Gartner Magic Quadrant for Analytics and Business Intelligence Platforms 2023

Posted by Xavier Hacking

Sometimes it feels as we are at the end of history and nothing changes anymore. I’ve been reading these annual Gartner “Magic Quadrant” reports on the state of Analytics and Business Intelligence (ABI) for a couple of years now and every edition concludes the same, at least for the “big four” that I look at as I encounter those the most in project (SAP, Microsoft, Salesforce Tableau and Qlik). MS Power BI on top, Tableau second and Qlik still somewhat regarded as a leader. However, SAP is getting closer and closer to take over that third spot!

You can find the report summary here and use the slider below to compare the quadrants of 2022 and 2023.

So what?

The question is of course what all of this actually means. Gartner defined 12 “critical capabilities” that these ABI platforms should contain and the vendors nicely follow up by making sure each topic is somewhat covered. That’s probably why we have these “Search to Insight” and “Smart Discovery” features in SAC that are cool for demos but actually don’t work in real business situations (and thus are never used).

Don’t get me wrong, these capabilities eventually make sense to have in the SAC (and SAP Datasphere) platform, but as someone who is working with this kind of tooling on a daily base I’d rather see some more development effort on the basic stuff (for example enriching reporting features) and hold off a bit more on the stuff that is not “ready” anyway.

SAP Analytics Cloud

But let’s have a quick look at what the Gartner findings are for SAP Analytics Cloud (SAC).

In 2022, SAP improved its reporting, data storytelling and analytic developer capabilities to optimize the user experience (UX) for citizen analytics developers, business analysts and report consumers. The low-code and advanced coding capabilities of analytics applications offer composable analytics apps to lines of business (LOBs). It enhanced data integration and modeling capabilities, especially in leveraging the full context of SAP data and application ecosystems.

Yes, this probably refers to the Optimized View Mode “transition” that now is almost completely finalised. With the Unified Story Mode that was just released – SAC Story & Analytical Application will merge into a single object – this should take SAC another big step forward. With this the historical blunder to introduce a separate object type for scripted Apps in addition to the simple and effective Stories within the SAC platform is finally restored.


As every year, the tight integration with other SAP applications is regarded as a big plus for SAC and SAP Datasphere is even recognised as a way to enrich the connectivity capabilities. Nice! The combination of analytics, planning and predictive is seen as a differentiator from competitors. Very nice! And for reasons nobody will every understand “templates for SAP Digital Boardroom agendas” once again get a honourable mention a well. Gartner sure loves that Digital Boardroom! 😉


Besides a limited adoption outside of the SAP ecosystem, Gartner states that SAC is evaluated as average for product critical capabilities: “It doesn’t really stand out in any one use case.” Yeah, that is something that could become a pretty big issue when customers start doing isolated tool comparisons on for example reporting capabilities. As you know I follow the SAC Influence Request portal quite closely and it always pains me to see how some ideas from the user community are moved aside. Example:

Problem is also that several of the strong points for SAP and SAC are kinda hidden and not always regarded as major decision points at the start of a new ABI platform. You know, the boring things like governance, reusability of components, authorisations, transports, data and report catalogues etc. However, this comment on quadrant leader Microsoft Power BI is rather interesting:

Gartner receives an increasing number of inquiries from Power BI customers struggling to govern the analytic content creation and publication process. Customers express concern over multiple ways to accomplish most tasks such as modeling data or promoting content.

Yeah, Self-Service BI FTW! Eventually you’ll drown in your own shit if you don’t manage this upfront. 😉

And now?

What will be extremely interesting is how fast proper AI solutions will be integrated in these platforms. That will be the game changer (and the way to annihilate the first sentence of this blog haha 😀). Microsoft probably has the biggest ace in the hole here with their awesome ChatGPT tooling. If they manage to integrate this smoothly in their Office 365 and Power BI stack then things could go very very fast. Maybe the end of (manual) dashboard and report development is already in sight! So, I’m looking forward to next year’s report! - Jun 4, 2023 | SAP Analytics Cloud
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  1. Chabert
    June 6, 2023

    Hello Xavier, thanks for an interesting read. I am very fond of the “tell it like it is” approach :-). Please note the plan is to eventually replace Search to Insights with the AskData functionalities (new name is just ask). Also to your last paragraph we SAP / SAC are also monitoring closely what’s happening in the Generative AI. Feel free to vote & bring your perspective here: I would be very happy to discuss the same with you and your teammates. Best regards Antoine Chabert (SAC Product Management).

  2. Anonymous
    June 6, 2023

    Also interested by your perspective on what it would need for SAC to become a leader 😉

    • Chabert
      June 6, 2023

      Sorrry – this was from Antoine too (not anonymous).

  3. Daniel Spokoinyi
    June 8, 2023

    Thanks Xavier… Hi Antoine, for me really the designing part of SAC is very weak compared to other tools. How often I get stuck with missing features, frustrated by designing a dashboard, or have to find workarounds to get some things working… Anf performance with Teams is really really bad (Not only SAP’s problem).
    For the import connections, the modelling side is still a pain, and data wrangeling with the new model is still a big pain, not better than with the old one. This experience compared to a Power BI or Tableau is a massive draw back why customers are moving to PBI… This is my personal observation, and I have been working with SAC every day since starting in 2013 – still a believer, but even with the pain points of PBI (as wisely mentioned by Xavier) we struggle to convince users of SAC :/


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