Gartner Magic Quadrant: The Animated SeriesBy: CoEnterprise | May 13, 2018
Every year Gartner provides a Gartner Magic Quadrant overview of the analytics and business intelligence landscape. Around February, we all wait anxiously to see what will remain after the dust of development frenzy and market shifts settles. Which of these new hopefuls and industry titans are leading BI’s path into the future?
As a team of trend trackers, we couldn’t resist this tempting trail of coordinates. To interpret these snapshots in new ways, we turned to our analytics platform of choice, Tableau (not to play favorites). Instead of static yearly snapshots, we hoped to map the paths these products followed, and provide a foundation for seeing where they might lead.
Gartner provides two key metrics: a company’s “Completeness of Vision” and “Ability to Execute.” These scores define companies as “Niche Players,” “Visionaries,” “Challengers,” or “Leaders.” While these groupings are simplified, they provide plenty to analyze. For example, we’ve seen that Tableau has been a leader for each of the past years. Could we reframe this data to make it easier to spot others like this? To begin, we used Tableau’s custom background image and annotation functionality to map these metrics to coordinates. Combined with the analytical power of Tableau, these transform a static image into a dynamic visualization: an analysis of the Gartner Magic Quadrants from 2014-2018.
The main view, “Trace & Rating,” brings a new context to the yearly report. As a comet chart, the change of each product’s year-by-year position is easy to see, providing progress over time in an intuitive, static view. The “Interpolated” setting smooths these paths; a useful aesthetic choice for data sets with few points. Switching to “Actual” connects each yearly entry directly, avoiding any potential confusion from smoothing. For example, after the toggle, note how “Logi Analytics” no longer appears to swing into “Leaders.” We even included the base image of the quadrant itself using Tableau’s custom image background to align with Gartner’s style.
The “Rating” view quantifies each product’s position, clearly indicating who’s ahead. The list also acts as a highlighter! Try ctrl-clicking your favorite products to compare their performance. This list also informs the coloring of the trace view. Note how the dark blue paths, those higher rated “Overall,” draw your attention.
You can also switch the color to access the solution to identifying the leaders, apart from Tableau. Toggle from “Rating” to “Leaders” to highlight these products. It’s quite a remarkable achievement, given that 8 of the 11 products have either fallen out of this group or never made it in.
In the second tab, “Original Plots,” you’ll see something a little more familiar: a recreation of the original Magic Quadrant report. Hopefully this centralized location is more convenient than plumbing the depths of your email archives or embarking on a google deep dive. Like the trace tab, click a company’s name to highlight it.
For each of the above views, a slider changes the date selected. Manually flipping through these dates gives the illusion of animation throughout the years. With this as inspiration, we can spice this dashboard even more! As always, data visualization is a blend of analysis and style. Using Tableau’s pages function, we can animate these trajectories over time (without having to suffer that year-long gap). Download the workbook here to play the animation yourself in the tab “Animated Trace & Rating.”
Now that it’s all in one spot, enjoy digging through the historical records of these analytical warriors. Hopefully it inspires you to do some analysis of your own. The data set included in the linked workbook will give you a good place to start. We’ll also keep pouring over this and other data, coming up with new and innovative approaches to dashboard design. Hopefully it helps speed up that long wait until the next report. Join us then to see how things change; we’ll bring the popcorn.
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