Lots of my clients are confused. They start a Forrester inquiry with a question about data visualization capabilities, but when I lead them into discussion about business intelligence (BI) platforms, they say "but we already have a BI platform. All we really want is an ability to create and share data visualizations". Is there a separate market for that? If there is, I am not aware of one. Here's my take on it:

  • If what you are looking for includes requirements for data visualization administration, security, data management, version control, collaboration, etc, you really need a BI platform with data visualization capabilities.
    • The last time Forrester looked at Data Visualization as a separate capability was in 2012 and even then, as you will see from the URL, we ended up evaluated BI platforms.
    • In our last (and going forward) Wave on the topic we grouped data visualization and self service BI capabilities together as we see them inseparable.
  • The only pure data visualization libraries I am aware of – d3js.org , www.eclipse.org/birt , www.fusioncharts.com ,  www.highcharts.com –  are indeed just a set of libraries which can be imbedded in other platforms and applications, but do not have their own administration, security, data management, version control, collaboration and other relevant capabilities.
  • If you are looking to manage static visualizations or even interactive content built on modern Java based application development platforms like electron.atom.io  and others you can use Digital Asset Management platforms. 

Is there a data visualization market segment I am missing?