Earlier this year Gartner released their Magic Quadrant for Business Intelligence and Analytics Platforms, which reveals the competitive positions of leaders in the BI arena.

So what do we know for sure?

We know the most notable industry players are becoming more distinct – Tableau, Qlik, and Microsoft.  Each maintains a solid market position.

It may have been a surprise, even to Microsoft, that for the first time in nearly a decade, Gartner positioned Gartner1the Redmond goliath as THE visionary leader in business intelligence.  Per Gartner, “Microsoft is positioned in the Leaders quadrant, with strong uptake of the latest release, major product improvements, an increase in sales and market awareness efforts, new leadership and a clearer, more visionary product roadmap.”  Then again, maybe Microsoft expected the nod from Gartner, given that Forrester’s 2015 Q3 report on the same topic also put Power BI at the head of the pack.

In addition to taking the Gartner lead based on Power BI’s functionality, Microsoft has undercut competitors’ prices by 90% or more, offering their top-tier, professional subscription for a low cost /seat/mo.  Add to that Microsoft’s rebirth as a progressive tech innovator with a newfound love for all things open-source, and Power BI gives the impression of being an agile tech startup.  They’ve been releasing new features at an exhausting clip since launching in July of 2015.

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