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Critical Capabilities for Business Intelligence

and Analytics Platforms
Published: 12 May 2015

Analyst(s): Rita L. Sallam, Josh Parenteau, Bill Hostmann, Kurt Schlegel, Thomas W. Oestreich,
Joao Tapadinhas, Cindi Howson

Business intelligence market leaders are being disrupted by self-service

platforms that deliver expanded access to analytics and higher business
value. BI leaders should track how traditionalists translate forward-looking
product investments into more user adoption and improved customer

Key Findings
Traditional business intelligence (BI) platforms are best-suited for centralized BI provisioning.
Although all are investing aggressively to also support the other decentralized, governed data
discovery and OEM/embedded BI use cases, most have had limited success to date.

Data discovery vendors that excel at decentralized and governed data discovery are the easiest
to use, deliver higher business benefits, and enable a broader set of users to conduct more
complex and advanced types of analysis without the assistance of IT. They also deliver higher
business benefits than most other vendors.

Ease of use is a top criterion when choosing a BI and analytics platform across all use cases,
particularly for decentralized and governed data discovery, although vendors such as Logi
Analytics and Birst that score best for a centralized use case also score well on ease of use.

The large independent traditional BI platforms and cloud BI vendors offer better support for
embedded use cases than the megavendors and data discovery vendors.

Business analytics leaders should:

Determine the BI and analytics use cases needed by your organization.

Consider the skills level of the users when choosing a product or vendor.

Provide a balanced BI and analytics portfolio. This may require expanding BI and analytics
delivery and roles from a centralized, IT-driven approach to a more decentralized, agile process.
Assess the measures that directly influence customer satisfaction with a BI vendor these
might include support quality, product quality, upgrade difficulty, sales experience, ease of use,
user enablement programs and achievement of business benefits as supplements to an
evaluation of functionality, integration and cost-of-ownership requirements.

Strategic Planning Assumptions

By 2018, data discovery and data management evolution will drive most organizations to augment
centralized analytic architectures with decentralized approaches.

By 2017, most data discovery tools will have incorporated smart data discovery capabilities to
expand time to insight for the most important measures as well as the reach of interactive analysis
(see Note 1).

By 2017, most business users and analysts in organizations will have access to self-service tools to
prepare data for analysis.

By 2017, most business intelligence and analytics platforms will natively support multistructured
data and analysis.

Through 2016, less than 10% of self-service business intelligence initiatives will be governed
sufficiently to prevent inconsistencies that adversely affect the business.

Through 2017, the number of citizen data scientists will grow five times faster than the number of
highly skilled data scientists.

By 2018, data discovery and predictive analytics offerings will converge, with most of the leading
vendors of each capability offering both.

What You Need to Know

The BI and analytics platform market is undergoing a fundamental shift. During the past 10 years, BI
platform investments have largely been in IT-led consolidation and standardization projects for
large-scale systems-of-record reporting. These have tended to be highly governed and centralized,
where IT-authored production reports were pushed out to inform a broad array of information
consumers and analysts. Ad hoc query tools allowed power users to author reports, but still
required an upfront IT modeling effort and high skill levels. Now, a wider range of "business users"
are demanding access to interactive styles of analysis and insights from advanced analytics,
without requiring them to have IT or data science skills. As demand from business users for
pervasive access to data discovery capabilities grows, IT wants to deliver on this requirement
without sacrificing governance in a managed or governed data discovery mode.

While the need for system-of-record reporting using a centralized BI provisioning model to run
businesses remains, there is a significant change in how companies are satisfying these and new
business-user-driven requirements. They are increasingly shifting from using the installed base

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traditional, IT-centric platforms that are the enterprise standard to more decentralized data
discovery deployments that are now spreading across the enterprise. The transition is toward
platforms that can be rapidly implemented and can be used either by analysts or business users to
find insights quickly, or by IT to quickly build analytics content, to meet business requirements, and
to deliver more timely business benefits.

Gartner estimates that more than half of new BI and analytics purchases are driven by data
discovery (see "Market Trends: Business Intelligence Tipping Points Herald a New Era of Analytics").
This shift to a decentralized model is empowering more business users and also drives the need for
a governed data discovery approach as deployments grow. Making analytics more accessible and
pervasive to a broader range of users and use cases is the primary goal of organizations making this

Traditional BI platform vendors have tried very hard to meet the needs of the current market by
delivering their own business-user-driven data discovery capabilities, and enticing adoption through
bundling and integration with the rest of their own stack. However, most of their offerings (for
example, Microsoft, IBM or SAP) have had limited adoption to date compared to the successful
data discovery specialists (the gold standard being Tableau). Their investments in next-generation
data discovery capabilities have the potential to differentiate them and spur adoption, but these
offerings are works in progress.

In addition to data discovery, a new breed of BI vendors (for example, Birst and Logi Analytics) are
making it easier and faster for IT or advanced business users with lighter IT skills to deliver analytics
content pervasively across the enterprise in a centralized deployment than traditional BI vendors.
They are also giving customers a positive user experience.

Also, in support of wider user adoption, companies and independent software vendors are
increasingly embedding traditional reporting, dashboards and interactive analysis into business
processes or applications. They are also incorporating more advanced and prescriptive analytics
built from statistical functions and algorithms available within the BI platform into analytics
applications to deliver insights to a broader range of analytics users that lack advanced analytics
skills. Both of these capabilities support the OEM/embedded BI use case.

As a result of the market dynamics discussed above, for this Critical Capabilities report and its
companion Magic Quadrant, Gartner defines BI and analytics as a software platform that delivers 15
critical capabilities (see the Critical Capabilities Definition section) in support of four use cases (see
the Use Cases section) for BI and analytics.

The four use cases are:

Centralized BI Provisioning

Decentralized Analytics

Governed Data Discovery

OEM/Embedded BI

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The use cases support building an analytics portfolio that maps to shifting requirements from IT to
the business. From the rapid delivery of insights to analytics consumers through an information
portal (often deployed centrally by IT), to an analytics workbench deployed in a decentralized
manner, to analysts requiring interactive and smart data exploration (see "How to Architect the BI
and Analytics Platform"), these capabilities enable BI leaders to support a range of functions and
use cases from system-of-record reporting and analytic applications to self-service data discovery.
A data science lab would be an additional component of an analytics portfolio. Predictive and
prescriptive analytics platform capabilities and vendors are covered in the "Magic Quadrant for
Advanced Analytics Platforms" and "Critical Capabilities for Advanced Analytics Platforms."

The ratings and commentary in this report are based on a number of sources including:

Customer perceptions of each vendor's strengths and challenges, as gleaned from their BI-
related inquiries to Gartner.

An online survey of vendor customers conducted in October 2014, which yielded 2,083
responses (see Note 2 for customer survey metrics referenced in this report).

A questionnaire completed by the vendors.

Vendor briefings including product demonstrations, strategy and operations.

An extensive RFP questionnaire inquiring how each vendor delivers specific features that make
up the 15 critical capabilities.

A prepared video demonstration of how well vendor BI platforms address the 15 critical

BI Scorecard research, which includes hands-on product testing.

Readers should not use this Critical Capabilities research in isolation as a tool for vendor selection.
Gartner has defined the BI and analytics market broadly. We include a variety of products that span
a range of buyers and use cases, but we only feature vendors that are positioned in the Leaders or
Challengers quadrants of the companion "Magic Quadrant for Business Intelligence and Analytics
Platforms" in 2014 and 2015 in this research. When making specific tool selection decisions, use
this research in combination with our Magic Quadrant, Survey Analysis research, and SWOT
publications, as well as our analyst inquiry service.

You should also consider factors like domain expertise when evaluating a solution, and conduct a
proof of concept with your data and use cases to determine platform viability.

Critical Capabilities Use-Case Graphics
Figures 1, 2, 3 and 4 show aggregate product scores across the 15 critical capabilities that have
been weighted for each use case. Each of the products/services has been evaluated on the critical
capabilities (and their subcriteria) on a scale of 1 to 5; a score of 1 = Poor (most or all defined

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requirements are not achieved), while 5 = Outstanding (significantly exceeds requirements). Scores
represent a combination of customer survey results and analyst opinion.

A definition of the critical capabilities and the subcriteria evaluated are described in the Critical
Capabilities Definition and Use Cases sections. Capability weights, scores by capability by vendor,
and scores by use case by vendor are shown in Tables 1, 2 and 3. Each vendor section details
which platform product components were evaluated for each vendor to arrive at a composite score
by critical capability and use case.

Figure 1. Vendors' Product Scores for Centralized BI Provisioning Use Case

Source: Gartner (May 2015)

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Figure 2. Vendors' Product Scores for Decentralized Analytics Use Case

Source: Gartner (May 2015)

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Figure 3. Vendors' Product Scores for Governed Data Discovery Use Case

Source: Gartner (May 2015)

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Figure 4. Vendors' Product Scores for OEM/Embedded BI Use Case

Source: Gartner (May 2015)


Birst is primarily a software as a service (SaaS) BI and data warehouse solution but also offers a
virtual appliance (the same cloud software code base on a virtual machine) for on-premises
deployments. Unlike many SaaS products, Birst allows customers to store information in the cloud
or to leave it on-premises, as 70% of its customers do. A modeling layer allows customers to import
data from a variety of data sources into a star schema model. Data can be stored in a row-based or
columnar database, depending on the analytic needs and data volume. Birst includes integrated
extraction, transformation and loading (ETL), business query, production reporting, relational online

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analytical processing (OLAP), scheduling, dashboard capabilities and, as of 2Q14, visual data
discovery. Enhanced mobile capabilities with support for interactive, offline dashboards were
introduced in 1Q15.


Birst received the highest scores of any vendor in this report for its customer service.

Birst offers customers a rapid implementation time for an end-to-end BI solution. The product is
well-integrated and based on an enterprise-class semantic layer that supports multiple data
sources and uses relational OLAP for multidimensional analysis, with built-in time-period

As a cloud BI vendor, Birst has continued to be differentiated for cloud-ERP customers,

providing deep integration with cloud-based data sources such as Salesforce, NetSuite, Google
Analytics and Marketo. In 2014, the vendor introduced Birst Express for NetSuite, a free version,
embedded with NetSuite, with prebuilt dashboards and reports. This is primarily a seeding
strategy for NetSuite customers to upgrade to paid editions that include additional custom
objects, security, formatted reports and external data sources.

Birst received among the highest marks for ease of use across all use cases for vendors in this
report. Its data access and management layer (enabling lightly skilled IT users to deploy Birst) is
a key reason for this result as well as for its top scores for a centralized BI provisioning use

In 2014, the company released Birst for SAP Hana, promising improved performance over Birst
on SQL Server (the vendor's other deployment option). Currently, Birst's scores for performance
are in line with the survey average.

Birst scores well in this research for OEM and embedded BI uses cases. The vendor's Web
Services APIs allow customers and OEM partners to embed reports and dashboards inside
applications, portals, and to pass parameters and URLs between them.

Birst has initiated an open front-end tool strategy through it partnership with Tableau
announced in April 2015. The Birst connector for Tableau is an option sold by Birst that gives
Tableau users access to trusted data in Birst via direct live query access to Birst's semantic
layer, dimensional model, security rules, and aggregate tables with all calculations done in the

Birst integrates with R and Weka.

Areas of Improvement

Birst scores below average for data size, suggesting it is often used in line-of-business
implementations that are centrally provisioned.

Birst allows an administrator to connect to multiple data sources at the metadata layer.
However, within a dashboard or report, the data can only come from a single information space.

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A business user cannot merge or blend data from multiple information spaces or personal

Birst Visualizer offers an improved user interface for users to visualize and explore data. This
interface uses HTML5, whereas the report writer and administration modules have relied on
Flash and are gradually being updated to HTML5.

Compared to other visual data discovery tools, Birst Visualizer lacks extensive data
manipulations, robust formatting, and key charts such as treemaps and geographic maps (that
are available in the core product). There are none of the interactive data manipulations such as
bins and groupings as in other competitive tools; the ability to display values as percentages
was newly introduced in 1Q15.

Users can only interact with a single visualization at a time. There are limited formatting options
for charts.

Only a small proportion of Birst customers are using it for mobile BI, but those that do rate its
mobile capabilities in the top quartile, perhaps because the vendor supports content authoring
via its browser-based, HTML5 interface. With a browser-based approach, all existing reports
and dashboards can be interacted with. In terms of a native app approach, however, Birst only
supports the iPad and does not support iPhone or Android-based devices. Device-based
security is provided primarily through third-party mobile device management vendors and not
directly from Birst, a weakness compared to SAP and MicroStrategy.

Because Birst's mobile app is not delivered through the Apple App Store, an administrator has
control over the app's distribution.

Overall, Birst has good administrative capabilities that include out-of-the-box usage monitoring
and data lineage to the source systems. However, when a report element name changes in the
logical model, it can break dependent reports. Identifying potentially impacted reports is a
manual process. In terms of reusability, while queries can be shared across dashboards,
dimensions cannot be reused across multiple "information spaces" (Birst's term for its metadata
layer) the dimensions must be replicated within each mode.

Birst lacks search (natural-language query) capabilities for creating new reports and dashboards
and exploring data within the model.

Collaboration and storytelling capabilities are not supported.

IBM offers a broad range of enterprise-grade BI, performance management and advanced analytics
platform capabilities, complemented by a deep services organization that is ready to implement
them in solutions for any domain, industry or geography. It has a compelling product vision for the
future, but has struggled to deliver a positive customer experience and meet important business-
user-centric market requirements.

IBM Cognos 10.2.x, IBM's enterprise BI platform, is evaluated in this Critical Capabilities research. It
is an integrated platform with capabilities for:

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Web-based ad hoc queries

Reporting and dashboard authoring and consumption

OLAP, (IBM Cognos Workspace, Workspace Advanced, TM1, Dynamic Cubes and Cognos
Connections Portal)

Production reporting (Report Studio)

Scheduling, alerting, and delivery (Events Studio)

Data discovery (Cognos Insight and IBM Watson Analytics)

Mobile (native iOS and Android apps, and Active Reports)

IBM Watson Analytics, IBM's cloud-based, next-generation data discovery tool, is also assessed.


IBM Cognos is well-suited for a centralized, IT-centric BI use case. IBM scored in the top three
in terms of the percentage of customers reporting using the platform for centralized BI
deployments in the Magic Quadrant customer survey. Moreover, critical capabilities that support
large, IT-centric enterprise deployments are platform strengths, including metadata
management, BI platform integration, IT-developed reports and dashboards, development and
integration, and traditional styles of BI.

Web-based, pixel-perfect, parameterized production reports and dashboards authoring in

Report Studio make it possible for report developers to design, schedule and distribute highly
formatted and parameterized reports with a range of alerting and distribution options. The
platform is primarily used by IBM Cognos customers for production reporting, and capabilities
such as report bursting (the ability to distribute parts of long reports to different users) are a
strength. The platform features a new visualization engine, Rave (stands for Rapid Adaptive
Visualization Engine), which is a development environment for creating custom visualizations for
use in IBM Cognos BI and many other IBM products.

The platform is relatively integrated when compared to most other multicomponent platforms
(SAP and Oracle, for example). The user experiences in the various studios (Analysis Studio,
Query Studio and Metrics Studio, for example) are now unified for access in Cognos
Workspace. All platform capabilities use a common metadata model (although IT-centric) or
Framework Manager package, which uses the platform's query engine.

Cognos Framework Manager is used to create the semantic layer for metadata of a database.
TM1 cubes can be a data source for Framework Manager, while Cube Designer can use existing
Framework Manager models and is used to create Dynamic Cubes.

Cognos Security is the unified semantic layer for security of the platform of one or many
authentication sources.

Governance features including data lineage and the ability to promote a business-user
mashup model to a central metadata repository for sharing and reuse by others newly added in

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2014 are differentiators supporting enterprise deployments. Data lineage from the IBM
Business Glossary is available from any report in the Web interface, although impact analysis is
not (this is provided by partners).

While overall, data mashup features are basic in IBM Cognos, both Cognos Insight mashups
and Cognos Workspace Personal and External Datasets can be promoted to a central
repository and used to create new content in the IBM Cognos Workspace.

In Watson Analytics, business-user data mashup capabilities are a work in progress. Data joins
suggested to the user based on the interpretation of natural-language questions are a
roadmap item and there is no current promotability of that data model for use in Cognos,
although a data source connection is planned for 2Q15.

Embedded Advanced Analytics are enhanced through IBM Cognos integration with IBM SPSS,
which continues to mature. As part of the integration with SPSS, IBM Cognos BI can consume/
access models/content published from SPSS as Framework Manager packages. Framework
Manager models can also act as data sources within IBM SPSS Modeler.

