Earlier this year Gartner released the first version of its regular market analysis of Business Intelligence and analytical platforms. For those familiar with these squares that Gartner calls “Magic Quadrants”, the usual response is to look in the “leaders” quadrant in the top right-hand corner to make sure that the company’s chosen technical platform or provider is there. You then usually move on to read the executive summary. In this article I will be touching briefly on the providers that are in the “leaders” quadrant, before moving on to talk about those operators outside the spotlight, among the challengers and visionaries.
Visionaries and challengers in BI
As the image above shows, there are five different operators classified as either a challenger or visionaries in the field of BI. I have been working for four years with BI in many different industries, and I have not encountered any of them at a customer or for that matter even heard of a Swedish implementation of their solutions, which makes it all the more interesting to know what they have to offer.
Of the operators in these quadrants, Birst is the one that interests me the most. Birst is a cloud-based BI operator with an architecture on two levels that allows customers to maintain data on--premise if they prefer it, or to have a deployment of Birst’s products in a private cloud. I also appreciate the fact that they do not try to ignore the fact that many customers already have functioning data warehouses or dimension-modelled data marts that they want to use for their cloud solution, without carrying out a major migration project.
Alteryx is classed as a visionary by Gartner, and I find their vision to be quite exciting. Instead of being another self-service analytics tool with lots of visualisation features, they focus on “self-service data preparation”, which in my view is far more ambitious. Alteryx is deeply integrated with the R Analytics ecosystem (which I’ve blogged about before), and the user can do a drag & drop to produce a regression measurement based on an R package. Alteryx can also be integrated with QlikView to provide data with interactive visualisations, which Alteryx’s own portfolio lacks. Having familiarised myself with Alteryx, I started to think about Microsoft Power Query, which is designed to perform the same tasks within Microsoft Power BI’s offering, and I must say that I am now a little disappointed by this component. Finally, I thought I’d highlight Logi Analytics and their products Logi Info and Logi Vision. Logi Info is a fairly typical development tool for reports and dashboards, while Logi Vision is a more recent product for data discovery. What drew me towards Logi Analytics is their comprehensive support for Embedded Analytics. This makes it possible for you to use their dashboard and report solutions on your website and offer BI to your end customers. This is something that I know we at Enfo Pointer have already helped customers with previously, albeit then with the aid of QlikView, with extremely good results.
In summary, we can confirm that there are a lot of exciting things happening just outside the mainstream of Business Intelligence, where we can find new products such as Qlik Sense, SAP HANA and Microsoft Power BI, to name a few.
Jonas Wahlström, Business Intelligence Consultant, Enfo Pointer