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Gartner 2008 BI Magic Quadrant Plays it Safe

Gartner late last week issued its 2008 Quadrant for Business Intelligence Platforms in which it placed five companies roughly on a par in the prized upper-right quadrant: Business Objects, Cognos, Oracle, SAS and Microsoft. As you'll see when you download the report, none of the top five seem to stand out; you could draw a straight line from SAS, on the "Completeness of Vision" axis, to Microsoft on the "Ability to Execute" axis and touch all five vendors.
Gartner late last week issued its 2008 Quadrant for Business Intelligence Platforms in which it placed five companies roughly on a par in the prized upper-right quadrant: Business Objects, Cognos, Oracle, SAS and Microsoft. As you'll see when you download the report, none of the top five seem to stand out; you could draw a straight line from SAS, on the "Completeness of Vision" axis, to Microsoft on the "Ability to Execute" axis and touch all five vendors.Okay, you could surmise that Business Objects and Cognos have an edge in having a bit better balance. And detractors might observe that Oracle is a couple of millimeters behind my imaginary line. Looked at another way, the Quadrant also seems to suggest that all these players have a way to go before they'll reach that Magic top-right corner, where, presumably, the Gartner Gods sit in all-knowing judgment.

To me, this Quadrant plotting is a non-committal, "wait-and-see" assessment that gives solace to all the top vendors while offering little differentiating insight. The value in the analysis lies in the company-by-company "strengths" and "cautions" assessments toward the bottom of the report.Gartner late last week issued its 2008 Quadrant for Business Intelligence Platforms in which it placed five companies roughly on a par in the prized upper-right quadrant: Business Objects, Cognos, Oracle, SAS and Microsoft. As you'll see when you download the report, none of the top five seem to stand out; you could draw a straight line from SAS, on the "Completeness of Vision" axis, to Microsoft on the "Ability to Execute" axis and touch all five vendors.

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Brian T. Horowitz, Contributing Reporter
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Brandon Taylor, Digital Editorial Program Manager
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor
Cynthia Harvey, Freelance Journalist, InformationWeek
Sara Peters, Editor-in-Chief, InformationWeek / Network Computing