IBM offers a broad set of collaboration and social capabilities via out-of-the-box integration with
IBM Connections. While integrated collaborative decision making is a platform differentiator,
IBM Cognos 10 customers have been slow to adopt it.

Although IBM's first attempt at data discovery Cognos Insight has had limited success, its
innovative vision and roadmap for smart data discovery could be a market disrupter. Watson
Analytics, generally available since the end of 2014, allows business users to analyze data with
minimal technical or statistical knowledge. Current approaches to data discovery require the
analyst to prepare their data and then manually explore different data combinations to visually
find patterns. This can be time-consuming, and the analyst may not find all statistically
significant patterns. Watson Analytics is a cloud-based tool that can be used to access
datasets (currently flat files with access to cloud and relational data sources and Cognos
Framework Manager Packages on the roadmap) and then it runs the best algorithms on the
data in the background to find relevant patterns, correlations and outliers in the data. It infers
conclusions that are then presented in a visually optimized and streamlined interface accessible
to business users of every level of skill. The insights can be further refined through other
questions or shared in a dashboard. Users can also automatically predict outcomes and find
correlations in the data without building predictive models. It uses natural-language query and
other innovations developed from IBM's Watson project, as well as advances developed for
IBM's SPSS Analytic Catalyst product that hide the complexities of advanced analytics.

IBM is trying to develop a next-generation data discovery tool in Watson Analytics that may
transform the current manual, visual-based data discovery approach. While the product is
generally available, it is not fully mature. Its capabilities are updated weekly and it will take time
for customers to realize its full potential (see "IBM Watson Analytics Aims to Leapfrog Data
Discovery Competitors but Must First Improve the Basics").

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Areas of Improvement

IBM Cognos' business-user-oriented content authoring and free-form data exploration in

Cognos Insight are less user-friendly and offer fewer analysis and exploration features than data
discovery specialists like Tableau and Tibco Spotfire (as well as so many startups in this space
that have made ease of use a priority). As a result, Cognos Insight has had limited adoption
except with those users wanting to do more "what-if" styles of analysis, a strength of the TM1-
based Cognos Insight. While basic business-user content authoring and dashboard assembly is
available in Cognos Workspace and Workspace Advanced, advanced content authoring must
be done in Report Studio, an IT-centric tool that requires more advanced skills.

Ease of use (for consumers, authors and administrators), support for a range of complex types
of analysis, and breadth of use across analytics capabilities, continue to be rated by surveyed
customers in the bottom quartile of Magic Quadrant vendors. IBM's aggressive investments in
Watson Analytics are targeted at reversing this critical customer perception.

Free form interactive exploration of content is limited on mobile devices when Active Reports
are deployed, as they require the report developer to predefine user interactivity options.

Geospatial intelligence capabilities, including base geocoding, are enhanced in version 10.2.2,
but many capabilities that are standard in other platforms still require extensions. For example,
using the Visualization Extensibility feature in 10.2.2 and the Rave engine, customers can use
GeoJSON to create geospatial visualizations relevant to their business.

Esri and Pitney Bowes also provide a number of extensions, including those that allow for
street-level detail and mini chart positioning on a map, such as pie chart, animation of maps
and map panning and zooming.

Despite improvements in in-memory and caching capabilities with Dynamic Cubes in 10.2, IBM
is last in survey of Magic Quadrant vendors for satisfaction with platform query performance,
albeit for some of the largest deployments. This could in part be due to the platform not fully
supporting 64-bit architectures, or the fact that exporting to other formats like Excel forces a
query refresh, and that Dynamic Cubes has some idiosyncrasies and has not yet been widely

Until recently, IBM has been less aggressive in pursuing a cloud strategy than other vendors
such as MicroStrategy and Oracle, and the new market entrant Salesforce Analytics Wave will
pose an additional competitive cloud alternative. IBM Watson Analytics, IBM's first public cloud
BI offering, forms the cornerstone of its nascent cloud BI strategy. And IBM now offers Cognos
Business Intelligence on Cloud, on the IBM SoftLayer global cloud infrastructure, with tiered
offerings to appeal to a range of customer needs.

While the vision for IBM Watson Analytics has the potential to disrupt what users expect from a
data discovery user experience, the generally available product is a work in progress. IBM
Watson Analytics offers three modes: Explore, Predict and Assemble. Explore automatically
generates a range of visual insight for a user based on natural language, while the Predict mode
analyzes data to automatically determine what drives a particular metric or outcome variable
without building a predictive model. In Assemble mode, users can display charts, video,

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images, and text on a single page or multiple, tabbed pages. This module is the least mature
mode of Watson Analytics and significantly weaker than tools such as Tableau and Qlik. For
example, charts created in Explore mode are not imported into Assemble; users must recreate
the visualizations. Users have no options to specify chart colors and options such as displaying
data values on the bar.

IBM Cognos customers would like an option to deliver data discovery leveraging current
investments in sanctioned Framework Manager models. However, Watson Analytics cannot
currently leverage Cognos Framework Manager packages to support governed data discovery
initiatives and currently lacks a number of data discovery features, such as business user data
mashup of multiple sources, advanced data manipulation such as grouping, and advanced
charts such as network or trellis charts.

Customer experience and sales experience continue to be a source of dissatisfaction for IBM
Cognos customers with IBM, along with other traditional BI vendors, ranking near the bottom of
the Magic Quadrant customer survey.

Information Builders
Information Builders sells multiple components of its integrated BI and analytics platform
WebFOCUS including: App Studio, InfoDiscovery, InfoAssist, BI Portal, Server, Active Technologies,
Magnify, Mobile Faves and Performance Management Framework. In addition to the traditional
reports and dashboards for senior management, WebFOCUS is frequently used by IT developers to
create analytic applications for operational workers and information consumers both inside and
outside the firewall.


Of all the critical capabilities, Information Builders scored highest in development and
Integration particularly in the developer productivity subcriteria. Information Builders provides all
the features we rated this subcriteria for, including a strong API, object definition, access and
display, life cycle management, visual development, and Java and .NET support. For the
scheduling and alerting capabilities subcriteria, Information Builders delivers automated reports,
documents, and dashboard scheduling and distribution to end users on an on-demand or
scheduled basis. Schedules can be based on time of day or event. Alerts can be based on
conditions or thresholds. Moreover, Information Builders provides hundreds of data and
application adapters.

People familiar with WebFOCUS and its programming language provide high marks for its ability
to develop complex applications.

Information Builders also receives very high marks for its overall BI platform administration,
including its ability to administer and secure BI applications with distributed datasets and a very
large number of users.

Information Builders is able to provide almost all security requirements out of the box, including
column, row, and cell level with full audit trails and monitoring capabilities with prebuilt reports.

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For the scalability and performance subcriteria, Information Builders provides capabilities such
as workload management, performance optimization, and multilevel caching. Moreover,
Information Builders continuously demonstrates a customer base with numerous high-
scalability deployments.

IT developed reports and dashboards was another critical capability where Information Builders
scored highly. For the design environment and document layout subcriteria, Information
Builders supports key features such as user-defined calculations, user-defined KPIs, object
reuse, templates, undo, and "what you see is what you get" (WYSIWYG) layout.

Information Builders does parameterizations, filters and prompts as well as or better than
anyone else in the market. Moreover, Information Builders IT-developed reports and dashboards
can have a wide array of visual components, such as gauges, sliders and dials.

Information Builders has also traditionally been strong in mobile BI delivery, with a plethora of
customers who have actually deployed WebFOCUS BI capabilities to mobile clients for mobile
content authoring, and information exploration. The WebFOCUS platform can support dynamic
filters, predefined navigation, linking between visualizations, drilling to details, table
manipulation, graphics manipulation, map manipulation, and a software development kit (SDK)
for mobile. Some mobile capabilities require WebFOCUS Active Technologies and one
(collaboration) requires the Performance Management Framework. Information Builders also
provides multiple device support, offline mode exploration as well as strong interaction and
content awareness.

Sentiment analysis is supported through an OEM relationship, and the platform supports
visualizations for sentiment scoring in descriptive charts for positive, negative and neutral posts
as well as word frequency in a tag cloud and streaming graph.

Areas of Improvement

Information Builders has a great reputation when servicing the needs of the IT developer and
the information consumer. However, traditionally, Information Builders products have not
serviced the needs of the power user. With the release of InfoDiscovery this year, Information
Builders took a major step forward in closing this gap. However, we need to see more adoption
of InfoDiscovery to consider Information Builders a true data discovery vendor.

Although Information Builders can provide OLAP viewing, it is not particularly strong in the more
advanced OLAP styles of analysis. For instance, it is able to do the basics such as sorting,
ranking, drilling on measures, conditional formatting, drilling on conditions set by user, and user-
generated metrics, but the company needs to improve its OLAP write-back functionality for
driver-based planning scenarios. Information Builders provides solid write-back functionality for
operational workers entering data into a form, but not for analysts performing driver-based
planning. Moreover, Information Builders requires third-party integration for some of the more
advanced OLAP features such as handling time-specific and level-based metrics including
inventory balances.

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Information Builders could improve its collaboration and social integration capabilities, which
would contribute to a stronger position for decentralized use cases. For discussion threads,
WebFOCUS Active Technology will enable users to insert comments within cells in reports and
share/exchange those with other users, but most of the more robust discussion thread
functionality is only available in the performance management module, which is not widely

WebFOCUS does not provide any chat functionality. As for real-time collaboration, there is the
ability to post static WebFOCUS content onto PowerPoint slides, but no dynamic access to
PowerPoint (although it is coming in a future release). The vendor has some features in the
ribbon to add visuals to a storyboard, but overall, Information Builders is not providing the same
level of storytelling and collaboration as the market leaders in this area. WebFOCUS can,
however, capture and integrate with Facebook and Twitter for social media analysis.

Another area Information Builders could improve is cloud deployment. While pretty much all
WebFOCUS' capabilities can be repurposed for cloud, and its latest release was built to provide
the security and multitenant architecture a cloud deployment demands, it still doesn't really
have a cloud offering or repository. Information Builders is able to directly connect to both cloud
and on-premises data sources because the location of the data is essentially transparent to its
BI tools. Secure tunnels connect between hosted and on-premises data stores. Once the
connection is established, WebFOCUS metadata descriptions map to the data source for
reporting and analytics.

Logi Analytics
Logi's BI platform comprises two distinct products, Logi Info and Logi Vision. Logi Info delivers a
wide range of the functionality typically used by IT developers to deliver analytic content, such as
reports and dashboards to end users. Logi Info is also used extensively by organizations in an OEM
capacity to embed analytic content in websites and applications, and by end-user organizations to
extend BI access externally to customers, partners and suppliers.

Logi Vision is a relatively new data discovery tool that launched in January 2014 and offers business
users and analysts the ability to prepare and analyze data and share findings using Logi's visionary
collaboration capabilities. Integration between the two products is a work in progress, but there is a
clear roadmap to improve interoperability between Logi Info and Logi Vision through the
development of a common underlying data hub and new application services in 2015.


Logi was rated sixth overall out the 12 vendors included in this Critical Capabilities research,
and seventh of the 24 Magic Quadrant vendors for support of centralized BI use cases, which
emphasizes capabilities such as development and integration, BI platform administration, IT-
developed reports and dashboards, and metadata management. Logi was also ranked second
overall of all the Magic Quadrant vendors for the capabilities it provides to organizations to
create IT-developed reports and dashboards, which it delivers primarily through Logi Info.

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Logi's development and integration capabilities are also a clear strength primarily due to the
"elemental design" approach that is used in the design environment for Logi Info called Logi
Studio. This approach provides IT developers with a code-free way to assemble an application
from over 700 elements covering a wide range of tasks essential to building and deploying BI

Embedded BI is a strength of Logi and its capabilities are used by both independent software
vendors (ISVs) and end-user organizations to extend the reach of BI to a broader range of
customers by embedding Logi Info content into applications and websites. Logi's platform is
based on open standards, and requires only a standards-based Web server to deploy, which is
critical to the embedded use case.

Over 53% of reference organizations reported using Logi's platform in an OEM/embedded use
case and have rated Logi third out of the 12 vendors included in this Critical Capabilities
research. The OEM/embedded use case weighs the embedded BI critical capability highest,
followed by development and integration and cloud BI capabilities. It should be noted that the
embedded BI critical capability assesses both the platform's ability to embed content based on
APIs, SDKs and open standards among others, as well as embedded advanced analytics. Logi
was rated very favorably for the embedded BI criteria, but did not score well for embedded
advanced analytics which is not a strength of the product.

Ease of use for both developers and end users is a key design principle and strength for both
Logi Info and Logi Vision. Overall, Logi was ranked third out of 12 vendors in this Critical
Capabilities research and sixth out of 24 vendors in the companion Magic Quadrant for
composite ease of use, which is composed of content creation, end-user interaction, and
administration and implementation.

In addition to the elemental design approach used in Logi Info, enhancements were made in
Logi Info in 2014 with the addition of a self-service reporting module that further improves ease
of use for developers and end users. The self-service module enables developers to provide
end users with a framework for building their own ad hoc reports and dashboards in a
controlled, easy-to-use environment.

Logi Vision provides end users with an easy-to-use data discovery interface that extends the
self-service capabilities of the platform beyond what is provided with Logi Info. Logi Vision
enables users to access, combine, explore and analyze data without the need for IT to provision
data upfront or the dependency on a developer to create an application framework first. The
combination of Logi Info and Logi Vision provides organizations with a wide range of easy-to-
use options to customize deployment models based on specific user needs and consideration
for analytics governance.

Logi's focus on customer service is evident in its high ranking across categories such as sales
experience, product quality, support and user enablement. Many customers are drawn to Logi
initially because of its low-cost license model, and overall low ownership costs compared to
other vendors, and most who ultimately close a deal report satisfaction with Logi's execution
throughout the rest of the sales cycle with a ranking in the top quartile of all Magic Quadrant
vendors on sales experience.

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Logi was also ranked in the top quartile in product quality and in the top five for overall support
and each individual component of support and also received high marks in many of the
categories of user enablement such as training, documentation and online tutorials for content
authors and end users. Few BI and analytics vendors can claim similar success in satisfying
customers throughout the entire life cycle of a relationship.

Logi Vision provides unique collaboration capabilities through a social-media-inspired interface

combining Facebook-like newsfeeds with the ability to follow tags and people similar to Twitter.
Users can also rate content and content authors within the Logi Vision environment using a five-
star system.

Logi Vision uses the combination of content popularity, ratings and search history to present
users with a dashboard interface to search for and access the content most relevant to their
analytic needs and specific interests. The platform also allows users to customize the look and
feel of the information similar to social media platforms such as Flipboard and Pinterest.

Areas of Improvement

While Logi's platform is easy to use by both developers and end users, it is typically used to
meet less complex, descriptive analytical needs of organizations based on it being ranked in the
bottom quartile of other vendors included in the Magic Quadrant for complexity of analysis
performed. This metric is based on the type of analysis that organizations perform with the
platform with simple static reporting assigned the lowest score, and interactive visualization and
predictive analytics assigned the highest scores. This is likely because Logi Vision has not been
widely adopted yet by customers given its relatively short time on the market.

Customers primarily use Logi for reporting, for which it is well-suited, rather than for more
complex types of analysis. As customers adopt Logi Vision to augment the capabilities of Logi
Info, the breadth of use and complexity of analysis performed with the platform should expand
and address this weakness for Logi.

Logi was ranked in the bottom quartile of the 24 Magic Quadrant vendors in metadata
management, which highlights some differences in its elemental design approach within Logi
Info, and also some weakness in integration between Logi Info and Logi Vision. Logi Info views
all objects as elements that can be used independently or in conjunction with other elements to
define objects. While this approach does make Logi Info applications lightweight and easy to
deploy and maintain, it has some areas of weakness compared to other vendors within the
metadata management critical capability, such as data modeling, data lineage, impact analysis
and promotability.

Integration and promotability between Logi Vision and Logi Info is a work in progress and will
alleviate some metadata and overall gaps related to platform integration moving forward. The
ability to promote a business user mashup and associated content built in Logi Vision into the
Logi Info system-of-record environment (and vice versa) will improve its positioning as a
platform able to deliver capabilities that meet the needs of governed data discovery use cases.

