Gartner’s explanation on BI Magic Quadrant 2016

Gartner Magic Quadrant for this year caught many in surprise, including myself, so when Gartner announced their webinar “Modern BI Platforms and its Impact on the 2016 BI and Analytics Platform Magic Quadrant” I couldn’t miss it. For you, here is a summary!

Gartner’s webinar was hosted by Cindi Hownson, Rita Sallam and Josh Parenteau and focused on three main issues:

  • – What is a modern BI tool;
  • – What changed in the way Gartner assesses the BI market;
  • – How Gartner evaluated the BI Magic Quadrant for 2016.

The reason I was so curious about this webinar was because Gartner meant to explain why they shifted every vendor down and excluded well-known ones like Oracle on this year BI & Analytics Magic Quadrant.

According to Josh, this shift down happened because they “have raised the bar in terms of execution and vision”. However, the webinar gave us a more detailed explanation.

BI Tipping Point

One of the main ideas presented during the webinar was that BI has achieved a tipping point. It shifted from a “IT-led reporting to business-led self-service analytics” and the Magic Quadrant must reflect such change.

Gartner calls it Modern BI and Rita Sallam has defined it as:

“A Modern Platform supports IT-enabled analytic content development.

It is defined by a self-contained architecture that enables nontechnical users to autonomously execute full-spectrum analytic workflows from data access, ingestion and preparation to interactive analysis and the collaborative sharing of insights.”

This means IT teams will assume more of a facilitator role, leaving analytics authorship for business users. It also means spending less time on upfront model, as users can access un-modelled data to adjust and blend it with self-preparation data capabilities incorporated in the platform.

But why the sudden obsession with Modern BI?

Magic Quadrant Focus

The Magic Quadrant focuses on new buying and differentiation. If companies are not buying, or at least buying less, IT-centric tools and traditional vendors are not betting on innovation, than it has consequences on the Magic Quadrant results.

Curiously, when Cindi made a poll during the webinar asking “What is the state of your BI and Analytics Portfolio for business-authored content”, “Newly introduced” was the most voted answer.

Gartner BI Magic Quadrant

On another hand, when she asked “What is the state of your BI and Analytics Portfolio for IT-authored content” the most voted answer was “Increasing users and content”.

Even if companies’ investment on modern BI is in an early stage there is clearly a trend and I would also say a need for it. This doesn’t mean IT-centric will suddenly disappear, we will still need IT-authored content but it clearly isn’t able to answer to businesses’ need for speed.

How they Evaluated MQ’16

By now you already know why some of the most popular BI vendors didn’t make it into the MQ this year, they are probably traditional BI, based on OLAP for instance. They still appear on Gartner’s Market Guide and Cindi mentioned other Gartner resources and criteria to evaluate BI vendors, both traditional and non-traditional ones.

Focusing solely on Modern BI, Josh presented other trends that are impacting both current and future BI market.

According Josh, these are some of the key criteria impacting the current market: Diversity of Data Sources, Smart Capabilities (automated advanced analytics and machine learning), Self-service data preparation and Balance Complexity of Analysis with ease of use.

When we talk about the future market, the most visionary vendors are focusing on enabling Citizen data scientist, Smart Pattern detection, Search and Natural Language Query, Natural Language Generation, Streaming data and IOT and Commoditisation of Data Discovery.

Gartner BI Magic Quadrant

Gartner believes that innovation can face some resistance at first but will soon be the new “normal”, and pointed Uber as an example of this.

Confirming this thought were the results of the last poll. When Josh asked what was the attendees overall feeling regarding the newly defined BI & Analytics MQ, the most voted answer was “A bit early but inevitable as the market is head here”.

Gartner BI Magic Quadrant

Still curious? Watch the entire webinar Modern BI Platforms and its Impact on the 2016 BI and Analytics Platform Magic Quadrant.


  1. Excellent article. One of the only one I read that really bothered about facts ! Well written and thanks for sharing.

    Comment by Jam — March 10, 2016 @ 2:06 pm

  2. Thanks Jam! I am glad you like it.

    Comment by Diana Silva — March 11, 2016 @ 3:39 pm

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