up to the lowest “Ability to Execute” rank in the whole Gartner BI Magic Quadrant.
Gartner sees Pentaho similarly to how it sees Jaspersoft, and gives it the second-lowest “Ability to Execute” score in the quadrant. Actuate is placed higher in the Quadrant than Jaspersoft or Pentaho, but it’s tough to see why from Gartner’s comments, unless Gartner was giving credit for the best aspects of each of Actuate’s two alternative reporting software product lines.