Despite being used by ISVs to build cloud-based analytics applications, Logi does not host its
own cloud environment for this purpose. As a result, it was rated poorly for many of the criteria

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evaluated within the cloud critical capability, including built-in data management capabilities,
availability of packaged content, self-service administration of cloud environment, and self-
service elasticity to scale up/down as needed. Logi Info is designed for multitenant cloud
application development and can be deployed in both private and public clouds, but users are
dependent on their chosen cloud vendor to deliver capabilities that are not managed within the
Logi platform. While some customers like the flexibility of deploying Logi Info in any cloud
environment they prefer, some ISVs prefer to work in a single, end-to-end environment with one
vendor. The fact that Logi does not have its own cloud offering may mean that potential
customers may choose competing vendors that specialize in cloud and OEM/embedded use

While Logi Vision addresses many of the current requirements that appeal to business buyers,
its capabilities are relatively immature, and it will take time to close the gap between it and the
data discovery Leaders. Logi was rated below the Magic Quadrant vendor average for both
business user mashup and modeling, and free form interactive visualization, two of the most
critical capabilities to data discovery and self-service. Logi is committed to investing in and
developing Logi Vision as a complementary product to Logi Info, so these critical capabilities
should continue to improve and generate broader market awareness of Logi beyond centralized
and embedded BI use cases.

Microsoft BI is predominantly used by companies who have settled on the Microsoft platform for
Office, SharePoint and SQL Server. It is a lower-priced BI option for customers who already own
these products. In 2014, Microsoft launched Power BI as a cloud service.

The platform includes the following components:

SharePoint for Web-based delivery of BI reports, Power Pivot in-memory workbooks,

dashboard and scorecard authoring, and file sharing.

SQL Server Analysis for OLAP and in-memory. Analysis Services supports traditional
hierarchical cubes or tabular data models for in-memory analytics.

SQL Server Reporting Services is used by IT developers to create production-style reports that
can be deployed through SharePoint or embedded in custom applications. Reports are
authored either in BI Developer Studio (an option within Visual Studio) or through Report Builder,
a friendlier interface.

Excel 2013 supports multiple add-ins for accessing data. Power Query allows users to query
cloud, relational and big data sources through a point-and-click interface, while also doing
business user data transformations. There is no semantic layer. These queries can be passed
directly to Power Pivot or to Power View. Power Pivot creates in-memory models that can be
deployed to Analysis Services or used disconnected on the desktop. Power View is Microsoft's
visual data discovery and dashboard authoring interface. Power Map allows geocoded data to
be interacted with visually.

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Power BI for Office 365 was launched in February 2014 as a cloud service to simplify the
deployment and maintenance of the back-end servers. In addition to supporting the above
modules, it also includes Q&A, a natural-language query interface that allows users to find data
sources and dashboards based on keywords or similar questions. Power BI does not include
Reporting Services, and this module is not supported in the Azure cloud.

In December 2014, Microsoft began a beta program for its second release of Power BI that will
also include a stand-alone desktop authoring interface, independent of Excel Power BI
Designer. This is intended to unify and streamline the three distinct interfaces of Power Query,
Power Pivot and Power View. The new release of Power BI will address some of the limitations
in the initial release by enabling access to on-premises enterprise data stored in Analysis
Services and by introducing a freemium-based license model that does not require an Office
365 subscription or even Excel 2013 to deploy.


Low overall total cost of ownership is frequently cited as a reason Microsoft BI is selected. It's
important to note though, that licensing cost and leveraging existing infrastructure are the main
benefits, as Microsoft had low scores for ease of use for developers.

Of the various modules that make up Power BI, Power Pivot has the longest history and most
traction in the market, allowing users to mash data together from multiple data sources,
including flat files, relational databases, and Microsoft Analysis Services cubes and tabular data

The familiarity of the BI Development Studio to IT developers facilitates embedding Reporting

Services reports in other applications, with full support for moving things from development,
test, and production.

SQL Server is natively 64-bit and supports failover, load balancing, virtualization, and disaster
recovery. Integration with built-in user authentication against Active Directory simplifies
administration for customers who predominantly run Windows.

Microsoft Analysis Services is widely used as an OLAP engine, and the tabular in-memory
models bring more flexibility. There is broad third-party support both from other megavendors
and specialists such as Tableau, Pyramid and Panorama.

Q&A, a module within Power BI for Office 365, provides users with intuitive, natural-language
query abilities (through a search interface) both to generate new queries and to find existing
dashboards and datasets. The interface smartly renders the data in an optimum chart type.
Microsoft received the highest scores for this capability of any of the Magic Quadrant vendors.

Of the BI megavendors, Microsoft has been most aggressively pursuing the cloud, first with
platform as a service (PaaS) via Azure, then infrastructure as a service (IaaS), then, and most
recently, with Power BI as software as a service (SaaS). Despite these strengths, the product
scores slightly lower than its chief competitors in this area due to lack of prebuilt connectors to
cloud sources and limited adoption, which should be partially addressed with the next release
of Power BI.

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Areas of Improvement

Customers do not select Microsoft BI for functionality, and while TCO is low, Microsoft scores
poorly on ease of use for developers and end users factors that may contribute to higher
support and development costs.

Although Microsoft has developed its visual data discovery and self-service BI capabilities
internally (rather than through acquisition), the workflows are cumbersome, and involve multiple,
disjointed add-ins and interfaces. The visualizations within Power View are limited compared to
specialty vendors, lacking heat maps, best practices in applying color or recommending
optimum display type.

Historically, Microsoft has been pushing its mobile technology (the Surface tablet) and resisting
support for more broadly used Apple iOS and Android devices. Microsoft scores lowest for
mobile across vendors covered in this report. With Satya Nadella taking over as CEO in 2014,
the company newly supports Office on Apple, including new iOS apps for Power BI, so
customers should look for Mobile BI to improve in 2015. Microsoft acquired Datazen in April of
2015 to further address this limitation, but this platform is not yet integrated with Power BI. That
leaves Microsoft with two mobile BI platforms one for the Cloud content (Power BI) and one
for on-premises content (Datazen).

Reporting Services lacks a semantic layer, important for reusability and consistency across
reports and dashboards developed by IT. While users can create a model in Power Pivot, this
model is stored with the data in-memory. Direct connectivity to a real-time, relational data
source is only supported for SQL Server (not Teradata and other data sources) and has a
number of limitations. Further, Microsoft has been unclear in its commitment to improve and
integrate Reporting Services while all its development and marketing attention seems devoted
to Power BI.

Multipass SQL is not directly supported in any of its products, a weakness relative to
competitors. The ability to create calculations within reports is supported, but such calculations
are not reusable within the individual report.

Dashboard capabilities are spread between SharePoint Dashboard Designer and Power View.
Power View supports a user-assembled dashboard design, whereas SharePoint requires a
greater degree of IT expertise but supports drill-down and KPIs. These capabilities are missing
in Power View, with lack of drill-down a serious omission.

Microsoft frequently cites its collaboration capabilities in SharePoint as a differentiator; however,

customer feedback on this has been lackluster, and instead, it appears SharePoint is mainly
used for file sharing.

Threaded discussions are supported only at the file level and not within dashboards and
reports, as other BI vendors support.

Advanced analytic capabilities are lacking in both the visual data discovery tool and the
dashboard products. In January 2015, Microsoft announced its intentions to acquire Revolution
Analytics, but Gartner does not believe this will have an immediate, material impact on the

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company's approach to embedding advanced analytics to its BI portfolio, which has been
lackluster and disjointed for years.

MicroStrategy is predominantly used for IT-centric, centralized BI use cases in large organizations.

The platform includes the following components:

MicroStrategy Server is the 64-bit infrastructure for the platform that includes capabilities for
data connectivity, governed data discovery, metadata modeling, security and administration, in-
memory, the distribution of personalized reports and alerts, as well as a developer SDK for
embedding analytic content in applications or business processes. It also includes monitoring
and automation tools to manage deployments.

MicroStrategy Web is a Web-based authoring and consumption environment. Business

consumers can use it to consume and interact with scorecards, perform ad hoc data discovery,
and create dashboards and reports. Power users have access to capabilities to create, design
and modify analytics to be used by the broader user community. Analysts can access a self-
service data discovery tool to blend data, explore visually and share insights, without the help of
IT. The Web product also provides a plugin for Microsoft Office that allows users to access
connected analytic content in PowerPoint, Excel or Word documents.

MicroStrategy Mobile is used to access native applications for Apple iOS, Android and
BlackBerry devices. These applications can transact with and/or write back to operational
systems and can be accessed in offline mode.

MicroStrategy Architect is used by application architects and developers to develop schemas,

support change management, monitor system performance, model data, and manage the
development life cycle of MicroStrategy applications.

Visual Insight MicroStrategy's data discovery environment is offered via a single-user

desktop version, and an enterprise version as part of MicroStrategy Web.

MicroStrategy Cloud is a hosted service that includes MicroStrategy BI, an analytical database
(Actian Matrix, Microsoft SQL Server, Informatica, Netezza and Teradata are supported), and
data integration capabilities (Informatica PowerCenter, Informatica Cloud, SQL Server
Integration Services [SSIS] are supported). They have shifted from running cloud in their own
data centers to Amazon Web Services (AWS).

Usher Security provides secure authentication, offering users digital badges on smartphones to
log into MicroStrategy applications on Web and mobile. Among other capabilities, it also offers
geofencing, time fencing, and easy user administration and monitoring.


MicroStrategy is an enterprise-grade platform with strong vision around governed data

discovery (including self-service data preparation), and is well-suited to companies that need

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large-scale system-of-record reporting, mobile and dashboards, and are not tied to an
enterprise application stack (such as Oracle or SAP).

Overall, MicroStrategy earned above-average composite product scores across all use cases.
The MicroStrategy BI platform has been built from the ground up through completely organic
development. The high level of integration of the individual platform components, the reusability
of MicroStrategy's object-oriented semantic layer, and above-average business benefits when
compared to other vendors in this Critical Capabilities research, are the result of this strategy.

Its mature, parameterized report development capabilities and object-oriented report

development environment support centralized management. This allows a small number of
administrators to support big BI projects with many users, complex reporting and analysis
requirements, and a large amount of data with a complete range of scheduling, alerting and
distribution options including report bursting.

An extensive library of prebuilt objects including metrics, prompts, filters and statistical
functions allows developers to create reports and other analytic content with high degrees of
formatting and analytic sophistication.

The platform features Web-based authoring, including for the data discovery product, Visual
Insight, which is also offered as a desktop version.

MicroStrategy uses the database to perform as many calculations as possible. Using database
functions and multipass SQL are strengths for MicroStrategy in supporting large, complex

MicroStrategy was earlier than competitors to invest heavily in mobile. MicroStrategy Mobile is
a fully featured and native mobile development and consumption environment for iOS, Android
and BlackBerry. It supports advanced and less-common features such as disconnected
analysis, write-back, GPS and camera integration, although authoring from a mobile device is
not supported.

MicroStrategy Mobile can be deployed with the MicroStrategy platform, as a stand-alone

mobile solution, or as a complement to other BI platforms this is a differentiator versus the
mobile solutions of other BI platforms.

MicroStrategy is the only Magic Quadrant vendor whose customers report its mobile
capabilities as a top reason for selection. 51% of customers either have deployed or are piloting
mobile compared with 30% for the Magic Quadrant vendor survey average. Moreover,
MicroStrategy emphasizes its differentiator around security as a result of its investments in
Usher embedded with the product, which includes mobile security capabilities such as
multifactor identification, biometrics and geofencing that extend well beyond those offered by
other vendors.

Promotability of user generated content for governed data discovery is a differentiator versus
data discovery specialists and many other IT-centric platforms. Users can create their own
model or data mashup using drag and drop actions and without any support from IT with
MicroStrategy Desktop (Visual Insight) and then export it as a MicroStrategy (.mstr) file. This file
can then be imported into system-of-record metadata from the Web interface. At that point, the

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dashboard can be repointed to sanctioned and governed datasets while preserving the
dashboard structure, filtering and visualizations. After a Visual Insight dashboard has been
created, it can be converted into a Report Services (pixel-perfect, professional) dashboard for
further formatting by a report designer or for adding new elements (multimedia, images and
external content), which can then be scheduled and distributed like any other MicroStrategy
content. MicroStrategy continues to work on improving this integration and workflow. Visual
Insight content can be scheduled without converting to a Reporting Services report as well.

MicroStrategy's freemium strategy for Visual Insight makes it risk free and easy for users to try
the product and get value as the product functionality evolves, particularly for MicroStrategy
customers where integration with the enterprise platform will enable promotability, governance
and reuse to support governed data discovery use cases.

MicroStrategy's data mashup/wrangling interface in Visual Insight, where data can be

transformed and cleansed by business users using a drag and drop interface, has become a
focus area for differentiation against data discovery specialists, particularly in the latest release
(version 9.4) with a number of improvements planned for version 10. These enhancements,
which are a work in progress, include a recording feature that keeps an audit trail of all
transformation steps, and can display them as a sequence. Profiling capabilities automatically
recommend a dynamic list of functions to resolve potential data quality issues with the data.

As with mobile, MicroStrategy made early investments in its cloud offering, primarily as a hosted
environment used for private clouds. In 2014, the company began using AWS for its
infrastructure. MicroStrategy Cloud allows customers to leave data on-premises, a departure
from most cloud BI provider strategies.

MicroStrategy customers give it high marks for user enablement, including for documentation,
online tutorials, training and user conferences compared with other Magic Quadrant vendors.

Areas of Improvement

Free form data exploration and data discovery, while improved in Visual Insight 9.4 (with
capabilities such as custom groups), is considered more limited in terms of analyst-oriented
capabilities for advanced data exploration than data discovery specialists like Tableau and
Tibco Spotfire. While the current release remains Flash-based, a completely rewritten HTML5-
based version is due out in the first half of 2015.

The enterprise version of Visual Insight requires the full MicroStrategy platform deployment,
which has a longer time and higher difficulty to deployment than specialist data discovery
platforms. If a customer has not already deployed the MicroStrategy platform, this may be a
concern. The customer would also have the option to deploy the enterprise version of Visual
Insight on AWS in the cloud.

MicroStrategy provides basic text annotations and commenting collaboration capabilities within
the Web and mobile environments, but offers more limited social software integration,
collaboration, storytelling and timeline capabilities than many other platforms.

Report Services is required when creating advanced visualizations such as infographics with
Visual Insight content. Report Services and Visual Insight are available in the same environment,

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and a Visual Insight dashboard can be converted to a Report Services document, but other data
discovery platforms, such as SAP Lumira are making the authoring of infographics more
accessible to the business user in the data discovery environment.

While the MicroStrategy development environment (for report designers and for embedded use
cases) is robust and flexible, there is a steep learning curve even for seasoned report
developers when building any level of analytic complexity into parameterized reports that
simulate ad hoc analysis and interactive dashboards for business users. The product works
best with a well-modeled data warehouse, with conformed dimensions.

Even though usability enhancements continue to be delivered with MicroStrategy 9.x (such as
more one-click user actions, reusable dashboards and dashboard design wizards), with more
planned in MicroStrategy 10, its customers continue to rate the platform below average for ease
of use for development, ease of use for end users, and ease of administration and
implementation. Visual Insight adoption should contribute to resolve the issue and change this
assessment, but its relevance is still low in the overall user base.

With Usher and security continuing to be positioned by MicroStrategy as a top-level capability,

the perception of diffused focus on BI is an ongoing concern. While security is an important
feature of MicroStrategy's enterprise capabilities, emphasis on Usher serves to confuse
customers as to the direction of the company moving forward in addressing mainstream BI

Availability of skills is continues to be an ongoing challenge for MicroStrategy customers.

Focusing more on partners and their current investment in usability enhancements for
MicroStrategy 10 will serve to address this gap.

Oracle offers end-to-end BI capabilities that the vendor can cross-sell to its database customers as
well as business application customers. Oracle BI Foundation Suite includes Answers for ad hoc
query and dashboards, Publisher for IT-developed production reporting, Mobile HD for native BI
apps, Essbase as the OLAP engine for financial and operational applications, and Scorecards and
Strategy Management.

