Definition of Magic Quadrants
Gartner Magic Quadrant is the name of a series of analyses conducted on vendors primarily in the IT industry. It is intended as a tool to provide qualitative information and evaluation into a market, and the direction a market is headed. Magic quadrants aim to quickly educate interested parties in the competing players and their positions in a market as well as the strategies they are implementing to compete for business. MQs provide the following when evaluating vendors:
- Graphical positioning of competing technology and service providers.
- Depiction of markets in the middle stages of their life cycle.
- 15 weighted criteria that plots competitors based on their relative strengths in a market.
- Inclusion of vendors based on revenue, market share, target market, number of customers and type of products and services among other criteria.
- Assistance to clients with planning, investment decision making, and vendor relationship support.
Types of Technology Providers
Magic Quadrants compare competing technologies in a sector, in addition to comparing the strengths and weaknesses of vendors. Gartner rates providers based upon two criteria: completeness of vision and ability to execute and plots vendors into four quadrants based on the criteria and determines the vendor to be one of the following groups:
- Leaders typically score higher on both criteria, and are usually large mature businesses. They are positioned well for the future, and execute well against the current vision.
- Challengers are believed to score high on the ability to execute but lower on completeness of vision. These are typically larger businesses that may have minimal plans for the specific industry. They often dominate a large segment and execute well, but do not often show an insight into the direction of the market.
- Visionaries often have scored lower on the ability to execute and have higher scores for completeness of vision, and are often smaller businesses. They understand the direction the market is going, and have a vision for the changing market.
- Niche Players are thought to score low on both criteria and are often new additions to the MQ. They are successful focusing on a small segment, or do not outperform others and may be un-focused.
There have been recent features added that have resulted in the Gartner tool becoming even more functional than before. Enhancements include a fully interactive experience which allows customers to customize the evaluation criteria they wish to use. Clients and organizations can compare current and previously published MQs to evaluate market or vendor changes over time and assists organizations to select vendors that are most relevant to their business needs. Interactive capability also allows clients to model various scenarios for a specific view of the market. Analyzed markets include BI or business intelligence platforms, data integration tools, enterprise content management, customer service contact centers, and cloud computing, among many other sectors.
Clients and organizations use Magic Quadrants as an initial step to gaining a comprehensive understanding of the technology vendors they may choose to evaluate for a particular investment opportunity. MQs deliver the insight necessary to assist clients in making informed decisions, and provides a research process that turns complex data into information that is clear, concise, and insightful.