MQ for Business Intelligence Platforms

MQ for Business Intelligence Platforms

Magic Quadrant for Business Intelligence Platforms

 6 February 2012 ID:G00225500

Important note: Cloud/Saas Business Intelligence & Analytics vendors were not included

SaaS remains a viable option for some buyers. Just 30% of respondents to the Magic Quadrant survey were currently using or had plans to use cloud-based BI and analytics within the next 12 months — a slight uptick from last year. The subcategory shows slow but steady momentum as a departmental, mid-market and/or analytic application approach to augment existing analytic capabilities and analyze data already in the cloud. Pure-play vendors continue to compete aggressively for mind share and budget dollars. Cloud capabilities have emerged from traditional BI platform providers, with new capabilities regularly introduced over the past year.


Inclusion and Exclusion Criteria


The vendors in this Magic Quadrant were included based on the following criteria:

To be included in the Magic Quadrant, vendors must generate at least $15 million in BI-related software license revenue annually. Gartner defines “total software revenue” as revenue that is generated from appliances, new licenses, updates, subscriptions and hosting, technical support, and maintenance. Professional services revenue and hardware revenue are not included in total software revenue (see “Market Share Analysis: Business Intelligence, Analytics and Performance Management, Worldwide, 2010”).

  • Those that also supply transactional applications must show that their BI platform is used routinely by organizations that do not use their transactional applications.
  • Vendors must deliver at least nine of 14 capabilities detailed in the Market Definition/Description section above.
  • They must be able to obtain a minimum of 30 survey responses from customers that use the vendor’s product as an enterprise BI platform.

This year’s Magic Quadrant customer survey included vendor-provided references, as well as survey responses from BI users from Gartner’s BI Summit, as well as respondents from last year’s survey. There were 1,364 survey responses, with 120 (8.8%) from non-vendor-supplied reference lists. To ensure the integrity of the survey data, each survey response was checked by company respondent email. For survey responses from non-identifiable email accounts such as Gmail or Yahoo accounts, the respondent was contacted and had to provide Gartner with a company email address, a company role and other contact information (this amounted to fewer than five responses, all of which were vetted and ultimately included). Further details of the survey results will be published in the forthcoming reports: “BI Platforms User Survey, 2012: How Customers Rate Their BI Platform Vendors;” “BI Platforms User Survey, 2012: How Vendor Customers Rate Their BI Platform Functionality;” and “BI Platforms User Survey, 2012: How Customers Rate Their BI Platform Ownership Costs (BIPOC).”

Quadrant Descriptions


Leaders are vendors that are reasonably strong in the breadth and depth of their BI platform capabilities and can deliver on enterprisewide implementations that support a broad BI strategy. Leaders articulate a business proposition that resonates with buyers, supported by the viability and operational capability to deliver on a global basis.


Challengers offer a good breadth of BI platform functionality and are well positioned to succeed in the market. However, they may be limited to specific use cases, technical environments or application domains. Their vision may be hampered by a lack of coordinated strategy across the various products in their BI platform portfolio, or they may lack the marketing effort, sales channel, geographic presence, industry-specific content, and awareness offered by the vendors in the Leaders quadrant.


Visionaries are vendors that have a strong vision for delivering a BI platform. They are distinguished by the openness and flexibility of their application architectures, and they offer depth of functionality in the areas they address, but they may have gaps relating to broader functionality requirements. A Visionary is a market thought-leader and innovator. However, it may have yet to achieve sufficient scale — or there may be concerns about its ability to grow and provide consistent execution.

Niche Players

Niche Players are those that do well in a specific segment of the BI platform market — such as reporting or dashboarding — or that have limited capability to innovate or outperform other vendors in the market. They may focus on a specific domain or aspect of BI, but are likely to lack depth of functionality elsewhere. Or they may have gaps relating to broader BI platform functionality. Alternatively, Niche Players may have a reasonably broad BI platform, but have limited implementation and support capabilities or relatively limited customer bases, such as in a specific geography or industry. Or they may not yet have achieved the necessary scale to solidify their market positions.

Evaluation Criteria

Ability to Execute

  • Product/Service
  • Overall Viability
  • Sales Execution/Pricing
  • Market Responsiveness and Track Record
  • Marketing Execution
  • Customer Experience
  • Operations


Completeness of Vision


  • Market Understanding
  • Marketing Strategy
  • Sales Strategy
  • Offering (Product)
  • Strategy
  • Business Model
  • Vertical/Industry Strategy
  • Innovation
  • Geographic Strategy


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