Oracle also offers Endeca Information Discovery for visual data discovery and faceted search.
Exalytics is an appliance (Oracle refers to it as an engineered system) that supports in-memory
processing, with a choice of in-memory databases: Oracle Database 12c In-Memory and TimesTen.
Oracle BI Cloud Service (BICS) became generally available in September 2014 and includes the
database, Answers, Dashboards, and Mobile HD; it does not yet support discovery (Visual
Analyzer), Publisher, scheduling, SmartView for Office or Exalytics, although these items are on the
roadmap. Oracle has introduced a new Big Data Discovery offering for Hadoop in 1Q15


Customers often select Oracle BI because they are using the Oracle business applications and
value the packaged content, the end-to-end integration and/or have received a compelling

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discount. The analytic applications include prebuilt ETL using Oracle Data Integrator, physical
star schema models, and prebuilt reports and dashboards for a range of functional areas
including financial management, customer relationship management, supply chain as well as
industry verticals including retail and telecommunications. However, as OBI EE was acquired
from Siebel Systems in 2005, end-to-end integration has been an ongoing work in progress and
can vary by functional application (migration from Informatica to Oracle Data Integrator [ODI] for
ETL, for example), BI module (some applications have deeper packaged content than others),
and the degree to which customers have customized their ERP and Oracle BI Applications
[OBIA] deployments.

Oracle received better scores for the centralized provisioning use case than other use cases,
supported by its industrial-strength semantic model that provides federation and caching
across relational, big data, and OLAP data sources.

Oracle customers report an above-average deployment size and ranked fourth overall in terms
of data scalability.

Oracle Essbase provides scalability for traditional OLAP and financial applications, supporting
complex analysis and "what-if" scenario modeling, either via the Answers dashboard front end
or a powerful Smart View add-in for Excel. There is also broad support for Essbase via third
parties. Beyond Essbase, OBI EE uses a relational OLAP architecture that provides good
scalability and integration support for multidimensional analysis. With Exalytics, there is a built-
in summary advisor to recommend which tables should be loaded into memory for optimum

Oracle Endeca Information Discovery scored in the top quartile for search-based discovery, a
capability that few other BI vendors in the market offer. Oracle's recent introduction of the
Oracle Big Data Discovery product positions it well for supporting analytics on multistructured

Oracle has good mobile BI capabilities but was later to the market than its chief competitors
and only added support for Android devices in 2014. The Mobile BI App Designer allows
customers to easily build native BI apps but is not yet widely adopted.

Although the Oracle BI Cloud Service is new to the market, its breadth of functionality is good
for the most important modules, and includes a lightweight, cloud-based data model. Usability
is much improved over the on-premises version of OBIEE.

Oracle BI offers embedded analytics, Oracle Transactional Business Intelligence (OTBI) in the
cloud through its Fusion SaaS applications in the human capital management, CRM and ERP
domains. OTBI is also available in a warehouse-based version called OTBI Enterprise, which
offers packaged analytic capabilities in the cloud similar to its on-premises BI applications.

Areas of Improvement

Oracle's BI suite has limited scope for business user data modeling and mashups. While
Endeca allows users to import their own data, it cannot be readily blended (more extensive
blending of multiple data sources is an IT administrative task). Endeca Information Discovery is

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less widely adopted than Answers (the core ad hoc query and dashboard module) and Answers
lacks any ability to import or blend personal datasets.

While most other vendors were adding agile visual data discovery capabilities to their portfolios,
Oracle was simultaneously bringing Exalytics (for in-memory processing) and Oracle BI EE (for improved visualizations) to market, and in the midst of integrating and positioning
Endeca Information Discovery (acquired in 2011). Neither approach solved the need for
business user data mashups and agile visual discovery, leaving a weakness in the product
portfolio. Oracle announced that a new integrated capability for BI Cloud Service and OBIEE,
Visual Analyzer, would be released in 2015 and is currently in preview mode.

Oracle had the lowest ease-of-use scores of all Magic Quadrant vendors including for content
creators, end users to interact with data, and administrators. The product has some
cumbersome workflows and inconsistencies.

Oracle has a number of options to enhance query performance, including built-in caching on
the BI server, an in-memory database option, Essbase cubes, and the Exalytics appliance.
However, Oracle performance scores were below the survey average overall and within the
segment for large data deployments. Moreover, customer feedback on the degree that Exalytics
helps performance has been mixed. It has also not been widely adopted.

The Oracle BI Cloud Service was newly launched in late 2014, making the vendor late to market
for cloud relative to competitors MicroStrategy and Birst, but slightly ahead of IBM. While the
initial capabilities include the most important functionality, it currently lacks in-memory
processing, scheduling and production reporting. All data must currently be loaded to the cloud,
forcing customers to build a new model from scratch. Lift and shift of on-premises OBI models
to cloud (BICS) is a near-term capability planned for availability in BICS in the first half of this
year. Self-service data mashups and the Visual Analyzer discovery interface are also on the

Publisher, the production reporting module for IT developers, has undergone several redesigns
over the years and has improved integration with the semantic layer, but continues to lack some
of the basics, including a robust function library for creating new calculations and manipulating
string data, snap to grid, and the ability to create templates with logos and color schemes.

Qlik is a market leader in data discovery, a category it pioneered. It sells two products QlikView
and Qlik Sense both based on an in-memory associative indexing engine called QIX QlikView
and Qlik Sense.

QlikView is a mature, self-contained and tightly integrated development platform used by IT or more
technical users for building highly interactive dashboard applications faster and easier than
traditional BI platforms. Authoring is primarily done in the desktop component, with content
published to the QlikView Server for sharing. Consumers can access, interact and conduct limited
authoring with QlikView applications via the Web or on mobile devices. QlikView Publisher provides
content scheduling, refreshing and email distribution. Newly acquired NPrinting supports QlikView

Gartner, Inc. | G00270381 Page 27 of 71

report generation, distribution and scheduling with Microsoft Office integration capabilities for
QlikView (Qlik Sense is on the Roadmap).

Qlik Sense is an open, Web-based platform based on HTML5 and released in September 2014. It
gives business users the ability to build their own interactive dashboards while giving IT the ability to
govern, manage, scale and embed them. Qlik Sense is server-based with content creation via the
Web or a mobile device and content published to the server for sharing. Qlik Sense freemium and
desktop users can also use Qlik's new capabilities in the cloud to share content.

Qlik will introduce Qlik DataMarket, a syndicated data service, in June 2015.


Qlik is best-suited for decentralized and governed data discovery use cases.


Customers choose QlikView for the intuitive interactive experience it offers, and is most often
deployed in dashboards, where it enables business users to freely explore and find
connections, patterns and outliers in data without having to model those relationships in

QlikView's associative search enables users to easily see which query results are related, to
compare them and, more importantly, to identify which data elements are not related (greyed
out), without having to write complex SQL. Users can filter data using search and other visual-
based interactive capabilities. Users can also create sets for comparative analysis.

Unlike Qlik Sense, QlikView is a dashboard application development environment primarily used
by more technical, trained users to create interactive dashboard applications that are consumed
and explored by business users. A key attraction has been that content can be created more
quickly and easily than with traditional IT-centric BI platforms.

Qlik Sense

Qlik Sense offers mobile-ready, self-service visualization and dashboard creation, where
business users lacking the skills to author content in QlikView (salespeople in the field, for
example) can create and explore their own interactive dashboards on any device while enabling
governance and control.

Qlik Sense enables business-user self-service with reuse, governance and control. Users can
create a master library of dimensions, measures and visualization objects that can be used by
others to build visualizations and analytics apps.

Qlik Sense is a new Web-based, open platform based on HTML5. Its extensive open APIs
create new opportunities for partners and customers to leverage the vast number of
visualizations based on open standards and to build new applications that integrate Qlik
content with other processes, applications and technologies.

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Qlik Sense offers new interactivity and visualization features that allow users to quickly find
patterns in data. Smart visualizations enabled by Qlik Sense's responsive design automatically
renders a visualization that highlights key patterns in the data. It is based on the same
associative indexing engine technology as QlikView. Users can filter and find patterns in new
ways, such as creating bands or ranges on the X and Y axes, rotate pie charts to see the labels
of thin slices, or can quickly scroll through very large amounts of data by magnifying segments
to find patterns.

Qlik Sense users can initiate queries across all relationships searching with keywords and
expressions using smart search.

Native storytelling allows users to weave analytic views together to share finding with others,
annotate them, and enhance them without exporting or embedding the content in Microsoft
PowerPoint. While this is not unique to Qlik Sense (Tableau since 8.2 and Yellowfin also offer
this, and other vendors have included this on their near-term roadmaps), it is currently a
strength of the product.

Qlik Sense is offered via a new token-based pricing model that can give administrators a flexible
way to allocate licenses to users based on actual use without having to reengage Qlik to buy
more or shift licenses. While this is a new licensing model that may take buyers a bit of time to
understand and manage, it has advantages over the licensing of QlikView, which ties named
users to specific servers across geographies. Users accessing content on multiple servers in
different regions (as QlikView is often deployed) need to have a named user license for each
server. However, having two pricing models can be confusing for customers and will take time
for users to understand the cost impact of token based pricing based on different user

Areas of Improvement


The current QlikView 11.2 release is considered more limited than offerings from other stand-
alone data discovery vendors in terms of capabilities for analyst-authored interactive visual
exploration and analysis, the development user experience, and the time it takes for business
users to gain proficiency in authoring.

Data, business logic and presentation layers are combined in one QlikView application. This
eliminates the need to create a semantic layer in advance of content authoring, but makes it
difficult to reuse dimensions, measures and calculations, govern their use, or make updates
across many QlikView applications if there are changes. Qlik recommends using QlikView data
files as a work-around for this, but it is more cumbersome to manage than a traditional
semantic layer.

Qlik has not offered production reporting and its direct query to relational sources capabilities
(versus in-memory only) have not been widely adopted. Customers have had to be prepared to
mix and match for system-of-record reporting. This has limited Qlik's usefulness as an
enterprise standard when a customer wants to perform both data discovery and reporting in a

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single platform. Product scores (from the customer survey) reflect this previous direction, with
weaker ratings in IT-developed reports and dashboards and traditional styles of analysis.
However, Qlik has recently acquired (during February 2015) existing partner NPrinting a
report generation, distribution and scheduling application with Microsoft Office integration
capabilities for QlikView (integration with Qlik Sense is on the roadmap) to address this
limitation. NPrinting has over 1,000 current QlikView customers. With NPrinting, QlikView can
serve as a single system for both interactive analytics and reporting.

The platform also scored lower than the overall average in BI administration, metadata
management (Qlik Sense is better than QlikView for both) and for business user data mashup.
While QlikView includes a purpose-built ETL capability, it requires scripting for most tasks. Self-
service data preparation and governed data capabilities are future roadmap items for Qlik.

QlikView enterprise pricing requires a named user license and a server license associated with a
specific person. That works well for departments, but larger QlikView deployments span many
departments and servers. If users want to access applications on multiple servers, users have
to have a named user license for each. This limits the scalability of the pricing model for many
large QlikView customers.

Qlik Sense

Qlik Sense continues to be squarely focused on the enabling data discovery versus production
reporting. It offers a number of improvements over QlikView and has some strengths versus
competitors, but it is a version 1.2 release with more limited capabilities than Tableau or Tibco
Spotfire to support interactive exploration for the business analyst (for example, limited
automatic identification of dimensions and measures, it offers a basic calculations editor with
limited auto suggestion of functions or available fields, limitations for creating custom groups in
the authoring environment, limited detailed support for reference lines and sets), and more
limited geospatial capabilities. It also offers more limited capabilities for dashboard
customization, printing, alerting and export to formats other than QlikView. Some of these
limitations will be addressed as a roadmap item as a result of the NPrinting acquisition. Printing,
charts, sheets and stories, and export to .pdf are planned for the June 2.0 release. NPrinting
capabilities for Qlik Sense are on Qlik's roadmap for late 2015.

While QlikView supports a native iPad app, Qlik Sense for mobile relies exclusively on browser-
based HTML5 and thus lacks offline capabilities. This is also a roadmap item planned for the
end of 2015.

There will likely be limited large-scale adoption of Qlik Sense until Qlik executes on its planned
roadmap for its point releases and beyond in Version 2, expected in the second half of 2015
with three planned releases per year.


Qlik has been less aggressive than many other BI market leaders in investing in the cloud. While
Qlik Sense can support multitenancy, Qlik's cloud capabilities are currently limited to deploying
QlikView or Qlik Sense through AWS, or sharing Qlik Sense content created on the desktop in
the cloud. This is a first step toward future cloud capabilities.

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Both QlikView and Qlik Sense offer limited geospatial intelligence capabilities, although Qlik
Sense provides more capabilities beyond the extension object offered by QlikView and
geospatial is a targeted roadmap item for improvement in Qlik Sense.

QlikView and Qlik Sense predominantly rely on an in-memory engine, requiring customers to
replicate the data. While there is a direct discovery mode, it is not widely adopted and has some
limitations. In this regard, the products are ideal for mashing together multiple data sources and
as a data mart solution, but is not well-positioned for customers who have invested in analytic

SAP is often chosen as the enterprise BI standard, with many customers using it in combination
with SAP ERP applications for system-of-record reporting. The SAP BusinessObjects BI suite
supports a broad range of capabilities for centralized, large, IT-managed enterprise BI deployments
with the SAP BusinessObjects BI platform. SAP Lumira is intended for decentralized and trusted
data discovery deployments. Both can be complemented with the SAP Hana in-memory data
platform. SAP announced its simplification strategy in 2014, aiming to reduce the number of BI
components in the future, where the vendor currently has overlapping products for many segments.

Key components of the SAP BusinessObjects BI suite are:

For centralized IT-managed BI deployments:

BusinessObjects BI platform for platform administration and configuration as well as

management of the universe semantic layer

Dashboards (formerly branded Xcelsius) and Design Studio for IT-developed reporting and

Crystal Reports for production reporting

Web Intelligence for self-service, ad hoc query analysis

Explorer for user-driven analytic dashboards, search and visualization

Analysis for Office and Analysis for OLAP for analysis of multidimensional sources; SAP BW and
SAP Hana (Office version) and other MDX sources such as Microsoft Analysis Services and
Oracle Essbase (OLAP version)

Live Office for integration with Microsoft Office

BI Launch Pad as a portal to publish BI content and with integration to SAP JAM and SAP
StreamWork for collaboration and third-party portals such as Microsoft SharePoint

Mobile BI for the development and delivery of BI content on mobile devices

For decentralized and data discovery deployments:

Lumira Desktop for free form interactive exploration.

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Lumira Server to store, publish and share Lumira content.

Lumira Cloud as the public cloud version of Lumira.

Lumira Edge Edition for SMBs and departmental deployments to store, publish and share
Lumira content. This edition does not require Hana and runs on the Windows platforms.


SAP BusinessObjects BI is well-established as an enterprise BI standard for large deployments.

82% of surveyed customers the highest percentage in the survey use it as their BI
standard. It is also the most widely deployed platform within client organizations across the
survey and the average number of users is more than three times the survey average and the
second highest overall.

SAP is investing heavily in visionary product direction to support governed and smart-data
discovery capabilities. Lumira achieved good customer ratings for its information visualization,
interactivity and exploration capabilities. Its self-service data preparation capability,
infographics, ability to access universes as a data source, as well as the integration of
advanced analytic capabilities are potential differentiators for Lumira in the highly competitive
data discovery segment as the product matures.

The combination of the SAP BusinessObjects platform with the Lumira products enables the
support and combination of different use cases. SAP BusinessObjects for centralized BI
provisioning can be complemented with decentralized analytics using Lumira or combined in a
governed data discovery use case. Clients considering a combination should evaluate the
available integration capabilities, because this combination is a relatively new feature of the

Crystal Reports is a mature product for pixel-perfect production reporting and a frequently used
component to support embedded BI and OEM use cases. It can leverage (but does not require)
the universe semantic layer for data access.

Web Intelligence is a broadly used, flexible ad hoc query component; most often it requires a
semantic layer (the universe) for data access, but can also access BEx queries. Limited support
for freehand SQL was added in a recent release. Both of these products require IT skills for
content authoring.

The platform offers advanced mobile BI support. SAP BusinessObjects Mobile is a native app
for Android and iOS that takes full advantage of touchscreens, mobile form factors, gestures
and interactive visualizations. It offers a broad set of interactivity, notification and security
features, including remote wipe and device-based authentication. Offline content is highly
interactive with sorting, filtering and saving of personal filters.

Areas of Improvement

Despite the broad range of capabilities that are available now, customers still use SAP
BusinessObjects BI primarily for reporting and rather simple ad hoc analysis requirements. The

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utilization rates by survey respondents for personalized dashboards, interactive analysis and
predictive analytics were significantly below survey average.

SAP BusinessObjects BI continues to be difficult to use and has a complex product line. It was
rated with the second lowest scores with respect to ease of use for content creation,
administration and implementation as well as ease of use for the end users. Achieving ease of
use and seamless integration is still a work in progress for SAP.

