Fuzzy Gartner

Gartner’s been here and it hasn’t been left unnoticed. The annual BI Summit was used to announce 5 predictions for the future which triggered several discussions  (e.g. in Automatiseringgids and on the Computable blog) both about the predictions themselves and the course Gartner seems to be taking (less focused on technology but more on the management side).

Gartner’s message gave me an awkward feeling. Just a few weeks earlier, a Gartner study was published stating that BI was still on top of mind in 2009 and now they warn us to be careful. What is Gartner trying to tell us?  I can’t help the feeling that for me Gartner’s value to our profession and industry is declining. Some of their research has been very helpful in tracking movements on the (vendor) market, most notably their Magic Quadrants. But more and more, I get disappointed in their message to the market: either they are too obvious (‘BI-governance will shift from IT to the Business’) or way to broad (‘SaaS will gain bigger share’).

I have argued before that to my opinion we lack deep understanding of our own playing field. I’d rather see Gartner provide that in-depth insight we need so desperately. For example, how does the application of BI differ among industries; where, how, when and why does real-time information really makes a difference, what are the fundamental criteria to differentiate the different types of BI, just to name a few. But this kind of research probably doesn’t make a sexy summit…


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