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Gartner has begun reclassifying the players in this space based on differences between self-directed / self-service business analytics compared to Enterprise deployments and infrastructure capabilities.  As a result, you may see a rather stark difference between this years Magic Quadrant versus last years.  While it would be easy to discuss where all the challengers have gone, I would instead like to talk specifically about the current leaders in this space:  Tableau, Qlik and Microsoft.

With the third largest average deployment size of 1,927 users, it’s clear that Tableau can handle the traffic and data consumption.  Their desire to help and enable their customers is made evident by the huge amount of training, tutorials, webinars and other forms of knowledge published for its users.  Quickly being able to throw together a dashboard of intuitive and engaging data visualizations is a huge win for new users and data scientists who want rapid and advanced data discovery within desktop applications — they even have a Mac version!  There are some limitations however; integration with web apps on the server-side, lack of integrated data preparation or extraction, all require 3rd party involvement.  Ongoing expansion is consistently strong for Tableau, although there is some criticism of their pricing and packaging due to IT overhead.  Some are attributing these problems to growing pains at the company, but only time will tell if that’s the case.

Qlik is highly regarded for its ease of use and capabilities for fast, complex advanced analysis, in fact, it scores higher in these categories than both Tableau and Microsoft.  Qlik supports and easily links to and across multiple data sources, not just internally within your company, but also now through the Qlik Data Market.  Enterprise customers are also enjoying the in-memory engine in Qlik to quickly traverse terabytes of data, or create ad-hoc subset applications on the fly for publishing across domains and devices.  Interestingly, the report cited cost of software, customer support and weak functionality as main barriers of adoption, however given the Qlik Partner Network of over 1,700 who support, implement and extend the capabilities of Qlik, those issues are easily overcome.  Bardess can also work with you to lower the costs and customize the solution to match your needs.

An inexpensive cloud-based delivery keeps per-user pricing low, originally marked at $39.95 per user/month, it’s been lowered all the way down to just $9.95 per user/month — which is great for small teams.  When it comes to wider implementations however, many customers have stopped broader deployments due to difficulty supporting a large number of users.  While Microsoft may have plans for enhancing the management capabilities, their future strategy is unclear.  It’s fair to say though that Microsoft will continually strive to improve their offerings, and have even announced Cortana integration for natural-language queries which should be pretty interesting.  Couple this with their ever-expanding number and variety of supported data sources, and you have a real powerhouse.  Microsoft scores low in several key areas though, specifically around more advanced analytics and outlier discovery capabilities and are ranked towards the bottom with a poor sales experience due to frequent changes in pricing and packaging, as well as the lack of market-focused sales associates to assist in that process.

Well, it depends on your business objectives and the data at your disposal.  The solution you choose should meet your needs for analysis, the wants for discovery in your environment.  Bardess is here if you need some help, whether to discuss what solution may be right for you, or how you can better integrate your current solutions into your everyday business.  We take a technology-agnostic, consultative approach to provide the best possible outcome for our customers.