Organisations across a range of sectors now rely on analytics and business intelligence (ABI) platforms to support a full analytic workflow, from data preparation to visual exploration and insight generation.

These platforms are often characterised by easy-to-use functionality, with an emphasis on self-service usage and augmented user assistance.

Once differentiated by their data visualisation capabilities, the various services are now judged on how well they support augmented analytics. Augmentation utilises machine learning and AI-assisted data preparation to help businesses explore and analyse data more effectively than they could manually.

To help businesses find a service provider that meets their unique requirements, Gartner’s Magic Quadrant report for Analytics and Business Intelligence Platforms, assesses the various vendors based on a set of evaluation criteria.

Widely recognised as a leading research and advisory company, particularly within the technology sector, Gartner’s findings offer a reliable insight into the various ABI platforms that are available to businesses.

Leader in the Quadrant

Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for ABI platforms is divided into four categories; challengers, niche players, visionaries and leaders.

Vendors in the market range from start-ups backed by venture capital funds to large technology firms that are well-established over decades of activity.

As an official Microsoft partner, most of our clients rely on Power BI to harness their data and uncover business-enhancing insights. This focus on Power BI can be seen in our previous blogs, as we often take the time to explore the latest and most significant updates to the service.

According to the Gartner report, Microsoft has been described as a leader in the Magic Quadrant, due to its extensive market reach through Microsoft Office and its comprehensive visionary product roadmap.

For those businesses that are yet to experience Power BI first-hand, Gartner has made the following observations based on its performance as a flexible and sophisticated ABI platform.

What does it offer?

Power BI has built a strong reputation for offering data preparation, visual-based data discovery, interactive dashboards and augmented analytics.

Available as a SaaS option running in the Azure cloud or as an on-premises option in the Power BI Report Server, the Power BI desktop can be used as a stand-alone, free personal analysis tool.

One of the biggest appeals of Power BI as an ABI platform and a contributing factor to its position as an industry leader are the regular update cycles that Microsoft introduces to enhance the user experience.

Throughout the year, the cloud-based service receives hundreds of new features that have been introduced in direct response to customer feedback, giving businesses access to a comprehensive ABI platform that moves with the times.

Key strengths

The Gartner report highlights three key strengths for each service provider to offer clarity and justification for the category in which its been placed.

One of the three strengths outlined for Microsoft was its alignment with Office 365 and Teams. The inclusion of Power BI within Office 365 has allowed the platform to spread at an exceptional rate, making it self-seeding within many organisations.

This spread has been further accelerated through the popularity of remote working, with tens of millions of daily active users benefitting from the integration of Power BI into Microsoft Teams.

Power BI’s effective combination of price and power has been marked as another of its biggest strengths, as its initial launch influenced the price of other tools in the ABI platform market. Rich in capabilities, the Power BI service benefits from an enlarged set of augmented analytics and automated machine learning capabilities.

The final key strength highlighted within the report is scope of product ambition, which stands testament to Microsoft’s commitment to improving the Power BI service with regular updates. Microsoft also continues to invest in a broad set of visionary capabilities, integrating them with Power BI.

Gaining a competitive edge

According to the Gartner report, leaders demonstrate a solid understanding of the key product capabilities and the commitment to customer success that buyers in this market demand.

Coupling this understanding and commitment with an easily comprehensible and attractive pricing model, the ABI platforms that fall into this category deliver clear business value and enable the use of powerful analytics by those with limited technical expertise.

Simply put, Microsoft’s Power BI service is a sophisticated platform that allows businesses to build engaging reports and uncover important insights, whilst ensuring sensitive data records are protected.

If your business is looking for an ABI platform that will offer a competitive edge, then contact our in-house team of experts and find a Power BI solution that meets your unique needs.