Exploring Gartner’s data integration vendor magic quadrant

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Technology research firm Gartner has released its magic quadrant for data integration.  Gartner conducts bespoke research each year into the main data integration vendors, with the aim of placing the largest ones in a quadrant based on their strategic vision and effective implementation. So what does it take to enter each of the quadrants?

The latest (2012) magic quadrant for data integration tools is shown in the diagram below.  The diagram has been adapted by Toolbox.com, who have added each vendor’s 2011 position (in orange) to their 2012 position (in red):

Sources: Gartner, Toolbox.com; October 2012

While 2012 has seen no change in the vendors entered on the quadrant, there are some broad themes binding the vendors’ locations.


Gartner classes as Leaders those vendors who offer high quality products and services, while maintaining a visionary view of future market trends and driving forces.  Leaders include IBM, SAP and Oracle.

The companies in the Leaders quadrant tend to have a broad product portfolio covering a wide functionality.  As might be expected from a Leader, they have a large customer base who use their products in a relatively diverse range of project types.  Their products tend to be more costly than average, sometimes to a prohibitive degree.


These companies are classed by Gartner as vendors who share the clarity of vision of the Leaders, but who tend to focus their product range and capability on a particular niche.  Companies in this quadrant include Talend and Pervasive.

Visionaries tend to be very much on-trend.  For instance, Gartner cites the example of Information Builders’ support for cloud data, big data and social media analytics.  Visionaries also tend to have highly effective products, albeit not as wide-ranging as those of the Leaders; some also offer excellent customer support.  The downside of the Visionaries’ often relatively small size in comparison to the Leaders is a range of issues such as software bugs, under-developed sales teams and lack of a global presence.


Gartner defines Challengers as companies with a high degree of executional capability, but with less vision in terms of the future of the data integration market.  Microsoft is the only company in the Challenger quadrant in 2012.

In addition to its vast scale and presence, Microsoft is also viewed as offering good core products.  Where it loses out in comparison to the Leaders is the relatively narrow functionality of its products and lack of integration with non-Windows environments.

Niche Players

The Niche Players quadrant is defined by Gartner as those companies with a narrower appeal and relatively less overall vision when compared to vendors in the other quadrants.  Potentially, companies in this quadrant have a very strong offering for a specific niche sector.

The 2012 magic quadrant contains just one Niche Player, Syncsort.  The company is viewed in this research as offering good value and good service, but with a narrow product offering and some technical issues.

For information on how to choose a vendor, visit our blog post on seven key factors to consider.  Gartner publishes a list of alternative data integration vendors, including us, who are too small or too niche to be included in the quadrant.  We hope that the continued strong performance of the market will help all of us to grow in the twelve months to the 2013 report.

Click here to access the full data integration magic quadrant report on the Gartner website.

Further reading

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