For the ninth consecutive year, world-renowned research and advisory firm Gartner has positioned Microsoft as a Leader in the Magic Quadrant for Business Intelligence for its cloud-based Power BI software product.
And for the first time, Power BI also placed furthest in 'completeness of vision' within the top-ranked Leaders quadrant.
According to Gartner, the seismic shift from "IT-led enterprise reporting to business-led self-service analytics" is the cause of the recent boost to Microsoft's already lofty profile.
Power BI was given high marks for recent product improvements in conjunction with a substantially lower price point. In addition to the lower per-user pricing, Gartner also focused on the total cost of ownership (TCO) in its report, which includes hardware costs, product development, and support costs.
The report notes that by offering a newly streamlined workflow for content authors and server architecture hosted in the Microsoft Azure cloud, Power BI now features a highly competitive TCO in addition to its technical strengths.
Other reasons cited by customers for why they chose Microsoft Power BI were ease of use for business customers as well as the availability of skilled resources, both due to Microsoft's familiar, easy-to-navigate interface.
Microsoft also ranked in the top quartile for "achievement of business benefits" including use for monetizing data, improving customer service, increasing revenue, and delivering better insights to more users.
For the 2016 Magic Quadrant report, Gartner assessed multiple vendors for their support of five main use cases:
- Agile Centralized BI Provisioning
- Decentralized Analytics
- Governed Data Discovery
- Embedded BI
- Extranet Deployment
Business intelligence vendors were also assessed according to the following 14 critical capabilities under the categories of infrastructure, data management, analysis & content creation, and sharing of findings.
- BI Platform Administration
- Cloud BI
- Security and User Administration
- Data Source Connectivity
- Governance and Metadata Management
- Self-Contained Extraction, Transformation and Loading (ETL) and Data Storage
- Self-Service Data Preparation
- Embedded Advanced Analytics
- Analytic Dashboards
- Interactive Visual Exploration
- Mobile Exploration and Authoring
- Embedding Analytic Content
- Publishing Analytic Content
- Collaboration and Social BI
In 2015, Microsoft became the only vendor to be positioned as a Leader in Gartner’s Magic Quadrants for Cloud Infrastructure as a Service, Application Platform as a Service, Cloud Storage Services and Server Virtualization.