BI buyers seeking more magic says Gartner

Published on the 20/02/2019 | Written by Heather Wright

Augmented analytics_Gartner magic quadrant

Magic Quadrant predicts augmented analytics will be key driver…

Augmented analytics, which uses machine learning, natural language processing and other automation and AI technologies, will be a key driver for new purchases of analytics and business intelligence platforms by 2020 according to Gartner.

The analyst firm’s new Magic Quadrant for Analytics and Business Intelligence Platforms – which has Microsoft pushing ahead of its competition in the leaders section – says augmented analytics is the new wave of disruption in BI, following on from visual based data discovery.

“Users will spend less time exploring data and more time acting on the most relevant insights with less bias.”

At the Gartner Data and Analytics Summit currently underway in Sydney, the company has been urging data and analytics leaders to plan for the technology, saying it will be the dominating trend in data technology this year and will enable data scientists to focus on specialised problems and on embedding enterprise-grade models into applications.

“Users will spend less time exploring data and more time acting on the most relevant insights with less bias than is the case with manual approaches.”

Natural language processing or voice based search query processing has been a focus in BI and analytics in recent times and the latest Magic Quadrant adds further credence to that, saying increased use of NLP and conversational analytics will help push analytics and business intelligence adoption beyond traditional data analysts. In fact, it’s forecasting that those technologies will boost analytics and business intelligence from 35 percent of employees to more than 50 percent by 2021, as new classes of users, particularly front office workers, embrace the easier means of accessing valuable information.

By 2020, Gartner says 50 percent of analytical queries will either be generated via search, natural language processing or voice, or will be automatically generated.

This year’s Magic Quadrant – one of the most closely watched and hotly contested in the slew of Magic Quadrants Gartner releases each year – shows Microsoft and Tableau continuing to dominate the leaders category. But while last year the two were in a virtual tie, this year Microsoft has pulled well ahead of Tableau, climbing up the ‘ability to execute’ axis.

Gartner notes that Microsoft is a low-priced incumbent, with the company putting downward pricing pressure on the analytics and BI market with its low per-user virtual server subscription and embedded capacity-based pricing.

“Given that many organisations have Microsoft enterprise software agreements, even when Power BI is not yet deployed, it appears on most shortlists by default.”

In reality though, license cost was listed as the reason for selecting the Microsoft Power BI platform in just 15 percent of users in the Gartner survey with the product’s integration into the Microsoft stack another key benefit cited.

Tableau’s leadership status comes on the back of high popularity for its offering, primarily deployed on-premise, high customer satisfaction scores and strong roadmap. The company saw double digit revenue growth through the third quarter of 2018, despite moving to subscription based licensing, and Gartner notes customers have a ‘fanlike attitude’ towards the vendor.

Qlik – which acquired data management provider Podium Data last year in an effort to ramp up its BI and big data portfolio and last month snapped up Crunch Data for the conversational analytics – and ThoughtSpot are also in the leaders’ quadrant. ThoughtSpot’s appearance in the leader’s category for the first time (previously it has sat in the visionaries section) comes on the back of rapid innovation, strong execution and high customer satisfaction scores, Gartner says. The company, founded by former Google executives, netted itself US$145 million in series D funding last year, and differentiates itself with its search-based interface with augmented analytics at scale.

MicroStrategy is once again the sole vendor to make it into the challenger section, with Gartner noting it received among the highest product scores.

Salesforce, Sisense, TIBCO, SAS and SAP all classified as visionaries while 11 vendors are crowding into the niche players market, including Yellowfin and, in unfamiliar territory, Oracle and IBM.

NOTE: If better business intelligence is on your wish list for 2019, you should register for iStart’s next Lunch Box webinar: “Building Trust into your Data” – on Feb 27 midday AEDT or 2pm NZDT (recording will be available post-event).


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