What the hell happened today?
First, let’s look at Tableau Software’s stock price.
Tableau Software lost half its market value and its shares hit an all-time low a day after it cut its full-year earnings guidance to between 22 cents and 35 cents a share, around half the 57 cents analysts had expected. Tableau shares were last down 49.44 percent at $41.33.
The company cut its full-year 2016 revenue forecast to $830 million to $850 million from prior guidance of $845 million to $865 million. And Tableau’s fourth-quarter revenue of $202.8 million only narrowly beat analyst expectations of $200.8 million.
“When you get a company that barely beats that has been beating by a longshot, people are going to be scratching their heads a little bit,” said Brian White, an analyst at Drexel Hamilton. “If that guy can’t show much upside, what does that mean for the rest of the sector?”
Then, second, LinkedIn, the business network, shocked Wall Street with a revenue forecast that fell far short of expectations, sending its share plunging 43 percent on Friday and wiping out about $11 billion of market value.
“They’re a proxy for enterprise spend,” said Daniel Ives, an analyst at FBR, adding LinkedIn’s bad results were exacerbating fears around spending among customers of big enterprise companies.
So concerns spilt over into other business services and software firms. Salesforce.com and Workday saw drops of more than 10 percent each. Salesforce’s 13.6 percent loss was its worst one-day loss since October of 2008.
Shares of Splunk Inc, a data analytics software maker, dropped as much as 28 percent.
Investors are questioning whether enterprise customers will be willing to spend money to take advantage of trends like big-data analytics and cloud computing.
Given that companies that rarely previously cited broader economic trends as a possible drag on growth discussed them in recent earnings calls, including Tableau along with iPhone maker Apple , investors are growing concerned about factors such as slowing U.S. job growth, analysts said. 
Third, I find the Tableau stock price drop especially interesting with the 2016 Gartner Magic Quadrant for BI and Analytics Platforms annual report released yesterday with Tableau being the second best-rated tool and being the best at their ability to execute.
I was scratching my head when I came across an article published today by Jake Freivald, Vice President of Corporate Marketing for Information Builders. Jake is responsible for marketing operations: branding, marketing communications, events, Web marketing, and direct marketing. He graduated from Cornell University with a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering in 1991.
I like Jake’s take on Gartner’s change of direction on how they are going to create the Magic Quadrant for Business Intelligence and Analytics Platforms going forward. I liked it so much, in fact, I have included it in its entirety below for you to read.
So, before I segue into the article, below is an image of this year’s Gartner Magic Quadrant for Business Intelligence and Analytics Platforms. Jake’s article will help explain how some of the mighty have fallen.
Next thing you know, I’ll be reading an article how Amazon.com came up with some kinda button to put next to your favorite consumables where you just press the button when you are running out and it will automatically order you more and deliver it to your door.
Best Regards and thanks Jake for the insights!
The new Gartner Magic Quadrant for Business Intelligence and Analytics Platforms is out.  (Download it here.) Interestingly, it’s a pretty complete break from prior years. How complete? Here’s how they put it:
As a result of this change and the resulting effect on the shape and composition of the BI and analytics Magic Quadrant, historical comparison with past years (to assess relative vendor movement) is irrelevant and therefore strongly discouraged.
And how! They’ve gone from looking at very broad capabilities — that used to include data discovery and other business-user analytics, but also included dashboards and reporting that can be used for broad-scale deployments — to looking only at products that can be used by business users with little-to-no IT involvement.
To understand what’s going on here, it helps to understand Gartner’s attitude toward “bi-modal IT“. Mode 1 is the traditional, IT-governed, stable form of IT delivery. Mode 2 is the exploratory, agile, non-linear form of IT delivery. This quadrant is focused on BI and analytics that supports Mode 2.
Mode 1, which had been important in previous quadrants, is essentially ignored in this one. As a practical matter, it isn’t going away, so one of the more important things to figure out is how to promote mode 2 (exploratory insights found by individuals) to mode 1 (production apps for the many). More on that in a moment.
This narrowing of focus, from mode 1 + mode 2 in previous years to the current emphasis on mode 2, reduces both the use cases and the number of products that can be considered.
Out of a large number of companies who were considered for the quadrant — I can’t find the number in the report, but if I recall correctly, it was something like 87 — only 24 made it onto the chart. Some that were leaders (us included) are in different parts of the quadrant (there are only three ranked as leaders), and some significant vendors didn’t make it into the quadrant at all.
The criteria are so different, in fact, that the only product they ranked out of our entire product line is InfoAssist+, our self-service analytics tool. This product has been around for quite a while and has hundreds of thousands of users worldwide, and includes interactive dashboards, reporting, ad hoc query, and the creation of in-document analytics — but, until about a year ago, it didn’t contain data discovery.
In other words, we’re essentially a start-up in the market niche they’re covering.
Personally, I don’t mind being a start-up in this niche. Most start-ups don’t have the organic strengths that we have: a mature support organization, time-tested technology, more than ten thousand customers, and millions of users.
Moreover, we have strengths in mode 1 that most other vendors in the quadrant don’t have. We can take visualizations, dashboards, queries, reports, and so on from InfoAssist+ and share them with — literally, no exaggeration — hundreds of thousands of users, even millions, inside or outside the corporate firewall. See why other industry analysts position us a leader here.
It’s easier for us to enhance our data discovery technologies than it will be for our data discovery competitors to develop that kind of analytical application power. Which means we see our position as a start-up on this quadrant as an opportunity to move up and to the right over the next few years.
We look forward to working with you along the way. 🙂
Don’t forget to download your copy of the report.
* This leads me to my one real gripe with the quadrant: If they were going to radically change the definitions, I would have preferred that they change the name from “Business Intelligence and Analytics Platforms”. A rose by any other name and all that; nevertheless, a specific petal, no matter how beautiful, doth not a rose make. Despite their warning not to make comparisons, we’re going to see some confusion here.
 Sarah McBride, Lance Tupper and Saqib Iqbal Ahmed; Editing by Dan Grebler and Meredith Mazzilli, Bing.com, February 5, 2016.
 Jake Freivald, Gartner Magic Quadrant for BI and Analytics Platforms, 2016: My Take, Information Builders, February 5, 2016.
 Josh Parenteau, Rita L. Sallam, Cindi Howson, Joao Tapadinhas, Kurt Schlegel, Thomas W. Oestreich, Magic Quadrant for Business Intelligence and Analytics Platforms, Gartner, ID:G00275847, February 4, 2016.