Integration within the platform as well as with external components remains a concern from
customers. While the server supports real-time usage monitoring, usage reporting by user and
content is no longer "out of the box," as it once was.

Lumira, Design Studio, Analysis Edition for Office and Analysis Edition for OLAP are relatively
new components compared to Crystal Reports, Web Intelligence and Explorer. Clients
considering the new components should evaluate the latest versions and identify potential gaps
or missing features. For instance, data lineage is available with the BusinessObjects BI platform
through the Information Steward, but business user data lineage is not yet available in Lumira;
building custom groups and hierarchies and their promotability and reusability is implemented
differently across the components. As the de facto strategic dashboard product, Design Studio
requires more scripting than Dashboards and lacks offline capabilities and geographic maps.

SAP announced a simplification strategy in 2014 that will consolidate all of its BI functionality to
reduce the number of BI components needed, down to five (Crystal Reports, Web Intelligence,
Design Studio, Lumira and Analysis for Office) without retiring the other components. This is
certainly a step in the right direction and will improve customer experience by reducing the
number of different components, which are at different levels of maturity. Because customers
often report that they are confused with the company's portfolio and roadmap, they should pay
attention to SAP's execution of new strategies and migration support offered.

SAP Lumira is the strategic product for agile visual data discovery and is on an agile release
schedule, with new releases approximately every six weeks. While the product has some
advanced capabilities, such as data preparation and predictive, it lacks some fundamental
capabilities such as the ability to control colors for particular chart types, and limited hierarchy
awareness and drill-down. Until recently, Lumira server also had a dependency on Hana,
making the cost and deployment of this appliance a barrier to adoption. In 4Q14, SAP
introduced a runtime edition of Hana that does not require a hardware purchase, which may
help with adoption. In addition, SAP's Lumira Edge Edition, introduced in 1Q15, does not
depend on Hana and runs on Windows platforms.

SAP's cloud strategy for BI has been inconsistent across the BI suite, with stronger support for
Lumira in the cloud, and historically, Crystal, but no clear approach for SAP BusinessObjects BI

SAS Institute
SAS offers a vast array of integrated components within its BI and analytics suite that combine
deep expertise in statistics and predictive modeling with innovative visualization enabled by
powerful in-memory processing capabilities. SAS Visual Analytics is the flagship product in the suite

Gartner, Inc. | G00270381 Page 33 of 71

for delivering interactive, self-service analytic capabilities at an enterprise level, extending the reach
of SAS beyond its traditional user base of power users, data scientists and IT developers within
organizations. SAS also leverages its portfolio of platform components and expertise in various
industries to offer a wide range of vertical- and domain-specific analytic applications.

The products included in this assessment are:

SAS Visual Analytics: Used by business users and analysts to integrate and explore data and create
highly interactive analytic content through integration of advanced analytics and data visualization.

SAS Office Analytics: Extends the reach and accessibility of SAS to a broader range of users
allowing for consumption and interactivity of SAS analytic content within the familiar interface of
Microsoft Office

SAS BI Server/SAS Enterprise BI Server: Centrally managed BI environment used primarily by IT to

build system-of-record content and deliver to end users and administer all aspects of the

SAS Enterprise Guide: Self-service BI environment intended for business analysts that is used to
integrate data and create and distribute analytic content without the need for IT involvement.


Overall, SAS earned among the highest composite product score of all Magic Quadrant vendors
and was ranked in the top quartile in each of the four individual use cases evaluated.
Collectively, the products that comprise the SAS BI and analytics portfolio deliver a full range of
capabilities that support the needs of both centralized and decentralized BI delivery models.
SAS is rated near the top overall for support of governed data discovery use cases, which
demonstrates the versatility and tight integration of the products in the portfolio, and their ability
to deliver the enterprise features that IT requires, and the easy-to-use self-service capabilities
that business users demand.

The governed data discovery use case places specific emphasis on critical capabilities such as
analytic dashboards and content, free form interactive exploration, business-user mashup and
modeling, and internal platform integration, for each of which SAS was rated in the top 10
across all Magic Quadrant vendors.

Deep expertise in statistics and predictive modeling is a clear strength for SAS and a major
advantage that SAS Visual Analytics has over many competing data discovery products on the
market. While most vendors with a data discovery offering are just starting to introduce basic
embedded advanced analytic capabilities into their products, SAS has already embedded a
vast array of advanced analytic capabilities into Visual Analytics that are intended for business

The correlation matrix that SAS has built into Visual Analytics is an example of how SAS is
building easy-to-consume and understand advanced analytic capabilities into its products.
Once the correlation matrix is built by dropping metrics onto the canvas, users can then interact
with the visualization by selecting a specific value within the matrix to create a regression plot of

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that data intersection within Visual Analytics. Within the same UI, users can perform scenario
analysis, box plots, decision trees, regressions, path analysis, sequencing, and text analytics.

The advanced analytic capabilities of SAS Visual Analysis are extended even further through
integration with SAS Visual Statistics, which offers a visual predictive modeling environment for
the needs of a citizen data scientist.

SAS garners high scores for the embedded BI use case that are largely driven by its strengths in
embedded advanced analytics. Embedded BI assesses both the ability of the platform to
embed content through APIs, SDKs and open standards, as well as its ability to consume
models based on Predictive Model Markup Language (PMML) and R, and leverage advanced
statistical capabilities within the platform where SAS excels.

SAS received the highest rating of all Magic Quadrant vendors for free form interactive
exploration capabilities. The primary driver of the top ranking is that SAS Visual Analytics offers
a wide range of highly interactive and modern and smart visualizations that business users can
interact with in a code-free, Web-based content authoring interface. Precision layout
capabilities within SAS Visual Analytics can be used to create distribution-quality reports and
dashboards from the visualizations, which is a differentiating capability for SAS compared to
most other data discovery products that do not support pixel-perfect reporting and dashboard
requirements. The high rating in interactive exploration can also be attributed to the
performance delivered by the SAS LASR Analytic Server, which is a high-performance, in-
memory engine that powers SAS Visual Analytics. It can run either on 64-bit Windows or Linux,
or in a distributed 64-bit Linux grid environment for maximum big data performance with data
cached in-memory and distributed across the grid.

SAS provides a full range of data integration capabilities within its platform that address the
needs of the business user, business analyst and IT administrator. SAS Visual Analytics provides
Web-based mashup and modeling capabilities that allows business users to combine datasets.
Business analysts needing more robust capabilities to integrate and transform data from a
variety of sources can use SAS Enterprise Guide, which is a desktop tool offering a drag-and-
drop UI.

SAS Information Map Studio is used by Enterprise BI Server IT administrators to create a

common semantic layer for Web and desktop content authors that can be used by all SAS BI
and analytic tools, although Visual Analytics' models cannot be promoted to the Information
Map Studio.

SAS offers a comprehensive lineup of vertical- and domain-specific analytic applications that it
builds by leveraging its multiproduct strength in information management, advanced analytics
and interactive visualization. Analytic applications that address the specific needs of virtually
every vertical industry are available including, life sciences, energy, insurance, government,
healthcare, financial services, communications, retail and education. SAS also offers many
domain-specific packaged advanced analytics solutions within the categories of customer
intelligence, fraud and security intelligence, and supply chain intelligence.

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Areas of Improvement

License cost continues to be a barrier to wider deployment of SAS as cited by 45% of survey
references, the highest of any vendor in the survey. SAS has made strides in 2014 to make
Visual Analytics more accessible to SMBs and departmental prospects by introducing a pricing
model for servers as small as four cores, in addition to cloud-based workgroup options. The
impact of these changes to the Visual Analytics pricing model would not have been realized in
time for inclusion in this Critical Capabilities research or its companion Magic Quadrant due to
the timing of the change, but it is expected that improvements in sentiment around license cost
will improve next year as a result. Increased scrutiny on pricing is likely as the sophistication of
freemium and lower-cost BI and analytics products increases over time and begins to close the
functionality gap that exists today.

When asked about general platform problems in the Magic Quadrant survey, 28% of reference
organizations reported that SAS products were difficult to implement, the highest percentage of
all Magic Quadrant vendors. Composite ease of use, which measures how easy the platform is
to use from both a developer and end-user perspective, was below the Magic Quadrant vendor
average, and was driven primarily by the developer ease-of-use question focusing on
administration and implementation. In a market where ease of use is a key driver of buying
decisions, this is an area that SAS will have to focus on and improve in order to compete with
other BI and analytics platforms that are easy to use from both a business and IT perspective.

Although SAS is architected and developed from the ground up with integration as a key focus
to enable seamless delivery of a wide range of analytic capabilities, SAS was rated only slightly
higher than the overall Magic Quadrant vendor average in the survey for internal platform
integration. The ability to promote business user mashups to the system-of-record metadata
layer and integrated and common front tools were also points of weakness. Some aspects of
platform integration were rated favorably such as the support for a common security model
and administrative components, and an integrated semantic/metadata layer so continued
focus on the governed data discovery use case should address gaps that have been reported
by SAS customers.

Overall, SAS was rated slightly above the Magic Quadrant vendor average for end-user
enablement, which measures how well the vendor supports its user community through
documentation, tutorials, training and conferences, for example. However, SAS was rated in the
bottom 10 for both the training and online tutorials for end users components of user
enablement, which is a strength of data discovery leaders that are also rated as easy to use by
survey references. This is an area that SAS will need to focus on improving if it is to change the
perception of being a difficult tool to use, and gain broader appeal with business users who are
now driving many of the BI and analytic platform buying decisions in organizations.

Tableau's intuitive, visual-based data discovery and dashboarding capabilities have transformed
business users' expectations about what they can discover in data and share without extensive
skills or training.

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Tableau provides purpose-built, business-oriented data mashup capabilities with direct data
connectors that use Tableau's VizQL technology, where drag-and-drop operations in Tableau create
a query in VizQL. This, in turn, interprets and packages a SQL or MDX query to the database, and
then expresses the response graphically in recommended visualizations, enabling users without
SQL knowledge to rapidly and visually explore the data.

Tableau is a self-contained platform sold in the following editions:

Tableau Public: A free cloud-based version.

Desktop Personal Edition: Supports access to Microsoft Excel, Access and text files. Free
versions of this edition are available to students.

Desktop Professional Edition: Connects to both files and database servers including relational
databases, cubes, and apps (Salesforce, Google Analytics). This edition is required to publish
and connect to Tableau Server and Tableau Online.

Tableau Server: Allows users of Desktop Professional Edition to publish workbooks to a server
so that users can interact with the data using a browser or a mobile device. It also offers limited
browser- and mobile-based authoring. Tableau Server can be licensed per named user or by
core. As of 6 April 2015, Tableau introduced a single and multi-machine core pricing model for
server. The single machine pricing is only available to companies with below $1 billion in


Tableau rates among the top five vendors for aggregate product score, with strengths in the
decentralized and governed data discovery use cases.

Tableau provides an intuitive way for users to quickly and easily create highly interactive analytic
dashboards and to conduct advanced free form exploration of data. Users can assemble
dashboards from views with a few clicks and add a range of interactivity, filtering and drilling

Tableau identifies visualizations that are most likely to be compatible with the selected data and
combination of dimensions and measures. It also enables users to quickly explore deep
relationships in data. Users can conduct advanced interactivity and exploration through custom
drag-and-drop hierarchies, grouping, and a point-and-click calculations editor with access to a
wide range of statistical functions and measures. Users also have extensive control over how
they present reference lines to provide context (such as averages) for data.

Forecasts and trend lines can also be added with a single click, with right-click detail available
for users that want to view the underlying assumptions and calculations. Tableau was rated
highest in terms of ease of use by its customers of any vendor assessed for this Critical
Capabilities research. Tableau users also report among the lowest times to implement, and the
fastest report and dashboard development times across all levels of complexity.

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Tableau offers basic business user data mashup capabilities to automate data blending tasks
such as the automatic identification of dimensions, measures and joins for the user, which can
be modified if needed. Self-service data preparation enhancements have been added in Tableau
9 to include advanced manipulations such as pivoting and splitting columns. Users can see
basic data lineage information within a view or dashboard (in the sheet description), such as the
source of the data, calculations and filters applied.

Tableau's data server capabilities enable users to publish data models to Tableau Server, which
can be reused by other users in support of a governed data discovery approach.

Data can be analyzed in-memory or Tableau can directly query data residing in a range of data
repositories. Direct query access has been the strength of the platform since its inception,
which has often increased its appeal to IT versus in-memory-only options.

Customers report average deployment sizes in terms of users, with data volumes among the
best highest in the survey in part as a result of Tableau's direct query access.

Tableau offers a broad range of support for direct-query SQL and MDX data sources
including Microsoft PowerPivot, as well as a number of Hadoop distributions, native support for
Google BigQuery, Spark SQL, Amazon Redshift, Salesforce and Google Analytics. It also offers
support for search-based data discovery platforms like Attivio.

Tableau's columnar, in-memory data engine, which can be used as an alternative to its direct
query access, enables complex queries with multidimensional filters on single-source datasets.

Tableau's cloud portfolio, collectively called Tableau Online, builds on its customer-facing
offerings and is identified as a platform strength.

Tableau views and dashboards can be embedded into a SharePoint portal, a website or other
portals or applications using an IFrame within a Salesforce application workflow, with full
interactivity. Tableau plans to make improvements to the development environment, SDK and
APIs with each release.

Tableau supports mobile- and browser-based content authoring (although more limited than the
desktop version) on tablets (not phones). Tableau users widely deploy its mobile capabilities
with reported use by customers in the top three of Magic Quadrant vendors, although offline or
disconnected analysis is not supported on mobile devices in Tableau and native support is
limited to iOS on the iPad (not the iPhone or Android Tablets).

Tableau provides a Data Extract API for third-party tools to generate Tableau Data Extracts. This
API is used by many ETL and self-service data-preparation vendors including Alteryx,
Informatica, Paxata, Trifacta, Tamr, and SnapLogic to generate Tableau Data Extracts.

A further data point to Tableau's pervasiveness is evident in the fact that BI and application
vendors are increasingly offering an "Export to Tableau" feature in addition to "Export to Excel."

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Areas of Improvement

IT-developed reports and dashboards, traditional styles of analysis, development and

integration, BI platform administration, embedded BI and collaboration are all rated as weaker
capabilities of the platform, making it less well-suited for centralized and embedded use cases.

Although customers report that they employ Tableau for a broad range of uses, the company
lacks traditional BI platform capabilities, such as production reporting. Tableau has very
purposely decided not to get into production reporting, choosing instead to leave that space
either to partners and/or megavendors. When Tableau customers have production reporting,
distribution and alerting as requirements, they must turn to third-party products, such as Metric
Insights. For example, Tableau users can do time-based scheduling, but event-based
scheduling and scheduling output to .pdf is not supported. Customers needing capabilities
spanning systems-of-record reporting and interactive dashboards and visualization from a
single tool are unlikely to choose Tableau as their enterprise standard. This may also limit their
ability for large-scale displacement of report-centric incumbents. Tableau may be under
pressure to change this strategy in the future now that both Qlik (NPrinting) and Tibco
(Jaspersoft) have acquired production-reporting capabilities and IT-report-centric vendors are
investing aggressively to mature their data discovery capabilities.

While Tableau is extending its SDK with .NET and Java APIs with each release, and a number of
vendors distribute Tableau on an OEM basis, "embeddability" is more limited than other
platforms assessed for this Critical Capabilities research.

Tableau's ratings for enterprise features such as metadata management and BI infrastructure
are below the survey average. Metadata management and data-model reuse are more limited
than many vendors assessed for this Critical Capabilities research, particularly those that
specialize in centralized deployments. For example, calculations, groups, hierarchies and other
business logic from a single source can be published as a data source to the Tableau Data
Server. The same metadata from two blended sources cannot. Tableau added its data server
functionality in release 7.0 to enable a user to publish a data model to the server that can be
reused by other content authors. Changes to the data model are reflected in workbooks, where
it is used. However, there is limited impact analysis for how changes to the model will impact
individual workbooks.

All metadata for Tableau is stored as XML and managed via the Tableau repository. Tableau
Workbook Auditor, a workbook available in the Tableau community, can be used on this data to
perform impact analysis and determine where data and metrics are used across a deployment.
Although Tableau continues to enhance capabilities in its Data Server (part of Tableau Server) to
facilitate data reuse and governance, it is a work in progress. It would be better to see this
capability available as part of the data preparation and workbook authoring workflow.

