Leveraging Information and Intelligence

David Linthicum

"Magic Quadrant for Data Integration Tools"...Consider it...Don't follow it.

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I can tell when Gartner releases a "Magic Quadrant" because I get a dozen or so e-mails from vendors wanting me to know how well they did. "We're leaders." "We're visionaries." I get it. Of course, this week the "Magic Quadrant for Data Integration Tools" was released, and the e-mails came fast and furious.

The issue here is not that the Gartner report is incorrect, it's that specific rankings around the good or bad aspects of a data integration tool has very little to do if the tool will be productive for you, or not. I'm finding too many end users looking at the 4 boxes, versus looking at their own requirements, and thus select the wrong technology for the data integration job, but always attaching the "Magic Quadrant" to the last slide in the presentation to justify the selection.

The core issue is that data integration is such a wide range of patterns that it's very difficult to address data integration in the narrow, looking at the data integration concepts and generalities. There are many different types of data integration solutions, such as abstraction, replication, real-time integration, near time integration, batch,..., you get the idea. Thus, you'll need to match the right solution to your requirements. Make sense?

It's okay to use the "Magic Quadrant" for general guidance, but the tools you select need to align with your requirements, no matter where their dot sits on the quadrant.

6 Comments

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I totally agree with you Dave. Architects end up falling for the hype as a result of the magic quadrant instead of matching their organizations requirement with the tools capabilities.

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Dave - I agree that end users should look into the details of the functionality offered by different data integration tools and how they map to their own specific requirements. However, I have found that the Gartner MQ provides enough detail to act as a first filter for end users to shortlist products. It would be great if you could write about any other criteria or recommendations you might have to help end users in such evaluations.

David, I couldn't agree more. I've seen telco mediation solution deployed as a large-scale data validation platform in a completely different industry. Conventional? No. Did it work? Yes. Why? Because it just matched the requirements.
Unfortunately, it is much easier to replace the four key requirements on a slide with the four nice-looking quadrants.

Analysing data is always hard and finding the correct tool must be top priority. wga premie

There are analysis specials who have been trained for years to do that. All you have to do is find the right person and together come up with the best solution.

I totally agree with you Dave. Architects end up falling for the hype as a result of the magic quadrant instead of matching their organizations requirement with the tools capabilities.

Industry expert Dave Linthicum tells you what you need to know about building efficiency into the information management infrastructure

David Linthicum

David Linthicum is the CTO of Blue Mountain Labs, and an internationally known distributed computing and application integration expert. View more

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