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Magic Quadrant Reveals Users Want Mobile BI Platforms

Gartner released its 2011 Business Intelligence Platform Magic Quadrant that lists vendors that should be considered when selecting a business intelligence (BI) platform to develop reporting and analysis applications.

The study provides some interesting insights on the current state of the BI market. According to Gartner, users are primarily concerned with a BI platform’s ease of use compared to overall functionality. As a result, easy to use data discovery tools are in high demand with business users. Furthermore, Gartner’s 2010 study depicted the BI market as a market-buying trend. Unlike the 2010 study, this year’s study indicates that the BI market is clearly segmented into traditional enterprise BI platforms and data discovery platforms. Gartner predicts that BI offerings will continue to flourish despite economic downturns.

The study offered advice regarding BI platforms and customer expectations. The study revealed that BI platforms should be easy to use, intuitive, and fun. Similar to Google and Facebook’s UIs, BI platforms should be simplistic and capable of being used by someone with little technical knowledge.

Additionally, business consumers are seeking mobile BI applications. Although most BI product vendors do not currently offer mobile applications, Gartner expects this trend to change in the future with the introduction of intuitive mobile tablet technologies. The portability of tablets and their easy to use interfaces are key features that are paving the way for the development of future BI platforms, Gartner says.

Microsoft was elevated to the leader’s quadrant in this year’s study. According to Microsoft, the company contributes this change with its ability to utilize customer feedback and refine offerings so that the company’s BI solutions are more relevant to their customers’ needs. In addition, Microsoft has recently made significant BI product developments, including

  • The release of SQL Server 2008 R2 Parallel Data Warehouse. This product works in conjunction with PowerPoint for Excel, PowerPivot for SharePoint, SQL Server Analysis Services, SQL Server Reporting Services, and SQL Server Integration Services.
  • Microsoft’s release of premium editions of SQL Server 2008 R2. These editions offer the following reporting and analysis tools:
    • PowerPivot for Excel
    • PowerPivot for SharePoint
    • Master Data Services
    • Application and multi-server management
    • Report Builder 3.0
    • StreamInsight

The study is based on consumer surveys that included 1,225 respondents. To learn more about Gartner’s study, visit their website for detailed information about how vendors are ranked and in-depth research findings.

-Blair Greenwood, assistant editor

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