Gartner business intelligence is the BI wing of the well-known technology research group. They have excellent analysis of the industry and the major trends. They also offer some consulting and advisory work for those organizations considering an implementation.
They are known for their reviews and analysis across the IT spectrum, and business analytics is no exception. They publish an annual report of the industry that is very in-depth and looks at feedback across a variety of metrics, called the Magic Quadrant report. It is based on an extensive existing BI customer survey along with additional analysis, although it’s not overly technical.
The end result of the survey is an extensive guide through the major players’ strengths and weaknesses as reported from the customers themselves. It’s an interesting source of data and gives some good insights into customer satisfaction. Gartner also adds some of its own commentary to the reviews. The vendors are then placed in a quadrant type grid as a way to visually compare them, which often becomes a key marketing tool for several of the companies.
Many of the key BI vendors love to push out that they are part of the magic quadrant “leader” category. This basically means that they are sufficiently organized to execute their strategy while offering enough of a breadth and innovation of product to provide a full BI experience. Unsurprisingly, the main companies are all in the leader category, so there usually won’t be much new insight there. Other niche and regional players will be pushed back into the other quadrants. One surprise in 2011 was the omission of Pentaho from the grid. They failed to meet the revenue requirements of $15 million. Another minor upset was Qliktech arriving in the leader category, although it had for a long while been categorized as a data discovery tool.