Sure, it’s definitely rewarding to be ranked for the third year in a row as a leader in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Data and Analytics Service Providers. In interacting with the analysts, we learn a lot about ourselves – and the way clients look at us – in terms of the completeness of our vision and the ability to execute. It’s also helpful to our clients, obviously, in selecting the service provider that fits best with their purposes.
But let’s forget all that for a second and turn things a bit around.
What, dear client, if you had to rank yourself in a Magic Quadrant for data and analytics? Where would you place your own enterprise in comparison to others in the industry, positioning your completeness of vision against your ability to execute?
You may be in an organization with a strong, compelling vision on why to become data-driven and great ideas about how to use analytics and AI to service customers better, to empower employees, to optimize operations, even to completely re-imagine business models. Always the latest and shiniest technology around, lots of proof of concepts, data and digital labs, innovation sessions and disruption all over the place. If your capability to actually deliver on that brilliant ambition falls short though, you rank as a Visionary: such a rich understanding of where to go with data and analytics – if only the rubber would hit the road.
There are a few things to learn in that case from organizations in the Challenger quadrant. They know all about how to deliver on data and analytics: having mature, industrialized development capabilities, well-established information governance, clearly articulated responsibilities between business and IT, a proven toolset – tuned for performance and quality and a collection of best practices and processes for data security and privacy. It’s just not moving forward that much if there is a good notion of where to go next in the first place. And that could soon turn into a liability, especially in markets where data is quickly becoming the key asset and next-generation analytics and AI make all the competitive difference.
(Spoiler: That’s in all markets, really)
Of course, you may have it all sorted out already. Your compelling, complete data & analytics vision is matched by rock-solid abilities to execute. You’re a Leader in the industry. Congratulations, dear enterprise. Keep it like that, first of all, and then never forget to always be improving.
Then again, if you find yourself just a bit too much southwest of the center: Realize that you may be a Niche Player in Gartner’s book, but there is much to quickly learn and leverage from the stars in the other quadrants – so that you don’t have to figure it out all yourself. And if nothing else, there is always that good old, solid consulting advice from Yazz and the Plastic Population: The only way is up, baby.
It’s a fascinating ride, thriving on data, analytics, and AI. With always new opportunities tempting us from the upper right-hand side, it’s a good habit to occasionally plot yourself on your own magic quadrant – to see where you are and where you should go. It will be time well-spent. And yes Gartner, that is with a solid 100% probability.