Gartner's Magic Quadrant for BI Platforms

Gartner is out with it’s annual Magic Quadrant ratings of Business Intelligence Platforms. I must say that there are no real revelations here – all of the big names are bunched fairly closely together in the leaders quadrant. 2008 was clearly a year of regrouping for the major players, as IBM, Oracle, and SAP ‘digested’ their acquisition of major BI vendors from the year prior.

I am a little surprised that Microsoft doesn’t rank more highly on the visionary axis as they do seem to be moving quite aggressively toward offering a platform for ubiquitous BI. Perhaps, 2009 will be their breakout year?

My takeaway – The platform is the least of your worries. It is important from the standpoint of fit within the organization’s IT strategy. But don’t forget that the platform is only an enabler. When deploying a BI platform, your focus should be on understanding the organizations goals, identifying the right views of data, and providing greater access to actionable information.

So go ahead, pick a BI platform, any platform. All of the leading vendors provide excellent tools. Just don’t forget that once the technology is in place it’s people and process that make it useful.