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Magic Quadrants focus on data discovery tools in this news recap

Data discovery tools are a high priority for businesses, but vendor products can be lacking, the latest Gartner Magic Quadrants say.

It's that time of year again. Gartner's release of its analytics-focused Magic Quadrants dominated the past two weeks of news. While there are few big surprises, the documents' evaluation of the analytics market still makes for good reading.

Data discovery tools remain lacking

The 2014 Magic Quadrant for Business Intelligence and Analytics Platforms cites data discovery tools that satisfy the needs of business users on the front end and IT workers on the back end as the top priority for businesses. Unfortunately, the Garner analysts see no clear-cut vendor offering that can handle all these needs.

The main challenge is governance. While the top vendors in the space largely remained the same as last year -- Tableau, Qlik and Microsoft led the way -- the report notes that they all moved to the left of the quadrant, indicating a lower "completeness of vision" score. The report states that no vendor is addressing the need for "governed data discovery." Finding the right balance between an open self-service environment that empowers users while at the same time maintaining high standards for data quality and other data management best practices remains a challenge. Emerging data discovery tools tend to be light on governance, while discovery applications from more established vendors may be subpar, the report says.

On the bright side, the report notes that a number of established vendors -- Microsoft, MicroStrategy and SAS -- are getting better at integrating data discovery capabilities. Additionally, Qlik, Tableau and Tibco are planning new releases. While the market may lack a clear leader in data discovery, buyers will have new options in 2014.

Gartner unveils new Magic Quadrant for Advanced Analytics Platforms

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This year the analyst firm decided to break off advanced analytics systems from its standard Business Intelligence and Analytics Platforms Magic Quadrant. The new report focuses on vendors offering predictive analytics, data mining and other types of algorithm-based analysis tools. Gartner felt it needed to give this market its own report mostly because of heavy interest from business. That interest is being driven by a growing need for sophisticated tools that can handle big data. Data sets are growing and new sources are emerging, including social and sensor data. Traditional BI tools can't keep up.

IBM and SAS distanced themselves from the pack in the inaugural advanced analytics Magic Quadrant -- IBM for its relative ease of use and SAS for customer satisfaction. Other vendors, such as RapidMiner, KNIME and Revolution Analytics also received high marks. Expect the market to continue to develop, though. The report notes that most products are currently focused mainly on prediction, but businesses are increasingly looking for products that can handle marketing or spending optimization and run simulations.

Weekly dataviz

The choice for this week's data visualization is pretty obvious. Check out the latest Magic Quadrant reports -- BI report here, advanced analytics report here -- to see where all the top vendors landed and what got them there (membership may be required).

Ed Burns is site editor of SearchBusinessAnalytics. Email him at and follow him on Twitter: @EdBurnsTT.

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