While integrated data mashup with automatic identification of dimensions and measures, and
an intuitive interface for automatically joining data, are a Tableau strength, its data-preparation
capabilities are missing features for further profiling, cleaning, transforming and manipulating
data once loaded. Although, extended data preparation enhancements are available in Tableau
9,. Tableau customers have to use the company's specialist partners such as Alteryx and

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new vendors Paxata and Trifacta when more advanced data preparation is required.
Moreover, customers report that data loading into memory for frequent updates on large
datasets is more difficult than with other data discovery vendors.

While forecasting and trend lines are accessible to a business analyst with a few clicks, Tableau
offers limited advanced analytics capabilities targeted at an advanced business analyst or data
scientist. Tableau integrates with R; and users can use precompiled packages and models with
Tableau and R. For example, in Tableau, R scripts are run in table calculations that can be run
against various dimensions. R integration has been recently added and is a major improvement
for users needing more statistical and advanced capabilities. Other vendors such as IBM, SAS,
SAP and Tibco have a broader set of capabilities for building advanced analytics models.

While Tableau now supports a 64-bit architecture, and a broader range of security mechanisms,
(including Active Directory, single sign-on and Kerberos authentication), BI administration
capabilities are rated below average when compared with traditional enterprise vendors. For
example, high availability and disaster recovery tasks such as backup and recovery, and
monitoring are accomplished via extensions or accomplished outside of Tableau in other
products, such as JMeter solutions.

Tibco's BI platform consists of two distinct products covering a wide range of analytic capabilities.
Spotfire is a leading data discovery and interactive visualization product that offers business users
and analysts the ability to access, combine, prepare and visualize data in the form of highly
interactive analytic dashboards. Spotfire also offers advanced analytic capabilities through
integration with R and is also a leader in geospatial, location analytics and real-time use cases.
Tibco's second product, Jaspersoft, was acquired in April 2014 to expand the range of analytic
capabilities of the platform beyond data discovery to include key strengths of the Jaspersoft
product embedded analytics and production reporting.


Tibco earned the second highest overall product score of all Magic Quadrant vendors. This can
be attributed to the complementary strengths of Spotfire and Jaspersoft, which collectively
deliver most of the capabilities assessed in the BI Magic Quadrant methodology. Jaspersoft
delivers on the static and parameterized reporting requirements, simple ad hoc reporting, and
dashboarding; while Spotfire is used primarily for more-complex use cases including interactive
visualization and predictive analysis. Coverage of this broad spectrum of uses is the primary
reason that Tibco was rated fifth of all Magic Quadrant vendors for complexity of analysis
performed with the platform. Of the four use cases that comprise the overall product score,
Tibco was rated very positively in two that are weighted heavily by buyers in the current market.

Primarily driven by Spotfire, Tibco was ranked highest of the 12 vendors included in this Critical
Capabilities research for support of decentralized analytics, and fourth for governed data
discovery use cases, which highlights the product's strength in analytic dashboards, business
user mashup and interactive visualization.

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Both of Tibco's core BI products are used in OEM/embedded use cases. While Spotfire is
occasionally used in this capacity, Jaspersoft is widely used by ISVs and end-user organizations
to embed content in analytic applications and products. The embedded BI critical capability is
another example where the collective strengths of the individual products result in a solid score
for Tibco overall. It assesses both the ability of the platform to embed content through APIs,
SDKs and open standards, and also its ability to consume PMML- and R-based models.

Jaspersoft was rated highly for its ability to embed content in applications and websites but
does not support embedded advanced analytics through consumption of PMML or R. Spotfire,
on the other hand, was rated highly for its ability to consume R models and execute at runtime
through Tibco Enterprise Runtime for R (TERR) with little support for embedded content in
websites and applications.

Tibco was rated fourth overall for its mobile deployment capabilities through either the Spotfire
Analytics mobile app or Spotfire Mobile Metrics, which uses the acquisition of Extended Results
in 2013. The Spotfire Analytics app extends the core functionality of Spotfire natively to iOS
devices with little additional development work required. Spotfire Mobile Metrics is natively
supported on iOS, Android and Windows and is specifically designed for mobile dashboard
development with highly standardized navigation and drill path for KPIs.

With the exception of security and administration, Tibco was ranked in the top 10 for all of the
subcriteria within the mobile deployment capability. Tibco's reference organizations also
indicate that they leverage the capabilities of the Spotfire mobile apps across various types of
devices and form factors, citing the second-highest percentage of users rendering BI content
on mobile phones across all vendors in the survey.

Areas of Improvement

Tibco ranked lowest of all Magic Quadrant vendors for its capabilities related to internal
platform integration, which reflects the fact that Spotfire and Jaspersoft are currently operating
as separate products within the overall platform with very little connectivity between them. As
mentioned in the strength section, each product independently provides strong capabilities that
cover a wide range of analytic needs, but a single organization would not yet be able to easily
use the full spectrum of capabilities offered.

Weakness in Tibco's integration was cited in every criteria assessed in the category including
promotion of business-user mashups to the system of record, common security model and
administration application components, integrated semantic layer, and integrated common
front-end tools. Tibco has all of the components in place, backed by strong product
capabilities, but it must execute on its vision to unify the platform and capitalize on its
acquisitions in the space.

Tibco has struggled with sales execution and proper positioning of Spotfire in the market since
it acquired it in 2006. It appears to be experiencing similar issues following the acquisition of
Jaspersoft last year. Tibco was ranked in the bottom quartile of all Magic Quadrant vendors by
customer references on sales experience, which includes all aspects of the sales cycle including
pricing and contract terms.

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Spotfire and Jaspersoft customers still lack clarity regarding how the products will be
integrated, packaged and sold in the future, which is likely contributing to some of the negativity
from customers. The combination of Spotfire's premium-priced data discovery platform with
Jaspersoft's open-source software does not seem to be resonating with existing customers,
based on the sharp decline in Gartner inquiries over the past year in either platform. Tibco's
survey references reiterate this change in sentiment with the fourth highest percentage of
customers (12.5%) reporting that they are more concerned about Tibco's future than they were
last year.

Tibco was ranked fourth lowest of all Magic Quadrant vendors for user enablement according to
its customer references participating in the survey. Specific weakness was cited in four of the
categories assessed in the survey documentation, tutorials for content authors, training, and
availability of skills each of which references rated Tibco in the bottom five of all Magic
Quadrant vendors.

Tibco's overall lack of focus on enabling its customers to leverage the strength of its products
has created a large gap between itself and the market leaders, which excel at user enablement.
This is particularly critical in the current market where organizations are trying to educate and
train end users who are quickly assuming more responsibility in decentralized BI deployment
models. Tibco will have to focus on all aspects of support and customer enablement to close
the gap that currently exists between it and vendors such as Tableau, Qlik and Birst, which all
have a clear focus on overall customer satisfaction and compete with Tibco.

When asked about platform problems and limitations to wider deployment, approximately two
out of every three survey references cited at least one of each. The problems that were cited
span many of the categories included in the survey, with the highest percentage of issues
related to absent or weak functionality, inability to handle data volumes, unreliable or unstable
software, and poor performance. Limitations to wider deployment also spanned multiple
categories with the highest percentage of references citing issues with cost, support quality,
and ease of use for developers and end users.

This Critical Capabilities research evaluates Leaders from 2015's Magic Quadrant, and Leaders and
Challengers from 2014, on 15 critical capabilities in support of the four main use cases for BI and
analytics platforms. The large number of vendors in the Visionaries and Niche Players quadrants
with specialized strengths suggests opportunities for customers to find a match for their
requirements beyond the largest vendors. However, we have not focused on these vendors for this

Product/Service Class Definition

Gartner's view is that the market for BI and analytics platforms will remain one of the fastest-
growing software markets. The critical capabilities defined in this research represent mainstream
buying requirements. The market for BI platforms grew 9% in 2013, and is projected to grow at a
compound annual growth rate of 8.7% through 2018 (see "Forecast: Enterprise Software Markets,
Worldwide, 2011-2018, 4Q14 Update"), driven by the following market activity:

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Expansion of data discovery dominates new investment: Continued investments in data
discovery and large, governed data discovery deployments are expected to continue. Since a
greater percentage of purchasing and usage within organizations will be driven primarily by
business-user-oriented data discovery requirements, the majority of current IT-centric vendors
will continue to shift the focus of their new-product investments and platforms. Vendors will
continue to move away from IT-authored production reporting toward governed, business-user-
driven data discovery and analysis tools or risk being marginalized by data discovery
vendors that are investing to become more enterprise capable. As a result, data discovery will
continue to displace traditional, IT-authored static reporting as the dominant BI and analytics
user interaction paradigm for new implementations in 2015 and beyond. IT-authored systems-
of-record reporting will not disappear, but it will continue to account for a smaller percentage of
overall analytics use. At the same time, a larger percentage of data discovery deployments will
expand overall user adoption and easy-to-use, centrally deployed BI platforms based on
modern architectures will be key drivers of market growth.

Self-service data preparation and enrichment addresses a high-value data discovery

challenge: The shift toward business-user-driven data discovery has highlighted the need to
address the significant challenges of data preparation to enable broader and more governed
use. Self-service data preparation capabilities are emerging that extend beyond the current data
mashup capabilities of most data discovery tools that help users prepare their data for analysis,
but can be very time-consuming. Self-service data preparation platforms enable business users
to reduce the time and complexity of preparing data for analysis in a governed and reusable
way. They feature capabilities like visual data flow building and automation, semantic
autodiscovery, intelligent joins, intelligent profiling, hierarchy generation, data lineage and data
blending on varied data sources, including multistructured data and enrichment. Many of these
platforms also feature automated machine-learning algorithms in the background that visually
highlight the structure, distribution, anomalies and repetitive patterns in data, with guided
business-user-oriented tools to suggest how to resolve issues and enhance data. The intent of
these tools is to make the data integration process accessible to business analysts in
addition to traditional IT users to address the ongoing and high-value problem of data

Smart data discovery will extend data discovery to a wider range of users and enhance
insights and interpretation: These emerging capabilities facilitate discovery of hidden patterns
in large, complex and increasingly multistructured datasets, without building models or writing
algorithms or queries. It goes beyond data discovery, because business users and business
analysts can benefit from advanced analytics (to highlight and visualize important findings,
correlations, clusters, predictions, outliers, anomalies, linkages or trends in data that are
relevant to the user), with user interaction and exploration via interactive visualizations, search
and natural-language query technologies. Some tools also interpret results for the user with
natural-language generation of text to highlight patterns and explain insights. This will also
reduce the time to insight, as well as the time and expertise needed for the manual data
exploration and modeling. Smart data discovery does not replace advanced analytics or the
data scientist; it complements them, by adding a class of citizen data scientists that can
develop hypotheses that can be explored in more detail and validated by the data scientist.

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Cloud BI will continue to grow as the majority of data shifts to the cloud: Adoption
intentions have been constant with those of last year. About 41% of respondents to Gartner's BI
and analytics platform Magic Quadrant survey (compared with 45% last year) said they either
are putting, or plan to put, their BI in either a private, public or hybrid cloud during the next 12
months. BI vendors with cloud offerings are moving toward meeting critical market
requirements for governed, business-user-friendly platforms and to deliver strong product
functionality, positive customer experiences and high business value to customers. Increasingly,
traditional on-premises vendors are also prepared to support cloud BI. Moreover, Salesforce
entered the BI and analytics platform market in October 2014. Its market entry could increase
cloud BI adoption, particularly for customer-centric use cases where Salesforce data is critical.

Streaming data: The past 10 years of analytics investment and value were driven primarily by
customer-oriented companies or the "Internet of People." The next 10 years will be driven by
investments in applications that use the "Internet of Things" (IoT). The fastest-growing kind of
data is real-time event streams, sensors and machine data, and events generated by devices.
These new applications, combined with insights from other new (multistructured) data types
(together with new types of analysis) will generate the next major wave of analytics investment
and business transformation. This will enable companies that have historically competed on
physical assets to compete on information assets.

Multistructured data analytics: Expanded investment in new types of analysis on a variety of

structured and unstructured data will deliver new insights that drive business value and

Embedded BI: Organizations will invest in embedding BI content (reports and dashboards),
interactive analysis, predictive and prescriptive analytics in applications and business processes
that deliver optimized recommendations and courses of action to nontraditional BI users at
the point of decision or action (increasingly mobile) to further extend the pervasiveness and
benefits of BI and analytics.

Customer-facing analytics and data monetization: Companies will increasingly invest in

capabilities that transform analytics from a cost center to a profit center as they find new ways
to productize the data assets they have (or can assemble) to improve customer relationships,
create new business models, and generate new sources of revenue.

Collaboration and social capabilities: Together with the crowdsourcing and sharing of BI
content and analysis, these will also drive a more pervasive use and higher business value from
BI investments.

Critical Capabilities Definition

Analytic Dashboards & Content

The ability to create highly interactive dashboards and content with visual exploration and
embedded, advanced and geospatial analytics to be consumed by others.

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Information visualizations: Does the product support both basic and advanced charts,
multidimensional rendering, visualizations linking, conditional formatting, trellising, live data,
animation, isosurfaces and contours?

Disconnected exploration: Can users navigate to information without an active data

connection (using locally stored information)? Can they navigate between a live and local data
connections when transitioning between offline and online analysis modes?

Embedded advanced analytics: How does the product support descriptive and inferential
statistics, out-of-the-box functions, classification, estimation, clustering, time series analysis,
advanced algorithms, affinity analysis, attribute importance, forecasting and simulation, text
mining, real-time scoring, open standards (R and PMML, for example) and advanced analytic

Geospatial and location intelligence: How does the product support specialized geospatial
visualizations, such as shape and mini-chart positioning (pie charts, for example) and region
color fill, geospatial data layering, interactive maps, specialized geospatial algorithms (distance
and route calculations, layering of geospatial data on custom base maps, markers, heat maps,
temporal maps, clustering, geofencing, 3D visualizations and animation), geospatial data
integration, geospatial applications, integration with statistical engines, geographic drill and

Content authoring: How does the product support code-free, business-user-authored data
discovery and interactive dashboard design? Is the content authoring process accessible to
users without expertise in data models, SQL, ETL, application development, BI report design or
advanced analytics? Does the product support data mashup, infographics and Web authoring?

Consumer interactivity and exploration: Is the product able to exclude irrelevant data or keep
only the items of interest from the view by interacting with charts, tables and filter prompts,
including hierarchical filters, interaction via search, cascading prompts and filters, panning,
zooming, lassoing and brushing?

BI Platform Administration
BI platform administration capabilities enable the security and administration of users, scaling the
platform, optimizing performance, and ensuring high availability and disaster recovery. They should
be common across all platform components.

Architecture: What open standards, hardware, operating systems and certifications does the
platform support? How does the product support virtualization, 64-bit architecture and
Unicode? What technologies are used at each layer of the platform?

Security: What third-party and proprietary authentication is supported? How is row, cell, source
system, role-based, extranet, and single sign-on supported? Can the product connect through
a proxy server? What type of encryption is supported? How are security events logged, audited,
maintained and monitored?

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User administration: How are users set up, and how is usage monitored? How are licenses

Scalability and performance: Are there utilities to throttle and manage workload and/or
prioritize user requests? Is there support for function shipping to the database, and is there
specific optimized SQL per relational database management system (RDBMS)? Is there support
for multilevel caching or automated aggregate awareness? Does the product include in-memory
and/or columnar data store utilization? What are the approaches for optimizing performance on
large datasets and high user concurrency? Are there differences in performance (physical
versus virtual) deployments or for different operating systems like Unix, Linux or Windows? How
does the platform divide calculations across all available processors, cores and clusters? Is
there support for performance monitoring and caching?

High availability and disaster recovery: Are there out-of-the-box capabilities and procedures
for backup and recovery? Is there support for selective recovery of BI reports and/or
dashboards? How is high availability and failover supported, and are there flexible controls to
manage the number of historical instances to be maintained? Is the platform database cluster
aware? How are system events captured and viewed within the solution?

Business User Data Mashup

Business-user data mashup includes drag-and-drop, user-driven data, combinations of different
sources, and the creation of analytic models, such as user-defined measures, sets, groups and

Advanced capabilities include semantic autodiscovery, intelligent joins, intelligent profiling, hierarchy
generation, data lineage and data blending on varied data sources, including multistructured data.

The score for this critical capability is based on the equally weighted and combined scores of the
subcriteria listed below:

Business user data mashup and joins: How the product supports business-user data mashup
and modeling (combining multiple data sources and applying logic/transformations to create a
dataset ready for analysis, for example) and enables business users to create a variety of joins
between data sources (full outer, inner, left, right, for example).

