2013 Gartner BI Magic Quadrant: Rising to the Challenge

The annual Gartner Magic Quadrant for Business Intelligence and Analytics Platforms dropped on my desk last week with a 64-page thud. I knew Birst would be included in the Challengers Quadrant of the 2013 report a few days earlier, but it was a different feeling altogether to turn the pages and find out this year’s “who’s who” in the Business Intelligence industry.

Having our own spot (or should I say “dot”) in the MQ is a big milestone for us and it’s not all about the hype. Gartner is one of the most highly regarded organizations doing technology research today. Over many years we have experienced Gartner’s commitment to excellent research through vendor references and briefings, surveys, client interviews and much much more...

So that may not sound particularly cool, impressive or valid – or I don't know, maybe it does – but at any rate, we know that a lot of effort goes into the rigorous data collection and analysis that underlie the Gartner Magic Quadrant phenomenon.

But truly, Gartner doesn’t live in the limelight because we are captivated by the quality and quantity of the questions they ask (well there may be some distal causes here – see BAM’s post). Gartner lives in the limelight because their Magic Quadrant is remarkably good at predicting market trends and describing the vendor landscape.

For example, if you look at BI Magic Quadrants over the past 8 years, every vendor that was named a Challenger eventually was named a Leader which speaks to the consistency of Gartner’s work if nothing else. I also assume that there is a pretty wide consensus that some parts of this trend reflect the fact that one-time industry challengers are really industry leaders today. This is not to say that Gartner thinks people should only buy BI from these vendors (and we really don’t either), it just goes to show that Gartner’s analysis lines up with commonly accepted designations of challengers and leaders in the BI landscape.

A different example is Gartner’s identification of the Data Discovery trend over half a decade ago, which eventually led to a schism in the BI industry and a whole new market category – and they called it. Even today, Gartner is tracking the prima facie implausible Cloud BI trend with the addition of two new Cloud BI vendors to this year’s MQ. We think this demonstrates good foresight and thorough understanding because we know this technology is just too good to not catch on.

We are stoked to be recognized as a Challenger by Gartner and flattered to be included in their report, receive the recognition and etc… But this isn’t just a vapid social ceremony; the Gartner MQ for BI actually has a stellar track record. At the end of the day, being included in this report means a lot to us because it confirms that our innovative solutions, customer centricity, and hard work are paying off.

The MQ is like many other things prefixed with the word “magic” in that it’s the product of decades of practice, a healthy dose of expertise and it really does seems to work. With all that in mind, it’s not hard to see why this report makes us feel, well… a little giddy.

What do you think? Hype or milestone? Please leave comments below and if you think you might benefit from reading the report, it’s on the house, just click HERE.

Oh…. And don’t forget:

Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in its research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner's research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.