Data Analytics and the Future of North Sea Oil (Part 2): The BI and Analytics Platform Market

Data Analytics and the Future of North Sea Oil (Part 2): The BI and Analytics Platform Market

The growing importance of data analytics to the future survival and growth of North Sea oil (see Post 1) is being accompanied by significant changes in the Business Intelligence and Analytics Platform market. In particular, with the successful oil and gas companies of the future seeking to develop advanced analytic skills to derive actionable insight from the wealth of data being generated, the BI and Analytics Platform market is moving from IT-led enterprise reporting to business-led self-service analytics. Most new buying will be of modern, business-user-centric platforms.

Gartner (2016) – Magic Quadrant for Business Intelligence and Analytics Platforms

Support for the above comes from no less than Gartner who earlier this year redefined their Magic Quadrant criteria to take account of the radical changes taking place.

Published in February, Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Business Intelligence and Analytics Platforms argues that a significant shift in buying decisions is taking place from IT to the business. The main driving force for this has been the need for analytical agility and business user autonomy replacing the long-standing BI requirement for centrally provisioned, highly governed and scalable systems.

“The evolution and growing sophistication of self-service data preparation and data discovery capabilities available in the market has shifted the focus of buyers in the BI and analytics platform market toward easy-to-use tools that support a full range of analytic workflow capabilities and do not require significant involvement from IT to predefine data models upfront as a prerequisite to analysis.”

This shift has reached a tipping point causing Gartner to argue that organisations should initiate new BI and analytics projects using modern platforms that support speed, agility, exploration, rapid prototyping, collaboration between IT and the business through agile and iterative approaches to solution development, rather than traditional top-down IT led solutions.

The report concludes that many organisations will eventually reduce the size of their enterprise system-of-record reporting platforms in favour of those offering greater agility and deeper analytical insight. By 2018, most business users and analysts in organisations will have access to self-service tools to prepare data for analysis as part of the shift to deploying modern BI platforms. These will include search-based and visual-based data discovery, self-service data preparation and natural-language generation.

Market Leaders

The shift to updated modern BI and analytics platforms has resulted in a significant change in market leadership positions in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant. In previous years, market leaders have included SAP, IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, MicroStrategy and SAS all of whom have amassed large customer bases over time with their enterprise-reporting-based platforms.

As shown in Figure 1 below, with the exception of Microsoft, these vendors are no longer in the Leaders quadrant. They do not provide product offerings attractive to the new breed of buyer who has requirements fundamentally different from the past. According to Gartner, most of the previous market leaders are struggling to transform their product offerings, sales and marketing strategies in a modern BI world where business users, rather than IT, influence buying decisions.

Microsoft Power BI

The exception in this change of leadership position is Microsoft – the overall vision leader in the Magic Quadrant for its Power BI suite of business analytics tools.

At Bridgeall, we develop and deploy Microsoft Power BI’s visualisation and exploration solutions for a range of customers helping them to drive productivity and make real time informed decisions.

A more detailed overview of the Power BI suite of tools will be presented in a follow up post next week.

As always, comment and feedback are very welcome.

Figure 1: Magic Quadrant for Business Intelligence and Analytics Platforms

Figure 1: Magic Quadrant for Business Intelligence and Analytics Platforms

Gartner Magic Quadrant

Source: Gartner (February 2016)