2016 Gartner Magic Quadrant for BI & Analytics: Transformative

Gartner just released the 2016 Magic Quadrant for Business Intelligence and Analytics Platforms, and I was pleased to see that Microsoft was in the leader quadrant with only 2 other players.

Gartner Magic Quadrant 2016

Microsoft has released an amazing array of BI technologies in the last few years: Data integration is completely transformed (pun intended) – the days of scheduling fragile, long running packages have been replaced by cloud-based services that can integrate an impressive range of data sources across on-prem, device, mobile and cloud – using intelligent scheduling (e.g., chaining events), performance scaling, routing and recovery – RIP SSIS. Strong Cloud-based data warehousing options are now available for both structured and unstructured “big” data – no more watching blinking lights. Cloud-based visualization tools for Power BI are opening up new perspectives to understanding and communicating models. And Excel is still here, but this ain’t yo mama’s Excel – it’s been transformed into a data acquisition and analysis machine – goodbye macros, hello M and DAX. I worked for Microsoft for many years, and I’ve been working with the Microsoft platform since. I can’t think of a time more transformative than this.


Excel PowerBi and K2 Appit

And I haven’t touched on Analytics yet – which I’m the most excited about because of the potential to create business value. The algorithms that are now available in Azure Analytics can be applied to a wide range of scenarios across Strategic and Tactical levels. At the strategic level, forecasting and planning is vastly improved with powerful machine learning tools (this is a science and technology that was really only available to the top corporations before – I spent many a night trying to get stochastic models working on large, expensive computing environments – now it’s available to everyone for peanuts). And at the tactical level, analytics can be integrated with operations through process automation, or within transactional systems. As shown here, the same underlying model in Azure Analytics is being consumed by Excel, Power BI and a K2 Workflow Application. Now that’s strategic alignment! And talk about agility – the algorithms can change everywhere as new data is consumed – learning and adapting. Just Scary Potential here!

At Rand Group, we are applying this platform to application frameworks to accelerate implementations like: Forecasting and Planning, Proposal Management, Price Management, Predictive Maintenance, and more. Powerful stuff!

– Software Delivered as Promised. No Surprises.

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Ellen Terry

Insight written by Ellen Terry

Director, Business Intelligence at Rand Group

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