Forrester has just published 2019 refreshes of our enterprise business intelligence (BI) platform Wave™ evaluations. As the BI market and the technology continue to evolve, so does our research. This year, we emphasized:

  • New market segmentation by both vendor-managed and client-managed platforms, which roughly equate to on-premises and cloud-based platforms, respectively, but not quite. Since both Wave evaluations used exactly the same evaluation criteria, we encourage readers to compare all vendors across both documents:
    • Client-managed enterprise BI platforms. In this segment, clients are fully responsible for deploying their private instance of the BI software. They may choose to install it on-premises, in a public cloud, or hosted by a vendor. But the client is ultimately responsible for the timing of upgrades and other software platform management decisions. Organizations that want to retain control over software upgrades and fixes should consider vendors in this category.
    • Vendor-managed enterprise BI platforms. In this segment, clients do not deploy but subscribe to software. A vendor maintains a single software instance and partitions it for logical private instances for each client. All clients are on the same software version, and all get the same continuous upgrades. Clients have no control over upgrades or other decisions. Organizations that are ready to completely shift software management responsibilities to the vendor should consider this category. Organizations must also be willing to use software deployed in a public cloud, as software in this category does not run on-premises.
  • Differentiated features and capabilities. BI technology is highly mature. Forrester considers many of the platforms’ features and capabilities, such as data connectivity, query management, data visualization, and OLAP instrumentation for slicing and dicing data, commoditized and table stakes. In this evaluation, we only considered differentiated features such as augmented BI (automated machine learning and conversational interface), platform extensibility and customization (using BI platforms as low-code app dev tools), capability to work with big data, advanced data visualization and location intelligence, and modern architecture (containerized, multitenant, serverless, etc.).
  • Top vendors only in a very crowded market. Forrester tracks ~100 vendors that claim to offer an enterprise BI platform. Over 40 made it into our 2019 vendor landscape: “Now Tech: Enterprise BI Platforms, Q1 2019.” The 20 vendors — 1010data, Amazon Web Services, Birst, Domo, IBM, Information Builders, Looker, Microsoft, MicroStrategy, OpenText, Oracle, Qlik, Salesforce, SAP, SAS, Sisense, Tableau Software, ThoughtSpot, TIBCO Software, and Yellowfin — reviewed in the two Wave evaluations represent the top 20% of the market, regardless of their Wave rankings.