Business Intelligence (BI): a market focused on CSPs in 2022

Can you exist in BI when you are not a Cloud Services Platform (CSP) or a Tier 1 publisher? In any case, these two types of suppliers have certain “facilities” to them in relation to pure players.

Namely the oneecosystem and economies of scale. In absolute terms, nothing new or exclusive to this segment of the IT market. But the 2022 edition of the Magic Quadrant dedicated to it clearly highlights the trend.

Gartner assesses suppliers on two axes. One forward-looking (“vision”) centered on strategies (sectoral, geographic, commercial, marketing, product, etc.). The second focuses on the ability to respond effectively to demand (“execution”: customer experience, pre-sales performance, product/service quality, etc.).

On the “vision” axisthe suppliers place themselves in this order:

Selling creation date
1 Microsoft 1975
2 ThoughtSpot 2012
3 SiSense 2004
4 Like 1993
5 Oracle 1977
6 Sales force 1999
7 SAP 1972
8 SAS 1976
9 TIBCO 1997
10 Yellowfin 2003
11 Tellius 2016
12 IBM 1911
13 home 2010
14 Google 1998
15 Alibaba Cloud 2009
16 zoho 1996
17 AWS 2012
18 Pyramid analysis 2008
19 Micro strategy 1989
20 Incorta 2013

On the “execution” axis :

1 Microsoft
2 Sales force
3 Google
4 Like
5 home
6 Micro strategy
7 ThoughtSpot
8 SiSense
9 Oracle
10 AWS
12 SAP
13 Alibaba Cloud
14 IBM
15 SAS
16 Pyramid analysis
17 Yellowfin
18 zoho
19 Incorta
20 Tellius

The meaning of the “ecosystem”

Several suppliers rely on the integration of their solutions in an office suite. Microsoft is, with Office 365. The intersections with Power BI are numerous: included in the E5 subscription, can be used in Teams, connected to Power Apps and Power Automate…
zoho also has for him the office suite argument. As Ali Babaalthough its offer of digital workplace DingTalk is largely limited to the Chinese market.

In addition to the office suite, Google has its cloud. It is integrated Looker from several angles, starting with the interaction with BigQuery.
AWS is not as advanced with its WorkDocs package. On the cloud side, however, he bridged his BI with products such as Athena, EMR and Redshift.

Oracle has its own software packages, from ERP to HCM. Same to SAPwhich has created a bridge between its BI offering and software such as Ariba and SuccessFactors – in addition to S/4HANA.
Page Sales forceGartner insists on another kind of ecosystem: “Tableau Economy” (community of customers, partners and experts) along with marketplace Table exchange.

Ecosystems of services … and skills

With smaller providers, the ecosystem is often less developed. That’s how it is home, for which Gartner points out the lack of an installed base on other products. Similar observation for ThoughtSpot, which “doesn’t have its own ecosystem”, despite its compatibility with BigQuery, Databricks or Snowflake. In the house of SAS, we “lack a public cloud or a reference application”, although its sector-based solutions live off its BI. The relays are also missing at Micro strategy and Pyramid analysis. Although the former opened up AWS and Azure; and the other, for AWS and SAP.
IBM weighs less than a Domo or a ThoughtSpot, but it also lacks an office, a workspace, or a Zoho, notes Gartner.

When there is an ecosystem, sometimes it has its limits. At Alibaba, for example, the BI part is very dependent on other products from the Chinese group, especially for governance and data handling. On the AWS side, in addition to the delay of WorkDocs, there is a lack of business applications to take advantage of QuickSight. Oracle provides some, but which initially only work with its software packages.

Who says “small vendors” sometimes also says lack of third-party resources. Eligible for a comment on this topic: MicroStrategy, Pyramid Analytics, SiSense (in quantity as well as in quality), Tellius and ThoughtSpot (including on training). Oracle too, more specifically on support.

Analysts, developers, data scientists or all three?

