The following is an excerpt from a recent post in the Gartner Blog Network, authored by Cindi Howson and published on February 10, 2016.

“But They Have the Best Product!”

This remains the biggest fallacy of the Magic Quadrant and misuse of the Magic Quadrant.  Best dot position does not equate to best product. Product is just one input among many.

As a new Gartner analyst, it was an interesting process for me to see the extensive scoring from both analyst opinion and customer opinion that feeds the Magic Quadrant model. We take all this data and see where the dots land, sometimes confirming what we knew intuitively, and in other cases, coming as a surprise to us analysts.

Through the whole process, it’s been helpful to me to keep a cheat sheet on my desk as to what really drives each axis:


The bold items with an asterisk are based on customer opinion. Analyst opinion and customer opinion sometimes differs. Rita has called happy customers as having a halo effect: they over rate the vendor on product abilities and tech support through a romantic lens.  We can’t think of a politically correct term for the unhappy customers whose anger over bad technical support and price gouging may lower scores on everything else.

So great product, with limited global support (geography) does not make a leader. Awesome product vision and poor customer experience also doesn’t make a leader.

If you really want to know who has the best product, then you need to look at the Critical Capabilities note, which focuses exclusively on product.

Click here to download a copy of the 2016 Gartner Critical Capabilities for Business Intelligence and Analytics Platforms report.