Business-user-defined calculations, grouping: How the product allows a business user to

create custom groups and calculated measures. This includes a calculations editor and the
facilities for helping the business user find fields and out of the box functions, such as in
context recommendations.

Data inference: How the product automatically infers and suggest relationships between
different data sources for joining, infers and auto formats data types and hierarchies, or can
infer entities for key domains and industries.

Data profiling and enrichment: How the user can enhance the data (such as renaming,
combining or splitting columns) or can use external data to fix, extend or enhance the dataset.
Also enables a user to view statistics on the distribution of the data, identifies potential issues
with the data, and includes facilities that auto recommend actions to fix those issues.

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Business-user data lineage: Provides a business user with an interface from a report or
dashboard to view sources, calculations and manipulations in the underlying data mashup.

Cloud Deployment
Platform-as-a-service and analytic-application-as-a-service capabilities for building, deploying and
managing analytics and analytic applications in the cloud, based on both cloud and on-premises

Built-in data management capabilities including data integration and data warehouse:
How does the tool provide integration with data sources, and how is data stored and optimized
for exploration by the BI and analytics platform?

Special-purpose connectors to cloud-based data sources: What application data

connectors are optimized to access and extract information from cloud-based data sources?

Direct connect for both cloud and on-premises data sources (hybrid): How does the tool
blend data from cloud and on-premises data sources into the cloud repository to produce
integrated BI or analytics outputs?

Packaged content: What packaged domain or industry analytic applications are available? Are
there cloud-based data sources (not simply connectors) licensed with the application for
immediate consumption by users?

Self-service administration: Can you remotely manage the configuration of cloud and on-
premises clusters? How is the cloud solution remotely configured and administered by the end-
user organization? How are the on-premises and cloud-based components of the solution
managed in an integrated way by the end-user organization? How can the end-user
organization monitor usage of resources and information? What are the security certifications of
the data center?

Self-service elasticity: How can the end-user organization scale up and down the solution
usage such as users, processing power, data repository space, bandwidth for data loading
and other cloud-based resources?

Collaboration & Social Integration

Enables users to share and discuss information, analysis, analytic content and decisions via
discussion threads, chat and annotations.

Storytelling: Does the tool support the creation of a storyboard to present a series of analytic

Discussion threads: Does the product enable discussion threads and commentary on shared
BI content (reports, dashboards and analysis)? Can users add voice comments to BI content?
Can users create annotations to the query result (or any BI artifact) that are tied to a workflow-
driven process?

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Integration with social platforms: Does the product integrate with social platforms, and can it
be used to discuss the results of such integration?

Timelines: Can users see their collaboration, annotations and comments on a timeline?

Sharing and real-time collaboration: Can users find other relevant users and share and
collaborate on BI, analysis and dashboard content?

Customer Services
This is a composite score of product quality, support, availability of skills, user enablement
(including training, online videos, online communities and documentation) and migration difficulty.
This critical capability is scored directly from the user survey.

Development and Integration

The platform should provide a set of programmatic and visual tools as well as a development
workbench for building reports, dashboards, queries and analysis.

The platform should enable scalable and personalized distribution; scheduling and alerts; workflow
of BI and analytics content; applications via email to a portal and to mobile devices; and the ability
to embed and customize BI platform components in a business process, application or portal.

External platform integration: This includes support for security, portal, databases, BPM, CEP
and other aspects of software stack. Does the product natively integrate with corporate
performance management (CPM), business process management (BPM), business process
execution language (BPEL), complex-event processing, and business rules execution engines?
Can it support operational write-back and drill to application detail?

Embeddable/embedded BI and analytics: How can all BI content be made available as an

embeddable report part via an API (Web services) for embedding with other content sources,
applications or portals with full report interactivity, report attributes, derived measures, etc.?
What reusable services can be exposed by the product? Can the product support development
that combines analytical and operational services into one experience?

Support for big data sources (including cloud): How does the product access NoSQL data
sources (MapReduce, Graph databases, other NoSQL, Amazon RedShift, Google BigQuery,
etc.)? Which ones? Can the product connect to big data sources (direct HDFS query or access
to MapReduce through Hive)?

Developer productivity (including APIs, SDKs, versioning and multiple-developer features):

How does the product offer an open API across all aspects of the BI tools/platform? Does the
product provide a central repository with check-in/check-out versioning within the development
environment? What life cycle management is supported (test, development and production)?
What is the dev/test/production migration process? How is versioning of reports, dashboards
and analysis supported? How does the product support .NET, Java and JavaScript, HTML5?
What are mechanisms for debugging? What features does the SDK support?

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Scheduling and alerts: How does the product provide BI content to end users on an on-
demand or scheduled basis? Can reports be distributed based on date/time and events? Can
alerts be sent to users based on defining thresholds, specific conditions (either centrally defined
or defined by each user)? How are alerts delivered (email, RSS feed, mobile, other)? Can the
product visually display exception values through color coding or other means? Are event-
based and temporal rule-based alerts supported? How does the product support the setting of
an alert across metrics in a composite analytic business process?

Workflow and Events: Does the product integrate with workflow engines (Windows Workflow
Foundation, for example) in a way that triggers a workflow (tasks can be assigned) based on BI
data (routes the workflow based on specific queries) without coding? Does the product support
synchronous linking of business rules between models? Can it build guided paths to do
reporting and analysis according to a particular subject area dynamically based on events
supported? How does the product support the collection of rules that are evaluated as events
and new data are received? Can end users create their own business rules? Can end users add
runtime parameters as input to the business rules?

Ease of Use
This is a combined score of ease of use for content authors, ease of use for content consumers,
and ease of use for deployment and implementation. This critical capability is scored directly from
the user survey.

Embedded BI
Capabilities including SDKs, APIs, and support for open standards, including advanced analytics for
creating and modifying analytic content, visualizations and applications, embedding them into a
business process, and/or an application or portal.

These capabilities can reside outside the application (reusing the analytic infrastructure) but must be
easily and seamlessly accessible from inside the application, without forcing users to switch
between systems. The capabilities for integrating BI and analytics with the application architecture
will enable users to choose where in the business process the analytics should be embedded.

Capabilities for embedding (including APIs, open standards, SDKs and component
libraries): Does the product's SDK expose a range of functionality via Web services and open

Ability to consume common analytics methods: Can the product be used to consume
PMML- and R-based models in the metadata layer and/or in a report object or analysis?

Free Form Interactive Exploration

The exploration of data via the manipulation of chart images, with the color, brightness, size, shape
and motion of visual objects representing different views of the dataset being analyzed.

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This includes an array of visualization options that go beyond those of pie, bar and line charts,
including heat and tree maps, geographic maps, scatter plots and other special-purpose visuals.
These tools enable users to analyze the data by interacting directly with a visual representation of it.

Interactivity and exploration: How does the product support visual interaction with content
such as dragging and dropping what users want to see, or selecting a data point to get
additional detail? Can users perform analysis tasks including sort, drill and pivot by simply
interacting with visual images or using drag-and-drop manipulation? Can business users add
totals and statistical measures, and revisualize charts with one click? Can they exclude data
from view, search metadata, data, reports and other analytic content? Can users create
cascading prompts and customer groups? Can they zoom and pan, and use brushing to
highlight a specific data point across report objects?

User experience: What tutorials, online information, help, wizards, contextual aids,
preferences, and communities are available to support the user?

Information visualizations: How does the product support basic charts, multidimensional
rendering, visualizations linking, conditional formatting, advanced charts, trellising, live data,
animation, isosurfaces, contours and asymmetric reporting?

Disconnected exploration: How does the product support disconnected access and
exploration of data?

Search-based data discovery: How does the product relate structured and unstructured data
sources and map them into a classification structure of dimensions and measures that can be
visualized and explored with interactivity using natural language queries?

Data flow: How does the product display data transformation workflows? Can business users
create and edit data transformation workflows using visual operations like drag and drop? Can
data flows integrate with other BI and analytics capabilities?

Content authoring: How does the product support code-free, business-user-authored data
discovery and dashboard design? Is the content-authoring process accessible to users without
expertise in data models, SQL, ETL, application development, BI report design or advanced
analytics? Does the product allow the creation of dashboards by laying outplacing and linking
different visualizations on a single page? What level of support is there for dashboards with
multiple interconnected pages? Is the authoring environment WYSIWYG? Can business users
create and edit metrics and dimensions, hierarchies and groupings of data items? Can they
create infographics? What types of parameters can be created by users? Can users author data
discovery content on mobile devices and from a Web browser? What are the functional
differences between the desktop and Web-based authoring environments?

In-memory interactive analysis: How does the product use in-memory technology to improve
user interactivity? Are there capabilities to optimize interactive analysis between data that is
held in-memory and data that is accessed directly in the database? What sources are
supported with direct and native connectivity (not just ODBC or JDBC)?

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Internal Platform Integration
Internal platform integration is defined by a common look and feel of the install, query engine,
shared metadata and promotability across all platform components.

The score for this critical capability is based on the equally weighted and combined scores of the
subcriteria listed below:

Integration with complementary BI capabilities: How the platform/content can be integrated

with complementary BI capabilities such as portals, databases, business process management,
complex-event processing engines, Hadoop distributions, search engines and social platforms.

Ability to promote business-user-generated data mashups to the system of record: How

the product can be used to promote a business-user-generated model or mashup to a first-
class systems-of-record metadata object.

Common security model and administration application components across the platform:
Is there a common location to add/delete users and modify settings? Do all tools use a
common security definition, share a common administration application, installed via a single
server install? Are there common scalability mechanisms (including caching, clustering,
workload balancing and high availability) across all BI platform components?

Integrated semantic/metadata layer: How many different metadata/semantic layers exist in

the platform? Is there a single metadata layer for all platform tools?

Integrated and common front-end tools: Do the BI tools share the same query optimization
and generation engine, a single engine for formatting and rendering multiple objects (report,
query, chart) distributed to multiple outputs (including email, HTML and wireless)? Is there a
common development and authoring environment across BI platform components (for example,
reports, dashboards, data discovery, OLAP and ad-hoc)? Is there a seamless navigation across
tools with the ability to modify and extend content between tools across the BI platform,
including common commands, menu items and a toolbar for all BI functions (including reports,
OLAP, ad hoc, data discovery and dashboards)? Is there a consistent Web client or comparable
rich client for all BI functions? Do all tools support the same output formats with the same level
of interactivity (for example, HTML, PDF, Excel, Word, PowerPoint and Flash).

IT-Developed Reports and Dashboards

The ability to create highly formatted, print-ready and interactive reports, with or without
parameters. IT or centrally authored dashboards are reports that depict performance measures

Includes the ability to publish multi-object, linked reports and parameters with intuitive and
interactive displays. Dashboards often employ visualization components such as gauges, sliders,
checkboxes and maps, and are often used to show the actual value of the measure compared to a
goal or target value. Dashboards can represent operational or strategic information.

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Production reporting, distribution and printing: Does the platform support pixel-perfect
reporting, print scheduling, distribution, report bursting, multiple data sources in a result set,
and out-of-the-box financial intelligence?

Parameterizations, filters and prompts (including parameterized reporting): Does the

platform support cascading prompts, filter prompts, hierarchical prompts, formatting prompts or
other prompts? Can prompts and filters be reused?

Report, dashboard and guided navigation: Does the product show trends or color-coded
summaries indicating the state of a particular metric compared to a goal or threshold target
(without programming)? Can users build their own metrics, and integrate multiple datasets into
one dashboard, including relational and multidimensional data and drill from dashboard
graphics (dial or traffic light, for example) to any source system? Does the platform alert users
when a data value surpasses a predefined threshold? Can users visualize multiple targets per
metric (multiple thresholds or goals)? Can users visualize live data? Can users drill from one
dashboard to another with parameter passed, pivot/drill by other dimensions (dragging and
dropping or expanding and collapsing for drill-down), drill down, around, conditional, drill
through to other reports? Can users freeze panes, hide columns, and sort or change rows and
columns? Does the product support report production (including PDF) with a navigation bar and
table of contents?

Design environment and document layout: Can users define calculations and KPIs? Can
templates be reused? Is the design environment WYSIWYG? How does the platform support
query refresh embedding of content? What are the dashboard delivery options? Which data
sources are supported? Are multiple data sources supported? How are objects placed on a
dashboard? Is relative positioning supported? Does the platform support conditional and
contextual formatting? How does the design environment support multiple objects, tabs and
rulers? Can users annotate and comment with text and voice? How is content shared?

Visual components (including gauges, sliders, dials and check boxes): Does the product
represent the data graphically (as a chart, gauge or stop light, for example) without
programming? Can users create basic and advanced visualizations, (including combo charts,
heat maps, boxplots, paths on a map, different levels of aggregation, histograms, bubbles,
bullets, candlesticks, Pareto, TreeMap, Marimekko, X/Y or scatter charts, etc.)?

Metadata Management
Tools for enabling users to leverage the same systems-of-record semantic model and metadata.

They should provide a robust and centralized way for administrators to search, capture, store, reuse
and publish metadata objects, such as dimensions, hierarchies, measures, performance metrics/key
performance indicators (KPIs), and report layout objects, parameters. Administrators should have
the ability to promote a business-user-defined data mashup and metadata to the systems-of-record

Promotability: How is the product used to promote a business-user-generated model or

mashup to a first-class systems-of-record metadata object?

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Data modeling: What skills are required to model data using the platform? Is scripting required
for data modeling/mashup? Is there a single repository for metadata such as mappings of
business concepts to underlying data structures (dimensions or measures, for example) layouts
and report configurations (prompts or filters)? Are single metric definitions accessible from all BI
capabilities (reports, OLAP, query or dashboard)? How does the tool propagate changes made
in the metadata repository to all other reports and applications that make use of the metadata
objects? Can users search a metadata repository to find the appropriate report, and does this
enable drill-through without predefined drill paths? Is there integration with other ETL or
modeling tools?

Reuse: How metadata objects (dimensions, measures, calculations and parameters, for
example) can be created by IT and business users, and promoted to a central repository for

Connectivity and data sources: Which OLAP and relational data sources does the product
natively support? What other data sources can be used (such as XML, RSS feeds, JSON,
Microsoft SharePoint, flat files or others)? Is there support for unstructured data sources (text,
video, voice, log files)? Streaming data? Open Database Connectivity (ODBC), Java Database
Connectivity (JDBC)? What is the native connectivity to enterprise applications (SAP, NetWeaver
BW, Oracle, SFDC or other)?

Data lineage and impact analysis: How is data lineage supported to determine which source
systems contributed to the report, regardless of the ETL tool used? How is impact analysis
supported to highlight changes in the source data (down to which fields are impacted within a
report) that affect downstream reports?

Developing and delivering content to mobile devices in a publishing/interactive mode using their
native capabilities, such as touchscreen, camera, location awareness and natural-language queries.

Content authoring and information exploration: How the product supports content authoring
from a mobile device, and how the product supports on-device interactivity such as rank, filter,
sort, drill, graphics and table manipulation, map interaction and write-back.

Information display, interaction and context awareness: Does the product support rich
information visualization, information overlay on maps, a native touchscreen experience with
responsiveness, dashboard delivery, multimedia support, GPS, camera and voice integration?

Multiple device support: Does the product support Apple, Android and Microsoft devices?
Does it use the device's native operating system, HTML5 or a hybrid of both?

Security and administration: Does the product support administrator-driven setup, application
management, communications security, data security, application security and remote wipe?

Offline mode exploration: Are users able to navigate information without an active data
connection, using locally stored information? Can they subscribe to reports or dashboards that
the tool will download automatically in the background or upon application activation?

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Traditional Styles of Analysis
Ad hoc queries enable users to ask their own questions of the data, without relying on IT to create a

The tools must have a reusable semantic layer to enable users to navigate available data sources,
predefined metrics and hierarchies. OLAP should enable users to analyze data with fast query and
calculation performance, enabling a style of analysis known as "slicing and dicing." Users should be
able to navigate multidimensional drill paths. They should also have the ability to write back values
to a database for planning and what-if modeling. This capability could span a variety of data
architectures (such as relational, multidimensional or hybrid) and storage architectures (such as
disk-based or in-memory).

Online analytical processing (OLAP): How the product supports IT and centrally deployed
relational online analytic processing (ROLAP), hybrid online analytic processing (HOLAP) and
multidimensional online analytic processing (MOLAP) analysis with capabilities for:

User-defined functions


User-defined dimensions

Alternative hierarchies

Complex calculations

Financial and time intelligence


Asymmetric hierarchies

Multidimensional expressions (MDX)



What-if analysis



Custom groups

Time series

Statistical functions



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Ad hoc query: How the product supports IT and centrally deployed ad hoc queries with capabilities

A semantic layer

Aggregate awareness

Heterogeneous data join

Access to OLAP data sources

Multiple data sources

Auditing performance and usage


Multipass SQL



Data federation


Filters and prompts

Disconnected analysis

Use Cases

Centralized BI Provisioning
A formal process where a BI developer or specialists collects business requirements from the user
and then creates sanctioned reports and dashboards for them on trusted data.