Many providers demonstrate an ability to serve one or more types of users. In any case, Gartner makes good points for:

– Domo, who turned to trading early on
– Google, for its app development tool
– Oracle to the “consumers” of data, between chatbots and storytelling automated
Likewith its “data literacy” program and insight center for decision makers
– Salesforce and the availability of Tableau for businesses (no-code drag-and-drop interface; acquisition of Narrative Science, which will strengthen natural language management)
– SiSense, which is positioned on convergence with DSML platforms (data science and machine learning)
– ThoughtSpot and its natural language query interface “à la Google”
Yellowfinwhich invests in storytelling and recently launched a natural language query assistant
– Tellius, also on DSML convergence, beyond its main mode of interaction based on natural language
TIBCOalso located at the intersection analyses/data science

And AI in all this?

Oracle already excels on the “augmented analytics” component in previous editions of the quadrant. Especially for its Digital Assistant service, its handling of requests in around thirty languages ​​and its graph analysis capabilities.

At Pyramid Analytics, we stand out in automated modelling, cataloging and visualization. SAP is the same way, with extra planning and an overall good point about natural language processing. On the Tellius side, Gartner welcomes the possibilities for customizing queries. And at Zoho, the automatic management of temporal reasoning.

SAS, on the other hand, does not support temporal reasoning; nor spatially for that matter. Overall, Google also seems to be lagging behind: noinsight automatic, storytelling or natural language generation. MicroStrategy has similar advances. In the house of Incortait’s the lack of native features that stands out.

Features and performance

Five vendors have the completeness of their tools on their site. Or at least their ability to cover a wide range of uses. These are IBM, Incorta, Pyramid Analytics, Qlik and SAS.

In others, one or two features stand out. Positive at MicroStrategy for reporting and at TIBCO for data preparation. Less favorable at Microsoft (no functional parity between the cloud version of Power BI and the on-prem version, which notably lacks questions and answers in natural language and insight automated). Same at Salesforce, where the Einstein Discovery experience is still being integrated. Or at Tellius (reporting), Zoho(data viz) and Yellowfin (management: no version control or Git integration).

In terms of performance, six suppliers are credited with a positive note. AWS, for the scalability of its offer i serverless. ThoughSpot, for its technology in the memory. Google, Pyramid Analytics and Tellius, for their direct query architecture. Incorta also with the complement data mapping.

Modularity, flexibility, openness: the advantage of the “small”?

At Alibaba, Quick BI’s modularity is not so much about the performance as the modularity. Same trend with SiSense and Yellowfin, whose offers are also distinguished by their openness. First, especially through cataloging on other BI tools by API and connection to reporting third. Second, with non-proprietary formats at the end of data preparation and storytelling can be integrated with the three market leaders.

Gartner also associates SiSense with the term “flexible.” At least in terms of implementation options. MicroStrategy, Pyramid Analytics and TIBCO are on the same level. Like IBM, combining SaaS, BYOL and Cloud Pak for Data. At Domo, the asset is rather the speed of deployments with dynamic connections that respond to changes in the source diagrams.
Microsoft, on the contrary, only offers cloud deployment on Azure. SAP does not have a version on first. Incorta still has a limited presence in the public cloud (a few Google Cloud regions).

On the “economies of scale” criterion

Of the three vendors that Gartner praises the issue pricingdry hyperscaler. Microsoft for the overall relationship between quality and price in their offer; AWS especially for its “per session” model on read-only profiles (viewers). The third, ThoughtStop, has a good point with the extended analysis part.

Salesforce suffers when compared to the Microsoft-AWS duo. Same for Domo and IBM, even price cuts. At Qlik, we will pay attention to the invoicing of certain modules (catalogue, chatbotreporting…), included in the SaaS version, but not on first. For TIBCO, we will rather analyze the flexibility of the contracts. And for SAS, we will ensure the readability of pricingthe group that often sells Vision Analytics with other of its products.

From there, to exclude Microsoft from the scope of FinOps analysis is a different story: the management of applications is not a strong point of Power BI, says Gartner.

Main illustration © Promotion pic

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