What Is The Gartner Magic Quadrant And Why It Matters In Business

The Gartner Magic Quadrant is a framework looking at the competitive ability of four types of tech providers in a rapidly growing market. It looks at four profiles: challengers, leaders, niche players, and visionaries. This framework provides an overview of industry players to potentially identifying those players with the ability to create new market segments.

Understanding the Gartner Magic Quadrant

The concept behind the Gartner Magic Quadrant comes from Gideon Gartner, who was one of the top Wall Street analysts in the technology sector. Gartner and the company he founded have historically released Magic Quadrant analyses on companies in the technology sector, giving awards to the best performers.

The quadrant itself seeks to divide any industry into four different sections: Challengers, Leaders, Niche Players, and Visionaries. Then, respective companies are placed in the quadrant according to their ability to execute (represented on the y-axis) against their completeness of vision (on the x-axis).

Let’s look at each of the four quadrants in more detail.


On the quadrant, challengers have a high ability to execute with low completeness of vision. These organizations may be profitable and influential in the short-term, but they are not unaware of the future direction of their company, products, market, or industry.


Leaders pair high completeness of vision with high ability. They are those that are dominating their industry and have good long-term prospects for remaining so. 

Niche players

Niche players do not have complete visions, but they don’t have the ability to realize a vision in any case. As a result, they are unlikely to outperform others to gain a competitive advantage through innovation.


As the name suggests, visionaries have high completeness of vision. In theory, they recognize the future direction of a product, market, or industry. But they lack the ability to make their visions a reality. 

Applications of the Gartner Magic Quadrant

Provides a detailed overview of industry players

It’s important to understand that Gartner Magic Quadrant reports act like a recommendation site for businesses looking to hire for large technology projects. In much the same way that Yelp lists highly regarded restaurants, Gartner reports review and present relevant tech industry players. 

Upon receiving the report, the hiring business can quickly assess each “applicant” in terms of their vision and ability to carry out that vision. It also gives the hiring business a broad overview of the market and also of the competitive positioning of each technology company. Perhaps most importantly, the business can match its specific needs with the strengths or abilities of an applicant company.

Has the ability to create new market segments

Gartner Magic Quadrant reports can sometimes lead to the formation of new market segments if the company deems them important enough. 

Once defined, these new markets legitimize and boost the credibility of newer companies who may otherwise have been overlooked. This has obvious flow-on effects for sales, revenue, and profit generation. It also drives innovation and growth in the sector itself.

Key takeaways

  • The Gartner Magic Quadrant is a measure of a company’s vision for future growth, measured against their ability to realize that vision.
  • The periodically released Gartner report is an industry-standard publication that allows businesses in search of new talent a holistic and detailed view of the technology sector.
  • The Gartner Magic Quadrant can uncover new markets or perhaps new attributes with which to judge those markets. Potentially, this legitimizes newer players and leads to growth and innovation in the sector as a whole.

Other related business frameworks:

Additional resources:

Published by

Gennaro Cuofano

Gennaro is the creator of FourWeekMBA which target is to reach over two million business students, executives, and aspiring entrepreneurs in 2020 alone | He is also Head of Business Development for a high-tech startup, which he helped grow at double-digit rate | Gennaro earned an International MBA with emphasis on Corporate Finance and Business Strategy | Visit The FourWeekMBA BizSchool | Or Get in touch with Gennaro here