Why are Analyst Rankings Behind the MDM Market Dynamics?

From time to time, analyst firms publish market reports that include their opinion and ranking of the vendors/solution providers in a specific market, such as Master Data Management (MDM).

Reading such reports, it strikes me that the rankings often do not seem to be in line with what is going in the market, especially when you consider market positioning, demand and technological developments.

One example was touched on in my post “The Latest Constellation Research MDM Shortlist” where the analyst firm in question seemed to take a long time to understand that Oracle had left the MDM market.

Gartner’s Magic Quadrant reports are generally the most popular; their rankings often appear in corporate PowerPoint decks when businesses want to evaluate and select the right MDM solution that fits their needs.  And yet, I would argue that Gartner is more conservative in its approach.  For example, it took Gartner a long time to abandon the notion that there was a separate customer MDM and product MDM enterprise-level market, as I examined in my post “Who will become Future Leaders in the Gartner Multidomain MDM Magic Quadrant?

You’ll notice that the magic quadrant from 2017 had a very limited number of market players on it; it excluded several vendors who offer MDM via cloud subscription models who are now recognised as key players and who, in hindsight, should have been included on many shortlists back then.

So, when the next Gartner Magic Quadrant for MDM is published (currently scheduled for the end of November 2020, though I hear it may be pushed to January 2021), I would always recommend you take a look at who is not included as well as those who are, and ask yourself what information has led Gartner to rank the vendors the way they have.

In that sense, Gartner’s thoroughness can often work against them as a lot of the data used in the upcoming report will be from 2019.  Also, you should be aware that customer feedback is given by those who made the decision to implement a specific solution; I often hear a number of differing opinions from people across a business when they evaluate MDM solutions.

It’s also interesting to note how analyst firms differ between them.  Examples from the world of MDM include a dysfunctional relationship between Forrester and Informatica as well as between Gartner and IBM, and how Forrester, opposed to Gartner, has a much more favourable assessment of a new kind of MDM provider like Reltio.

Disclosure: I recently worked with Reltio on a webinar and a white paper.

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