Data analytics is an exciting field that’s becoming more and more integral to the way that many enterprises function. That being said, advancements in analytics, coupled with the increased emphasis on business intelligence platforms have made the field incredibly competitive. As a result, there are plenty of options to consider if your enterprise has yet to adopt a data management platform to help handle your business analytics needs. While such a wide field of options is beneficial when it comes to weighing the pros and cons of each platform and ensuring that you get the features and tools you need, it’s easy to become overwhelmed by the different options available to you.

When you’re sifting through different software platforms to handle your business analytics, it can be helpful to have a guide to each option. Master data management (also known as MDM), especially, can require you to weigh a host of features, such as security, authoring, and operational tools to get the job done well. One resource to help you make a better decision when comparing different business intelligence platforms is Gartner MDM‘s magic quadrant. Read on to learn more about how the magic quadrant and how Gartner research’s independent opinions can be leveraged as you look at various master data management solutions.

Gartner doesn’t endorse a single solution or platform.

One thing to note about Gartner’s research is that the organization isn’t endorsing any one option. This means that rather than reading sales literature or whitepapers with a certain sales element, when you’re reading about the magic quadrant, you know that each solution that’s listed in the report is there based on its own merits. Gartner even goes so far as to include a disclaimer clarifying that they don’t endorse any product, vendor, or service in its research and “does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings or other designation.”

While it’s true that you don’t want to take Gartner’s research as fact, it’s a pretty safe bet to use their work as your jumping-off point when it comes to gathering initial research about the MDM platforms you’re looking into. Of course, different business users will have different values when it comes to the features offered by their MDM solution, but it’s worth remembering that Gartner’s MDM magic quadrant does a great job of giving you an overview of consistent leaders in the sector. As such, while they shouldn’t be the only report you use to gather information, there’s certainly no harm in using their work as one of your sources.

Gartner’s reports use proprietary data analysis methodologies

You might think that “magic quadrant” is a bit of a silly phrase to use in connection with data analysis. However, in the case of Gartner’s magic quadrant, the fact that a proprietary system is used to evaluate the data points that comprise each quadrant, the phrase does feel a bit fitting. While many of the methodologies are proprietary, it’s worth noting that there are two key factors that play a big role in how Gartner reaches its conclusions. For starters, Gartner analyzes the offerings of each MDM vendor based on their completeness of vision. The second factor they consider has to do with how they’re able to execute and act on that vision.

While each vendor is measured based on those two axes, vendors are placed in one of four quadrants based on how they score in each area. The four quadrants Gartner places vendors in are niche players, leaders, visionaries, and challengers. Just because one platform lands in one quadrant and another is placed in a different quadrant doesn’t mean that one vendor is necessarily “better” than another. Each of these quadrants has industries that are best suited for these sorts of classifications, so it’s helpful to consider what sort of vendor you’re looking for before you start digging into more of Gartner’s research about a specific vendor in a particular quadrant.