Gartner recently released their Critical Capabilities for Business Intelligence and Analytics Platforms report, a companion resource to the Magic Quadrant study. Used in conjunction with the related Magic Quadrant, Critical Capabilities is an additional resource which can assist buyers of enterprise BI in finding the tools and solutions that will work best for their organizations. In the report, Gartner recognizes the top-24 vendors in the space and rates them based on their ability to deliver against important use cases.

Gartner_TimothyKingAccording to Gartner, the enterprise analytics industry has surpassed the tipping point, and has nearly finished its evolution from a market based heavily on reporting to one that is more business-centric and user friendly, offering self-service analytics and allowing more users to get their hands on tools that drive insights. The majority of solution buying in BI and analytics now comes in the form of modern platforms which focus on user engagement, and this fact has essentially reorganization the vendor landscape.

With that said, Gartner does make it a point to clearly relay that organizations need to select a vendor based on the specific use cases that will impact their business. The companion Magic Quadrant places vendors in four brackets based off of their overall completeness of vision and ability to execute, but some of the solution providers who scored lower in those metrics may be able to handle a specific use case better than the top-scoring vendors in the report. However, while early entrants into the data discovery and self-service market are likely to be more forward-thinking than the BI mega-vendors, they could be weaker in areas needed for enterprise deployments such as broad delivery of reports and dashboards. For those reasons, it is best to evaluate vendor offerings on per-case basis instead of simply relying on solution provider standing within the Magic Quadrant grid.

In this report, Gartner defines 15 critical capabilities which support five important BI use cases, including: centralized BI provisioning, decentralized analytics, governed data discovery, OEM/embedded BI, and extranet deployment. These use cases support organizations in the building of their analytics portfolios, helping to transform IT from the chief “doer” to the “enabler”, thus making the business the primary “doer.” These critical capabilities enable BI leaders to support a wide range of data sources, features and business use cases. Each vendor receives a product score ranging from 1 to 5 based on the aforementioned use cases. In addition, Gartner also includes product and service ratings on the critical capabilities, one of which is compiled as a result of polling only end-users.

Birst was the top scorer in governed data discovery and extranet deployment, also finishing second in the other three use cases, an impressive feat. Birst’s newest release, Networked BI, enables organizations to balance governance and agility inside a single platform, which according to Gartner should increase its overall utilization in governed data discovery use cases moving forward as Birst customers adopt it.

To download a complimentary copy of the 2016 Gartner Critical Capabilities for Business Intelligence and Analytics Platforms, click here.

The preceding is an excerpt from an article originally published in Solutions Review on March 22, 2016.