It’s that time of year again when Gartner publish their BI related magic quadrants and the vendors all blog. tweet and email the good news of where they sit.

This year Gartner released a new quadrant, focussed on Advanced Analytics vendors.   Here it is:



I’m a great fan of this new MQ.  I have seen the old reporting focussed BI vendors, bastardise the Analytics word by refactoring it to become Business Analytics so their drag and drop and data discovery style products can be positioned in the Analytics space (don’t get me wrong these products are cool and have their space but they are not Analytics)

And so we moved to distinguish between descriptive analytics and predictive analytics (at the GartnerBI conference the also used diagnostic and prescriptive analytics).  But as the data discovery vendors start adding basic forecasting algorithms into their products they are going to breach those words as well.

And so Gartner has penned the term Advanced Analytics to differentiate.  A quote from the MQ:

Gartner defines advanced analytics as, “the analysis of all kinds of data using sophisticated quantitative methods (for example, statistics, descriptive and predictive data mining, simulation and optimization) to produce insights that traditional approaches to business intelligence (BI) — such as query and reporting — are unlikely to discover.”

(As an aside that reminds me in a previous life when vendors used to say the lag and lead function in their OLAP cubes provided analytics)

One of our customers used an interesting description that I love (and use regularly now).  They talked about BI Reporting, Analytics and Modelling.  So Analytics covers data discovery, exploration, ad-hoc queries etc.  And modelling is the area that Gartner has now coined Advanced Analytics.

Don’t get me wrong i’m not being a stats snob, but when I watch our team use stats and maths to model complex problems with volumes of data to get answers to complex business questions, then to me that is a valuable skill and hence the  “advanced” in the analytics.

Now lets hope they don’t release a “big data” Magic Quadrant!