Gartner research guru says our Magic Quadrant guidance is ‘On the money’

Stacey Hawkins, until recently Gartner’s worldwide Managing VP of Research Methodology, praised our recent podcast on the Magic Quadrant in a comment. She makes the important point that lack of clarity, either by the vendor or by the analyst, is behind most of the difficult issues associated with the MQ.

I consider myself something of an expert on MQs, having very recently left Gartner as its WW Managing VP of Research Methodology. Whilst the MQ is not perfect and most definitely now not as simple underneath its graphic covers as Gideon initially designed, it is without doubt one of the most powerful sales tools for Gartner and for vendors as well. You said that Gartner takes great pain to advise its user clients not to use the MQ to develop short lists, which is true. The reality of course is that everyone knows that users do exactly that; despite the words of warning.

In my experience, when serious issues over MQ positioning do arise the two most frequent root causes are lack of openness on the part of the vendor or lack of clarity on the part of the analyst; in that order. When those two situations mix, it’s a train wreck.

Your advice was right on the money in terms of how to work with Gartner. The more attention vendors spend on developing an ongoing relationship with analysts the better the MQ process becomes and the fewer surprises an AR team or senior mgt will encounter.

Excellent podcast.

In this podcast, two founders of the Institute for Industry Analyst Relations discuss the Magic Quadrant, one of the most influential pieces of the business research in any industry. In the first of two conversations, Gyurko explains the role of the Magic Quadrant and its influence. Former analyst Duncan Chapple gives his insight into the issues, reflected in Ed’s new white paper from the IIAR.

The audio is a little scrappy; we’re cleaning it up today and will upload a clearer version tomorrow.

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4 thoughts on “Gartner research guru says our Magic Quadrant guidance is ‘On the money’

  • Duncan,

    I consider myself something of an expert on MQs, having very recently left Gartner as its WW Managing VP of Research Methodology. Whilst the MQ is not perfect and most definitely now not as simple underneath its graphic covers as Gideon initially designed, it is without doubt one of the most powerful sales tools for Gartner and for vendors as well. You said that Gartner takes great pain to advise its user clients not to use the MQ to develop short lists, which is true. The reality of course is that everyone knows that users do exactly that; despite the words of warning.

    In my experience, when serious issues over MQ positioning do arise the two most frequent root causes are lack of openness on the part of the vendor or lack of clarity on the part of the analyst; in that order. When those two situations mix, it’s a train wreck.

    Your advice was right on the money in terms of how to work with Gartner. The more attention vendors spend on developing an ongoing relationship with analysts the better the MQ process becomes and the fewer surprises an AR team or senior mgt will encounter.

    Excellent podcast.

  • Here is the rub….you cannot, I repeat CANNOT produce a deliverable that is unbiased if it is classified as a “powerfule sales tool” for the creator.

    Amazing that we finally heard form the horse’s mouth the truth: “…it is without doubt one of the most powerful sales tools for Gartner and for vendors as well. ”

    Wow. Amazing.

  • The MQ is one of the most misused and misunderstood objects in the history of IT marketing. Consider axes: Completeness of Vision and Ability to Execute. Those are more relevant to making investment decisions rather than buying a product.

    Despite that, vendors have found it to be a valuable tool for establishing credibility for their products and supporting claims of superiority relative to competitors. IT managers have swallowed this hook, line and sinker. It makes their life (i.e., product selection process) easier. Some customers even include placement in the MQ as an RFP requirement.

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