Centralized BI provisioning enables an information consumer to access their KPIs from an

information portal increasingly on a mobile device or embedded in an analytic application to
measure the performance of the business. Interactivity in centrally developed BI content is limited to
what is designed in by the content author.

The highest weighted capabilities in this use case include:

IT-Developed Reports and Dashboards

Traditional Styles of Analysis

BI Platform Administration

Development and Integration

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Metadata Management

Ease of Use

Customer Services

Decentralized Analytics
Rapidly and interactively exploring trends or detecting patterns in datasets often from multiple
sources to identify opportunities or risks with minimal support from IT.

On the analytics spectrum, users of platforms that excel at the decentralized analytics use case can
explore data using highly interactive descriptive analytics ("what happened" or "what is happening")
or diagnostic analytics ("Why did something happen?" "Where are areas of opportunity or risk?"
"What if?").

Increasingly, because of embedded advanced analytics offered by many vendors, users can extend
their analysis to some advanced descriptive analysis (for example, clustering, segmenting and
correlations) and to a basic level of predictive analytics (for example, forecasting and trends). They
can also prepare their own data for analysis, reducing their reliance on IT and time to insight. As
decentralized analytics becomes more pervasive, the risk of multiple sources of the truth becomes a

The highest weighted capabilities in this use case include:

Analytic Dashboards & Content

Free Form Interactive Exploration

Business User Data Mashup and Modeling

Ease of Use

Customer Services

Governed Data Discovery

Enables business users to prepare and combine data, then explores and interacts with it visually to
enable data discovery to be deployed and managed across an enterprise.

With the success of data discovery tools in driving business value, many organizations would
increasingly like to use data discovery capabilities for a broader range of analysis and an expanded
set of users than previously addressed by traditional reporting and dashboards. Governed data
discovery enables users to access, blend and prepare data, then visually explore, find and share
patterns with minimal IT support, or technical and statistical skills. At the same time, it must also
satisfy enterprise IT requirements for business-user-generated model promotability, data reuse and
governance. In particular, users should be able to reuse sanctioned business-user-created data or
datasets, derived relationships, derived business models, derived KPIs, and metrics that support

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Governed data discovery enables pervasive deployment of data discovery in the enterprise at scale
without proliferating data discovery sprawl. The expanded adoption of data discovery also requires
BI leaders to redesign BI and analytics deployment models and practices, moving from an IT-centric
to an agile and decentralized, yet governed and managed approach. This would include putting in
place a prototype, pilot and production process in which user-generated content is created as a
prototype. Some of these prototypes would need to be recurring analysis and are promoted to a
pilot phase, and some of those pilots are promoted to production and operationalized for regular
analysis as part of the system of record. Each step provides more rigor in terms of governance and
Q&A checks.

Business user data mashup and modeling, BI administration, and metadata capabilities should be
based on the following questions:

Who can access shared data connections?

Who can publish shared data connections?

Who can access shared datasets?

Who can create and publish datasets?

Who can access shared user workspaces and portals to view and publish reports and

Is there shared metadata around usage, connections and queries leveraged?

Are usage, connections and queries monitored?

Are permissions enabled on the business data models at various granularity levels?

Is there a business dictionary of data models to enable discovery?

The highest weighted features in this use case include:

Analytic Dashboards & Content

Free Form Interactive Exploration

Business User Data Mashup and Modeling

Internal Platform Integration

BI Platform Administration

Metadata Management

Ease of Use

Customer Services

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OEM/Embedded BI
Supports BI developers in using SDKs with APIs and open standards, including advanced analytics
and statistical functions.

These capabilities are used to create and modify analytic content, visualizations and applications
and embed them into a business process, and/or an application or portal. They can reside outside
the application, reusing the analytic infrastructure, but must be easily and seamlessly accessible
from inside the application, without forcing users to switch between systems. The ability to integrate
BI and analytics with the application architecture will enable users to choose where in the business
process the analytics should be embedded. Capabilities for embedding advanced analytics such
as consuming an R or PMML model to create advanced models embedded in dashboards, reports
or data discovery views are also rated features.

The highest-rated capabilities for the embedded use case include:

Embedded BI (which includes both developer capabilities and embedded advanced analytics)

Cloud Deployment

Development and Integration


Ease of Use

Customer Services

Vendors Added and Dropped

Since this is new Critical Capabilities research, all vendors included are newly added.

Since this is new Critical Capabilities research, no vendors were dropped this year.

Inclusion Criteria
Vendors included in this research were placed in either the Leaders or Challengers quadrants of the
companion Magic Quadrants in 2014 and 2015.

The inclusion criteria for 2015's "Magic Quadrant for Business Intelligence and Analytics Platforms"

The number of vendors on this year's Magic Quadrant is limited to 24. We ranked vendors that met
all the inclusion criteria based on a combination of the criteria listed below.

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Generated at least $20 million in total BI-related software license revenue annually, or at least
$17 million in total BI-related software license revenue annually, plus 15% year over year in new
license growth.

In the case of vendors that also supply transactional applications, show that its BI platform is
used routinely by organizations that do not use its transactional applications.

How well vendors address the 13 product-specific critical capabilities defined in the Market
Definition/Description section of the Magic Quadrant (OEM components from other vendors
were counted). This is demonstrated by filling out the Gartner supplied RFP and Vendor
Questionnaire and through the vendor briefing. Gartner analysts determine, based on the
documentation provided, how well a vendor meets this inclusion criteria.

Had a minimum of 35 customer survey responses from companies that use the vendor's BI
platform in productions.

The vendor must have participated in all data collection activities, including:
1. Providing a product list and mapping to critical capabilities
2. Providing verification of revenue
3. Providing customer survey references
4. Completing the critical capabilities RFP
5. Providing up to a one-hour video demo highlighting how the BI platform supports as many
of the 13 product capabilities as possible
6. Completing the vendor questionnaire
7. Conducting a Magic Quadrant briefing with the authors

Vendors that offer specific industry or domain analytic applications only were excluded from
consideration because this Magic Quadrant highlighted BI and analytics platforms that are used to
build analytic applications for any industry or domain.

Gartner, Inc. | G00270381 Page 59 of 71

Table 1. Weighting for Critical Capabilities in Use Cases

Critical Capabilities Centralized BI Provisioning Decentralized Analytics Governed Data Discovery OEM/Embedded BI

Analytic Dashboards & Content 5% 20% 20% 5%

BI Platform Administration 20% 0% 5% 5%

Business User Data Mashup 0% 15% 15% 0%

Cloud Deployment 0% 5% 5% 5%

Collaboration & Social Integration 0% 10% 5% 0%

Customer Services 5% 5% 5% 5%

Development and Integration 15% 0% 0% 30%

Ease of Use 5% 15% 10% 5%

Embedded BI 0% 0% 0% 15%

Free Form Interactive Exploration 0% 25% 15% 0%

Internal Platform Integration 5% 0% 10% 5%

IT-Developed Reports and Dashboards 15% 0% 0% 15%

Metadata Management 15% 0% 5% 0%

Mobile 5% 5% 5% 10%

Traditional Styles of Analysis 10% 0% 0% 0%

Total 100% 100% 100% 100%

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Critical Capabilities Centralized BI Provisioning Decentralized Analytics Governed Data Discovery OEM/Embedded BI

As of May 2015

Source: Gartner (May 2015)

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This methodology requires analysts to identify the critical capabilities for a class of products/
services. Each capability is then weighed in terms of its relative importance for specific product/
service use cases.

Critical Capabilities Rating

Each of the products/services has been evaluated on the critical capabilities (and their subcriteria)
on a scale of 1 to 5; a score of 1 = Poor (most or all defined requirements are not achieved), while 5
= Outstanding (significantly exceeds requirements). Scores represent a combination of customer
survey results and analyst opinion.

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Table 2. Product/Service Rating on Critical Capabilities

Product or Service Ratings



Information Builders

Logi Analytics






SAS Institute


Analytic Dashboards & Content 3.5 3.4 3.1 3.5 2.6 3.6 3.2 3.5 3.2 3.6 3.9 4.2

BI Platform Administration 4.1 3.7 3.7 3.5 3.9 4.1 3.5 3.5 3.9 3.9 3.3 3.6

Business User Data Mashup 3.0 3.1 3.5 2.5 3.5 3.0 2.1 3.0 2.8 3.4 3.5 3.2

Cloud Deployment 3.7 2.3 1.9 2.0 2.3 3.4 2.5 2.2 3.0 2.7 3.0 2.1

Collaboration & Social Integration 2.2 3.0 1.5 3.0 3.2 2.3 1.8 2.3 2.6 2.9 2.3 3.4

Customer Services 3.5 2.8 2.9 3.4 2.9 3.0 2.1 2.9 2.3 2.7 3.4 2.8

Development and Integration 3.6 3.1 3.8 3.4 3.9 3.0 3.4 2.8 3.2 3.6 2.3 2.7

Ease of Use 4.5 3.9 4.1 4.4 4.0 3.9 3.6 4.3 3.7 4.0 4.6 4.2

Embedded BI 3.7 2.9 3.7 3.5 3.1 3.3 3.1 3.3 3.0 3.5 2.8 3.5

Free Form Interactive Exploration 3.0 3.0 3.0 2.8 2.6 3.2 2.3 3.7 3.3 3.8 3.5 3.7

Internal Platform Integration 4.0 3.6 3.5 3.8 3.4 4.3 3.3 3.5 3.5 3.8 3.9 2.8

IT-Developed Reports and Dashboards 3.8 4.0 4.0 4.3 3.6 3.8 2.9 3.3 3.7 3.6 3.8 3.8

Metadata Management 3.8 3.8 3.5 3.0 2.9 4.0 3.1 3.1 2.9 3.4 3.0 3.0

Gartner, Inc. | G00270381 Page 63 of 71

Product or Service Ratings


Information Builders

Logi Analytics






SAS Institute


Mobile 3.0 3.1 3.6 3.0 1.5 4.1 2.8 3.1 3.7 3.4 2.5 3.6

Traditional Styles of Analysis 4.2 3.9 2.9 3.7 2.9 3.9 4.1 3.2 3.5 3.6 3.3 3.4

As of May 2015

Source: Gartner (May 2015)

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Table 3 shows the product/service scores for each use case. The scores, which are generated by
multiplying the use-case weightings by the product/service ratings, summarize how well the critical
capabilities are met for each use case.

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Table 3. Product Score in Use Cases
Information Builders

Logi Analytics

SAS Institute





Use Cases

Centralized BI Provisioning 3.85 3.61 3.59 3.58 3.35 3.78 3.27 3.27 3.42 3.61 3.27 3.37

Decentralized Analytics 3.31 3.19 3.08 3.16 2.95 3.31 2.62 3.36 3.15 3.51 3.55 3.64

Governed Data Discovery 3.47 3.28 3.21 3.21 3.01 3.52 2.78 3.34 3.20 3.53 3.56 3.50

OEM/Embedded BI 3.67 3.26 3.62 3.52 3.28 3.49 3.11 3.14 3.32 3.52 3.04 3.25

As of May 2015

Source: Gartner (May 2015)

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To determine an overall score for each product/service in the use cases, multiply the ratings in Table
2 by the weightings shown in Table 1.

Gartner Recommended Reading

Some documents may not be available as part of your current Gartner subscription.

"How Products and Services Are Evaluated in Gartner Critical Capabilities"

"Magic Quadrant for Business Intelligence and Analytics Platforms"

"Magic Quadrant for Advanced Analytics Platforms"

"How to Architect the BI and Analytics Platform"

The ratings and commentary in this report are based on a number of sources:

Customer perceptions of each vendor's strengths and challenges, as gleaned from their BI-
related inquiries to Gartner.

An online survey of vendors' customers conducted in October 2014, which yielded 2,083

A questionnaire completed by the vendors.

Vendor briefings including product demonstrations, strategy and operations.

An extensive RFP questionnaire inquiring how each vendor delivers specific features that make
up the 15 critical capabilities.

A prepared video demonstration of how well vendor BI platforms address the 15 critical

BI Scorecard research, which includes a hands-on analysis of product capabilities.

Note 1 Definition of "Smart Data Discovery"

Smart data discovery facilitates the discovery of hidden patterns such as clusters, segments,
predictions, linkages, outliers and anomalies in large, complex datasets without building models
or writing algorithms or queries. It goes beyond data discovery because less-skilled data scientists,
or citizen data scientist, can benefit from advanced analytics (to highlight and visualize important
findings, correlations, clusters, links or trends in data that are relevant to the user), with user
interaction and exploration via interactive visualizations, search and natural-language query

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Note 2 Customer Survey Metrics Referenced in This Report
Magic Quadrant customer survey composite success measures are referenced throughout the
report. Customer survey participants scored vendors on each metric on a scale of 1 to 7 (where 1 to
2 = poor, 3 to 5 = average, and 6 to 7 = outstanding).

Below is a reference for how these composite metrics are calculated:

Customer Experience: This is a combined score consisting of rating for product quality,
support, availability of skills, user enablement (which includes scores for training, online videos,
online communities and documentation) and migration difficulty.

Sales Experience: Customers rate their satisfaction with presales, contracting, pricing and
account management.

Market Understanding: This is a composite measure of ease of use for consumers, ease of
use for developers, ease of use for administration and deployment, complexity of analysis
(described below) breadth of use (this measures the range of analytic activities for which the
platform is used). We believe these three measures map to current buying requirements.

Complexity of Analysis: This is a weighted average score based on the percentage of

respondents reporting use of the platform score for the types of analysis users conduct with the
platform more interactive and advanced types of analysis result in a higher score than static
or parameterized reporting. Activities are weighted as follows:

Viewing static reports = 1

Monitoring performance via a scorecard = 1

Viewing parameterized reports = 2

Doing simple ad hoc analysis = 3

Interactive exploration and analysis of data = 4

Doing moderately complex to complex ad hoc analysis = 5

Using predictive analytics and/or data mining models = 5

User Enablement: This is a composite score consisting of individual ratings for documentation,
online tutorials for content authors, online tutorials for consumers, online communities, training,
availability of skills and user conferences.

Business Benefits: The business benefits score is an average of scores on 11 different benefit
areas as follows:

Increased revenue

Better, faster decisions

Business benefits: customer satisfaction

Reduce IT head count

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Reduce line-of-business head count

Reduce external IT costs

Reduce other non-IT costs

Expand types of analysis

Make better insights available to more people

Link KPIs to corporate objectives

Monetize data

Critical Capabilities Methodology

This methodology requires analysts to identify the critical capabilities for a class of
products or services. Each capability is then weighted in terms of its relative importance
for specific product or service use cases. Next, products/services are rated in terms of
how well they achieve each of the critical capabilities. A score that summarizes how
well they meet the critical capabilities for each use case is then calculated for each

"Critical capabilities" are attributes that differentiate products/services in a class in

terms of their quality and performance. Gartner recommends that users consider the
set of critical capabilities as some of the most important criteria for acquisition

In defining the product/service category for evaluation, the analyst first identifies the
leading uses for the products/services in this market. What needs are end-users looking
to fulfill, when considering products/services in this market? Use cases should match
common client deployment scenarios. These distinct client scenarios define the Use

The analyst then identifies the critical capabilities. These capabilities are generalized
groups of features commonly required by this class of products/services. Each
capability is assigned a level of importance in fulfilling that particular need; some sets of
features are more important than others, depending on the use case being evaluated.

Each vendors product or service is evaluated in terms of how well it delivers each
capability, on a five-point scale. These ratings are displayed side-by-side for all
vendors, allowing easy comparisons between the different sets of features.

Ratings and summary scores range from 1.0 to 5.0:

1 = Poor: most or all defined requirements not achieved

2 = Fair: some requirements not achieved

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3 = Good: meets requirements

4 = Excellent: meets or exceeds some requirements

5 = Outstanding: significantly exceeds requirements

To determine an overall score for each product in the use cases, the product ratings are
multiplied by the weightings to come up with the product score in use cases.

The critical capabilities Gartner has selected do not represent all capabilities for any
product; therefore, may not represent those most important for a specific use situation
or business objective. Clients should use a critical capabilities analysis as one of
several sources of input about a product before making a product/service decision.

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