Do Gartner’s MQs Have Any Legitimacy?

Executive Summary

  • Vendors and consulting firms that have paid Gartner never tire of showcasing their scores in various MQs.
  • We answer the question of one person who asked whether the MQs have any legitimacy.


The following is yet another example of a vendor or consulting company trying to make sales by showcasing their ranking in a Gartner Magic Quadrant or Gartner MQ.

See our references for this article and related articles at this link.

However, Sam Graham then asked the following question.

Naturally, this is not what the people at PwC who posted this on LinkedIn wanted. Instead, they wanted passive acquiescence to Gartner’s authority, even though PwC knows fully well that they paid for their placement in Gartner and that without payment, they would not have scored well or may not even have been profiled in the specific Magic Quadrant (MQ). As we cover in the article A Machine Learning Study of Gartner’s Magic Quadrant Bias, Gartner will frequently simply drop vendors or rated entities from its Gartner MQ from year to year — as if the entities they are rating no longer exist.

As we cover in the article How Gartner Research to Compares Real Research Entities we researched Gartner and compared them to real research entities. This included academic institutions, the RAND Corporation and Consumer Reports, we found that Gartner met virtually none of the standards for a research entity.

The Reality Around Gartner’s MQs

There is actually no validity to any of the Gartner MQs. We cover in the article How to Best Understand Gartner’s Business Model, that neither Gartner nor the entities rated disclose their payments to Gartner now the amounts. PwC and Oracle could apprise us of their yearly “donations” to Gartner, but they won’t and will change the subject when asked.

This lack of transparency would not only completely negate the entity’s research credibility, but it is the exact model of entities that fake research and that like Gartner have their output prominently showcased in vendor or industry advertisements as we cover in the article How Gartner is a Fake Research Entity Like JD Power and Associates.

Corruption of More than the Gartner MQ

We have repeatedly caught Gartner being paid by vendors to distribute what amounted to press releases for the companies that paid them, under the guise of a “report.” Examples we documented include How Gartner Distributes Press Releases On HANA. And, here is IDC doing the same thing IDC Takes Money to Publish SAP Provided Sample on S/4HANA.

That is, the problem is not restricted to Gartner. All of the major IT analysts function the same way. It is just that Gartner is the most prominent and most financially successful of them.

IT analysts do not do research as such — rather, they pretend to research and create marketing collateral for vendors and consulting firms.


One reason we know this is that not only have we extensively analyzed Gartner, but we have had vendors reach out to us to create fake research for them.

They used different terminology such as “getting the word out,” etc.. But it was an offer of money for fake research. Furthermore, when we have been asked about our research, the vendor will make a statement like the following:

“We need to get some research that will show ABC, so that we can beat vendor XYZ.”

Therefore, the view that vendors have of research, is that it proves exactly what the vendor needs it to. That is the conclusion is put before the research.

Vendors frequently seek to coopt or corrupt Brightwork Research & Analysis. Most vendors that reach out want free coverage or want to pay for flowery coverage. They will often attempt to leverage off of the reputation we have developed for providing accurate information to promote us to provide false information.

Gartner will provide exactly what vendors and consulting firms want — at a price. Vendors and consulting companies then prop up Gartner as a reliable source for research. It is a corrupt positive feedback loop.

The Problem: Thinking that Gartner is Focused on What is True

Gartner is hired by companies who fundamentally don’t understand how Gartner functions. Gartner has virtually no first-hand experience in the technologies that they evaluate and get most of their information from speaking with executives at buyers or executives at vendors and consulting firms. Gartner is also not a research entity. They compare very poorly to real research entities once you dig into the details as we did in the article How Gartner’s Research Compares to Real Research Entities. Gartner serves to direct IT spending to the most expensive solutions as these are the companies that can afford to pay Gartner the most money. Gartner has enormously aggressive internal sales goals that place accuracy far below revenue growth in importance.