Dell could be considered one of the big winners in this year's Gartner Magic Quadrant for Advanced Analytics. The company moved from the Challenger quadrant in last year's report to the Leader quadrant for the 2016 report. The quadrant promotion comes two years after the company acquired StatSoft, a provider of advanced analytics software.
Dell joined four other companies that ranked in the Leaders quadrant for 2016 -- SAS, IBM, KNIME, and RapidMiner.
[Find out how the Business Intelligence market is changing. Read Gartner BI Magic Quadrant: Inflection Point Has Arrived.]
Gartner's Advanced Analytics report is quite a bit different from another recently released data-related Magic Quadrant report, the one for Business Intelligence and Analytics.
While these categories may someday come closer to converging, that time is a long way off. Advanced Analytics platforms make up the tools used by statisticians and data scientists who create models, while business intelligence is more for business analysts and line of business users looking for direct answers to business questions.
"The advanced analytics platform market was again the fastest-growing analytics segment in 2014 at 12.4% as organizations continue to move beyond descriptive and diagnostic analytics into predictive and prescriptive analytics," according to Gartner. "By 2020, Gartner estimates that predictive and prescriptive analytics will attract 40% of enterprises' net new investment in BI and analytics."
While advanced analytics has been around for more than 20 years, interest has grown recently as organizations look to use big data, predictive analytics, and machine learning to address hard-to-solve problems.
Disruptive trends fueling the growth include the availability of open source tools such as R, Python, and Spark, plus the enormous growth in available data, including unstructured and machine-generated data. Organizations are looking to apply these technologies in order to improve business performance.
Advanced Analytics Defined
Gartner defines advanced analytics platforms as providing an end-to-end environment for developing and deploying models. These platforms must include: data access to a variety of data sources; data preparation, exploration, and visualization; the ability to deploy models and integrate them into business processes and applications; capabilities to perform platform, project, and model management; and high performance scalability for both development and deployment.
Gartner announced that Dell's promotion to the Leaders quadrant in the 2016 report "was driven by adding innovative functionality to an already strong product (Statistica), building upon its market momentum, and creating a sales and marketing strategy that was lacking prior to acquisition."
Gartner also noted that Dell had executed an ambitious roadmap during the past year by increasing the functionality of Statistica and at the same time making it easier to use for citizen data scientists. The company also completed the integration of Kitenga into the software to enhance text analytics and embedded a visualization engine for line-of-business users, according to Gartner.
SAS, IBM, KNIME, and RapidMiner
The other Leaders in the quadrant are all incumbents. SAS continues to be the company to beat, with more than 40,000 customers and the largest ecosystem of users and partners, according to Gartner.
"SAS has been the most common choice for organizations seeking an advanced analytics environment and it has high market penetration in all verticals," the Gartner report found.
Gartner ranks IBM in this quadrant, too, for its SPSS Statistics and SPSS Modeler products. The company has continued to evolve the platforms for the market by, for instance, integrating open-source R, Python, and Spark.
KNIME is just below IBM in the Leaders quadrant. The Swiss company offers a free, open source, desktop-based analytics platform and a commercial, server-based solution for the enterprise that can be deployed on-premises or in a private cloud. Organizations that use it say that they like its flexibility, openness, and integration with other tools, as well as the low cost and high value, according to Gartner.
The final Leader, RapidMiner, also offers free and open source basic and community editions, and a commercial professional edition for larger datasets.
The Challengers quadrant for the 2016 Advanced Analytics report included SAP, which was also in the same quadrant last year, and Angoss, which graduated from its placement in the Niche Players quadrant last year. Gartner found that higher reference scores for customer satisfaction and new capabilities drove Angoss's promotion to the Challenger quadrant.
The Visionaries quadrant included Microsoft, Alteryx, Predixion Software, and Alpine Data. Microsoft's advanced analytics play includes a number of different technologies, Gartner said, including SQL Server Analysis Services embedded within SQL Server, the Azure Machine Learning cloud offering, Revolution Analytics (acquired by Microsoft in early 2015), and the Cortana Analytics Suite. This set of technology gives Microsoft an analytics cloud marketplace, ease of integration with cloud data sources, and the strength of open source via Python and R.
The Niche Players quadrant included FICO, Lavastorm, Megaputer, Prognoz, and Accenture, marking the consultancy and system integrator's debut in this Magic Quadrant report. Gartner said that the company entered the market in 2014 when it acquired i4C Analytics. Lavastorm and Megaputer are also new to this year's report.
"We expect strong interest and investment in advanced analytics platforms to continue as organizations hire more data scientists to build capabilities that help foster better decision making and improve business outcomes," Gartner reports.
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