POSTED BY Paul Norris | POSTED IN Advisory Services, Blog

An Energy Analytics Perspective on the 2018 Gartner Analytics and Business Intelligence Magic Quadrant

Gartner published its 2018 Analytics and Business Intelligence (BI) Magic Quadrant recently. For the commodity-focused clients that capSpire works with, it can be difficult to translate the results of a report such as the magic quadrant into information that is relevant to them. Over the years, I’ve advised many energy clients around this in relation to their unique and demanding requirements. Regardless of your experience, the Gartner magic quadrant for BI and analytics platforms is an annual must-read for anyone monitoring the rapidly changing product landscape.

I thought Gartner’s commentary on the 2018 market in this year’s Analytics & BI Magic Quadrant was particularly interesting as it both confirmed some trends that we have seen in the market and surprised us in the change in position of some of the vendors, and I look forward to next year’s report. From an Energy clients perspective I would like to see them cover additional areas when it come to vendors vision and strategic direction such as:

  • The growing need for analytics and BI tools to analyze data where it resides
  • Centralized control and governance of data models coming back as a strong requirement
  • Tools that use modern DataOps techniques and support source control, collaboration, and best practices in release management
  • Tools that fit within an ecosystem and support open API access layers to the underlying data and visualizations

At capSpire, we bring deep industry experience and advanced technical expertise to our clients and help them navigate analysis such as the magic quadrant. Our approach can be quite different from the other industries Gartner focuses on by default. For example, when designing modern energy analytics platforms with clients, I emphasize the following list of selection criteria:

  • Ability to deploy both on-premise and in private cloud. A lot of our clients are working with personally identifiable information (PII), and have hybrid environments or commercially sensitive data that require control over the deployment architectures. Upcoming General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) for our European clients has a big influence on vendor selection now.
  • Positive customer satisfaction and enablement support. We want to see a product vendor investing in our clients’ success and working in partnership with us to help them be successful.
  • A compelling product roadmap that aligns with the Energy 4.0 agenda of digitization, automation, embedded analytics, and machine learning. The clients we help are leaders in their sectors and are setting the agenda through a digital transformation of their business models. We need to select product vendors that keep pace.
  • Ability to work with our clients’ modern energy technology architecture and not require the use of only in-memory product storage. The clients we work with in the energy industry tend to have either large data volumes or requirements to refresh the data very frequently. A large portion of the analytics & BI product landscape can’t handle significant data volumes and rapid refreshes as a requirement in their proprietary data storage or processing technology.
  • Support for real-time analytics workloads is a particularly strong requirement for our commodity-trading clients. However, this is still not widely available.
  • Flexible product functionality and proof of ability to deliver energy solution requirements. Most of our clients have custom requirements and the products need to support their delivery.
  • Not being tied to a niche analytics workload or use case. The energy industry is itself a niche and it’s unlikely a vendor will have what’s needed out of the box if it has already tailored its offering to another industry vertical or specific department.
  • Not being part of a large legacy IT lead vendor stack or require a complex infrastructure deployment. Modern data analytics in the Energy 4.0 context need more flexibility then the big stack vendors have historically delivered. They also tend to be followers rather than leads in this area.
  • Features that support the needs of the energy sector around audit and regulatory requirements, and single version of the truth, while not limiting the need of businesses to self-serve and get value from their data independent of the IT department.
  • We would like to see modern agile analytics best practices baked into the product. DataOp’s methodologies rely heavily on concepts such as source control, ease of deployment, automation. Vendors who align themselves with these methods and natively support the tools required out of the box will be preferred by clients.


Once you have applied this lens to the quadrant and consider the other drivers of the Energy 4.0 revolution, such as Internet of Things, artificial intelligence, automation, and cloud, our clients find it easier to arrive at a strategy and vendor product roadmap that keeps them ahead of their competition. If you would like more information on capSpire’s capabilities in energy analytics, please email me at paul.norris@capspire.com.

About capSpire

capSpire, a global consulting and solutions company with a focus on energy and commodities, provides the unique combination of industry knowledge and business expertise required to deliver impactful business strategies and solutions. Trusted by some of the world’s leading companies, capSpire’s team of industry experts and senior advisors enables clients to effectively streamline business processes and attain maximum value from their supporting IT infrastructure. For more information, please visit www.capspire.com.