Five Things to Know about Magic Quadrants

by Dave Michels

If you want to see/hear some emotional responses, ask a few vendors what they think of Gartner’s Magic Quadrants. They are reports that people love to hate. Yes hate, only the authors are happy when a new report is published. Every vendor that isn’t in the top right position has a list of grievances, and surprisingly the vendor in the top right position is generally frustrated too usually about how close some competitors are or the gaps between their dot and the far right corner.

Love them or hate them MQs have a lot of influence, but ultimately reflect the opinion of just a few people that don’t use, sell, or subscribe to the products or services in question. The funny thing about other people’s opinions is that only the ones I agree with are well thought out.

As a rule, analysts don’t comment on other analysts work. However, the MQ is different. It’s fair game because of its influence. Not to mention there’s a lot of people that want to better understand what they got wrong. Of course, technically Gartner gets nothing wrong – it’s opinion.

Sorell Slaymaker and I often discuss the MQs. We both have years of experience with them, but in totally different ways. As a former Gartner Analyst Sorell was involved in the creation of many MQs. As a professional story teller, I sometimes get invited to assist vendors in telling their story (in analyst-speak). These two very different approaches makes for some interesting conversation when we comb through a report.

In this video, Sorell and I discuss five common questions about MQs. It’s generic to all MQs. This is our first video on MQs – maybe there will be more. We certainly have more opinions on them.