Gartner’s 2018 Magic Quadrant for Analytics and BI platforms, released today, highlights the continuing move towards visual-based data discovery and agile, self-service analytics.

Modern analytics and business intelligence platforms represent mainstream buying, with deployments increasingly cloud-based. Data and analytics leaders are upgrading traditional solutions as well as expanding portfolios with new vendors as the market innovates on ease of use and augmented analytics.
– Gartner

The analytics and BI market is crowded, including large and well established technology players as well as startups backed by venture capital.

“Vendors of traditional BI platforms have evolved their capabilities to include modern, visual-based data discovery that also includes governance,” says Gartner. “Newer vendors, meanwhile, continue to evolve the capabilities that were once focused primarily on agility, extending them to greater governance and scalability, as well as publishing and sharing.”

Gartner Magic Quadrant 2018

Microsoft’s strong performance reflects continued strong update of Power BI, supported by a “clear and visionary product roadmap that includes vertical industry content.” (Stellar is a Microsoft partner.)

Gartner analysts identify several trends, particularly related to the use of artificial intelligence and self-service analytics:

  • By 2020, augmented analytics — a paradigm that includes natural language query and narration, augmented data preparation, automated advanced analytics and visual-based data discovery capabilities — will be a dominant driver of new purchases of business intelligence, analytics and data science and machine learning platforms and of embedded analytics.
  • By 2020, the number of users of modern business intelligence and analytics platforms that are differentiated by augmented data discovery capabilities will grow at twice the rate — and deliver twice the business value — of those that are not.
  • By 2020, natural-language generation and artificial intelligence will be a standard feature of 90% of modern business intelligence platforms.
  • By 2020, 50% of analytical queries will be generated via search, natural-language processing or voice, or will be automatically generated.
  • By 2020, organizations that offer users access to a curated catalogue of internal and external data will derive twice as much business value from analytics investments as those that do not.
  • Through 2020, the number of citizen data scientists will grow five times faster than the number of expert data scientists.

If you’d like to see how things have changed in the past year, here’s Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for 2017:

Gartner Magic Quadrant 2017

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