Microsoft named a Leader in the 2023 Gartner® Magic Quadrant™ for Analytics and BI Platforms
We are incredibly pleased to see that Microsoft has been ranked number one in the Gartner Magic Quadrant 2023 report for analytics and business intelligence platforms for the sixteenth consecutive year. In addition, Microsoft's BI tools ranked most to the right regarding the completeness of vision and the highest ability to execute in the Magic Quadrant for the fifth consecutive year.
What factors were considered in the Gartner report?
ABI platform functionality includes the following 12 critical capabilities, which have been updated to reflect areas of market change, differentiation, and customer demand:
- Automated insights — A core attribute of augmented analytics, this is the ability to apply machine learning (ML) techniques to automatically generate insights for end users (for example, by identifying the most important attributes in a dataset).
- Analytics catalog — This refers to the product’s ability to display analytic content to make it easy to find and consume. The catalog is searchable and makes recommendations to users.
- Data preparation — Data preparation includes support for drag-and-drop, a user-driven combination of data from different sources, and the creation of analytic models (such as user-defined measures, sets, groups, and hierarchies).
- Data source connectivity — Data source connectivity capabilities enable users to connect to and ingest structured data contained in various types of storage platforms, both on-premises and in the cloud.
- Data storytelling — Data storytelling is the ability to combine interactive data visualization with narrative techniques to package and deliver insights in a compelling, easily understood form for presentation to decision-makers.
- Data visualization — Data visualization involves support for highly interactive dashboards and the exploration of data through the manipulation of chart images. Included is an array of visualization options that go beyond those of pie, bar, and line charts, such as heat and tree maps, geographic maps, scatter plots, and other special-purpose visuals.
- Governance — Governance capabilities track usage and manage how information is shared and promoted.
- Natural language query — The natural language query (NLQ) capability enables users to ask questions about the data using terms that are either typed into a search box or spoken.
- Reporting — The reporting capability provides pixel-perfect, paginated reports that can be scheduled and burst to a large user community.
- Data science integration — Capabilities that enable augmented development and prototyping of composable data science and machine learning (DSML) models by citizen data scientists and data scientists with integration into the broader data science and machine learning ecosystem.
- Metrics store — The ability to provide a virtualized layer that allows users to create and define metrics as code, govern those metrics from data warehouses, and service all downstream analytics, data science and business applications. This also includes capabilities such as goal management.
- Collaboration — Analytics collaboration is the application of collaboration capabilities to analytics workstreams for organizations that want to provide an environment where a broad spectrum of users can simultaneously co-produce an analytics project.
Additionally, Gartner added three new critical capabilities as part of their evaluation criteria this year: metrics store, collaboration, and data science integration. These new capabilities depict some of the key changes buyers expect their ABI platform vendors to deliver.
Magic Quadrant for Microsoft Power BI 2023
What features contributed to the success of Microsoft and Power BI?
As the Gartner report states, Microsoft is a Leader in this Magic Quadrant. Its primary ABI platform, Power BI, has massive market reach and momentum through Microsoft 365, Azure, and Teams integration, flexible pricing, well-above-average functionality, and an ambitious product roadmap.
In 2022, Microsoft added a metric-tracking capability that enables teams to align their goals and key priorities in a collaborative visual experience. Its new Premium Gen 2 increases price/performance and value through its autoscale capabilities. Finally, Microsoft added low-code data marts for easy access to self-serve managed relational analytics solutions.
- Alignment with Microsoft 365, Teams, and Azure Synapse: The inclusion of Power BI in Microsoft 365 E5 has provided an enormous channel for the platform’s spread. As many customers turn to Teams for remote work collaboration, the ability to access Power BI and now “Goals” within the same Teams interface is a compelling integration for business users. Power BI and Azure Synapse alignment addresses multiple D&A personas and use cases.
- Price/value combination: The Power BI service now has a per-user offering to appeal to smaller organizations with 300 or fewer employees. Large organizations can still opt for the per-capacity option, which tends to be more cost-effective with more users. Microsoft doesn’t use a cross-selling strategy to increase revenue per customer as most ABI platform vendors do.
- Power portfolio and product ambition: Microsoft has a clear vision for the cross-utilization of Power BI, Power Apps, and Power Automate to drive business value. Power Apps can be embedded in Power BI dashboards or it can access Power BI datasets. Power Automate flows can be constructed to take various actions based on the data. AI-powered services, such as text, sentiment, and image analytics, are available within Power BI Premium.
- Governance of content creation and publication: Gartner receives an increasing number of inquiries from Power BI customers struggling to govern the analytic content creation and publication process. Customers express concern over multiple ways to accomplish most tasks, such as modeling data or promoting content. For example, data modeling tasks can be done with datasets, data marts, dataflows, and Dataverse. With the low cost and easy setup, Power BI deployments tend to proliferate, and it is difficult to enforce standard governance practices.
- Limited headless, open architecture: While most Power BI service customers appreciate the tight integration of the Microsoft architecture, there is an increasing demand to see more interoperability across competitive BI platforms. In particular, as an analytics catalog and a metrics store, many Power BI customers would like to see more open, headless integration with products competitive with Microsoft.
- Azure as the only deployment option: Microsoft does not give customers the flexibility to choose a cloud IaaS offering. While data connectivity enables multi-cloud and hybrid cloud scenarios, its Power BI service runs only in Azure. However, customers that utilize Azure can take advantage of the global reach and multi-geography capabilities offered by Microsoft’s cloud platform.
Will Microsoft also lead the Gartner® Magic Quadrant™ for Analytics and BI Platforms in 2024?
As a Microsoft Gold Partner, we are delighted with this year's result of the Gartner® Magic Quadrant™ for Analytics and BI Platforms report. Such a significant market lead in Analytics and Business Intelligence Platforms cheers us all the more for our hard work and further Power BI implementations with our customers. We believe that the next year will bring equally satisfactory results and that Power BI will continue to be the market leader in business analytics services.