Gartner announces latest BI & Analytics contenders

Published on the 24/02/2017 | Written by Hayden McCall

Gartner magic quadrant bi analytics

Zoomdata among new arrivals looking to disrupt established players…

Big data must rate as one of the most hyped technology revolutions, right up there with the cloud.

But while cloud computing has become mainstream, customer experience and return on big-data-dollar spent have delivered mixed results. In essence, the underlying technology and the skills base of the people running it have struggled to keep up with business expectations.

Or, as Gartner put it upon release of its Magic Quadrant for Business Intelligence and Analytics Platforms: “The business intelligence and analytics platform market’s shift from IT-led reporting to modern business-led analytics is now mainstream. Data and analytics leaders face countless choices: from traditional BI vendors that have closed feature gaps and innovated, to disruptors continuing to execute.”

In the A/NZ region, projects have remained tech-heavy inside IT departments, and self-service aspirations have been elusive for business users. At the same time, massive growth in data volumes from telemetry systems installed across billions of devices and applications have weighed down those ambitious enough to try to include them.

While the carrot remains dangling enticingly in the future, the data cart is approaching a crossroads as serious computing horsepower and increasingly sophisticated solutions come to market.

So the attention on vendor movements and arrivals on Gartner’s quadrant are closely watched, as companies seek solutions to gain competitive advantage.

Among the new breed of vendors is a first-time entrant to the Magic Quadrant, Zoomdata. A former ‘cool vendor’, Zoomdata now features as a Gartner ‘visionary’ on the back of an architecture that dispenses with traditional data warehousing and data modelling, instead directly streaming micro queries across self-discovered data to an app on the user’s device of choice.

“To be recognised by Gartner, first as a cool vendor last year and now in the Magic Quadrant as a visionary, is a high honour indeed,” said Justin Langseth, founder and CEO in a statement from the San Mateo headquartered vendor. “The days of the monolithic Business Intelligence model are gone. Customers want end-user ease of use, embeddable in their own applications, with fast access to big and real-time data.”

To seasoned big data technologists the problems are recognised, but similar promises from vendors such as Zoomdata are viewed with scepticism. Indeed, Gartner analysts agree – rating the young vendor about as low as it goes on the ‘ability to execute’ scale. Runs on the board will be an important measure for the vendor if it is to improve this rating in 2018. This will, no doubt, be helped by a recent US$24m funding injection led by client-cum-investor Goldman Sachs, and recent announcements of expansion into the APAC and Japan region.

In response to sceptics, Zoomdata states that it is an open platform natively architected for both cloud and on-premise deployments, with a design that can deliver visual analysis of huge datasets in seconds. Its patented ‘data sharpening’ technology delivers “the industry’s fastest visual analytics for real-time streaming and historical data.” This is made possible through the use of micro-services using Apache Spark as a complementary high performance engine. The vendor says its ‘Fusion’ product enables users to perform analytics across disparate data sources in a single view – without the need to move or transform data.

Zoomdata (APJ) will work through offices in Tokyo, Singapore and Sydney and deliver projects through partners such as Cloudera, MapR and CBIG Consulting targeting verticals such as finance, government, manufacturing and telecommunications. Cameron Price is APAC managing partner at CBIG, one of the largest specialist big data analytics consultancies in the region. “We have already seen the value the product brings in client engagements.” Price participated alongside Zoomdata at this week’s Gartner Data & Analytics event in Sydney.

John Goode, MD of Zoomdata (APJ) noted, “Gartner estimates that the Asia Pacific business intelligence market will grow from US$2.5B in 2016 to more than US$4B in 2020.  That growth will help us expand the footprint of Zoomdata in this region.”

Readers are invited to download a complimentary copy of Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Business Intelligence and Analytics Platforms – compliments of Zoomdata (registration required).

Acknowledgement: The author was a guest of Zoomdata at the Gartner Sydney data and analytics event.


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