The development of decision making and management capabilities across the enterprise has become critically important, largely because enterprises are transforming from process driven to information driven. However, there are so many different business analytics offerings that it is getting close to impossible for enterprises to pick a product that will cover all of their bases.

Enter the business analytics services providers. Even here, there are over a hundred such providers according to Gartner. To help enterprises decide on what business analytics (BA) service providers might work for them, it has published, for the first time, a Magic Quadrant for Business Analytics Services Providers.

Business Analytics Services

To be clear about this, business analytics services providers offer enterprises the possibility of developing decision management capabilities, analytics capabilities and information management (IM) capabilities for their enterprise. If there are dozens of BA providers, there are hundreds of service providers.

They partner with clients as advisors and point clients towards fact-based decision-making processes as well as using the decision management capabilities they have established to build BA strategies.

The new Magic Quadrant evaluated service providers of analytics solutions and assessed them specifically on the execution of consulting and implementation services. It also evaluated the total vision provided for business analytics solutions by these providers.

A defining factor in this Magic Quadrant is that service providers demonstrate the ability to implement BA solutions that build upon the products in the market for solutions directed at specific business outcomes.

Out of the hundred plus service providers Gartner has identified 17 that meet its rigorous criteria for inclusion in the MQ. Those 17 can be broken down as follows:

  • Leaders: Accenture, Deloitte, IBM GBS
  • Challengers: PWC, Cognizant, Capgemeni, Infosys
  • Niche: Atos, GI, EY, KPMG, HP ES, NTT Data, TCS, Tech Mahindra, Wipro

Unusually, there are no Visionaries in this quadrant. For the rest:

Leaders: Can provide offerings that meet all market demand and the vision to sustain their position as the market evolves.

Challengers: These providers have a strong ability to execute but need to keep up with evolving global demand and provide services to match.

Niche Players: This is by far the biggest quadrant here. They do well in one segment of the market, but are limited in their ability to innovate because of the high investment demands required to compete.

Developing Digital Business Opportunities

So what is happening in the BA services market at the moment? Just like many other areas of business IT, a convergence in social, mobile, cloud and information management is presenting businesses with new digital business opportunities.

If many business analytics offerings target specific verticals, or businesses, the BA service providers cut across those divisions and impact on all operational, tactical and strategic decisions. In effect, they can be applied across all areas of the enterprise.

Gartner says it is finding that service providers that partner with Gartner’s clients as advisors are using decision management capabilities they have developed or established and which are information driven, to build BA strategies for those clients.

Generally speaking, across the 17 vendors identified, there is a broad breath of analytical capabilities, with differentiation derived from the depth of those capabilities.

Taking all this into account, Gartner has identified three trends, or assumptions, that will impact on BA services:

Assumption 1

By 2017 Gartner says that enterprises will be depending on managed service models for as much as 50 percent of their IT needs. Buyers are already looking at managed services for commercial off-the-shelf, or proprietary platforms to simplify the life cycle management of BA functionality.

The rate of adoption of such services is expected to increase as organizations develop a big data mindset that is evolving into a big context mindset as they become aware of the number of information sources that have to be managed.

Assumption 2

By 2017 the analytics applications that will be offered by software vendors will be little different than those offered by service providers. According to Gartner, the development of solutions that become industry standards will drive service providers. To this end, there is an attempt to take proprietary software to market. However, for these solutions to be accepted, they will have to come with additional capacities that are part of a wide IT ecosystem.

Gartner also says that it expects service providers to change their offerings to meet market demand. It expects this to become one of the driving forces as the market develops.