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Published FrontRunners: Last Update: Next Update:
Accounting October 2019 Q4 2020
Manufacturing July 2019 Q3 2020
Hotel Management June 2019 Q2 2020
Fundraising June 2019 Q2 2020
Learning Management Systems June 2019 Q2 2020
Call Center May 2019 Q1 2020
Construction Estimating May 2019 Q2 2020
Field Service May 2019 Q2 2020
Mental Health May 2019 Q2 2020
Business Intelligence April 2019 Q2 2020
Enterprise Resource Management April 2019 Q2 2020
HRIS April 2019 Q2 2020
Inventory Management March 2019 Q1 2020
Payroll March 2019 Q1 2020
Project Management March 2019 Q1 2020
Residential Property Management March 2019 Q1 2020
Facilities and Maintenance Management February 2019 Q1 2020
ATS February 2019 Q1 2020
CRM February 2019 Q1 2020
Construction Project Management January 2019 Q1 2020
IT Help Desk January 2019 Q1 2020
Retail Management January 2019 Q1 2020
EMR January 2019 Q1 2020

Any report updated on or before May 2019 follows FrontRunners Methodology Version 2. Starting in June 2019, FrontRunners updates will follow Methodology Version 3.

FrontRunners Methodology (Version 3: June 2019 - present)


The Basics

The FrontRunners methodology calculates a score based on published user reviews for products on two primary dimensions: Usability on the x-axis and Customer Satisfaction on the y-axis.

Eligibility

To be eligible for inclusion, products must:

  • Be sold in the North American software market.
  •  
  • Offer required functionality as determined by our research analysts, who provide coverage of and have familiarity with products in each category. Each product must have all core features plus a majority of common features for that market.
  •  
  • Have at least 20 unique user-submitted product reviews across the three Gartner Digital Markets web properties—softwareadvice.com, capterra.com, and getapp.com—published within 24 months of the start of the analysis period for a given report’s update, of which at least 10 are published in the most recent 12 months.

Since FrontRunners is intended to cover a given software category at large, the FrontRunners team use their market experience and knowledge, existing market-based research, and small business software buyer needs analysis to assess a product’s suitability for that category depending on whether it can reasonably be expected to be relevant to most software buyers across industries searching for a system in the category.

Scoring

The Usability score (x-axis) is a weighted average of two user ratings from the last 24 months of the analysis period:

  1. Functionality: End-user ratings of one to five stars on “Functionality.” This accounts for 50% of the total Usability score.
  2.  
  3. Ease-of-Use: End-user ratings of one to five stars on “Ease-of-use.” This accounts for 50% of the total Usability score.

The Customer Satisfaction score (y-axis) is a weighted average of three user ratings from the last 24 months of the analysis period:

  1. Value for Money: End-user ratings of one to five stars on how valuable users consider the product to be relative to its price. This accounts for 25% of the total Customer Satisfaction score.
  2.  
  3. Likelihood to Recommend: End-user ratings of one to five stars on how likely they are to recommend the product to others. This accounts for 25% of the total Customer Satisfaction score.
  4.  
  5. Customer Support: End-user ratings of one to five stars on the product’s customer support. This accounts for 50% of the total Customer Satisfaction score.

Products receive a score between one and five for each axis. Products that meet a minimum score for each axis are included as FrontRunners. The minimum score varies by category so that no more than 25 and no fewer than 10 products qualify for inclusion. No product with a score less than 3.0 in either dimension is included in any FrontRunners graphic.

For products included, the Usability and Customer Satisfaction scores determine their positions on the FrontRunners graphic.


Only the top-scoring products appear in FrontRunners graphics.

 

Data

Data sources include published user reviews, public data sources and data from technology vendors. The user-generated product reviews data incorporated into FrontRunners is collected from submissions to all three Gartner Digital Markets sites (see above section for details). As a quality check, all reviews are verified and moderated prior to publication. Please refer to the Software Advice Community Guidelines for more information.

External Usage Guidelines

Providers must abide by the FrontRunners External Usage Guidelines when referencing FrontRunners content. Except in digital media with character limitations, the following disclaimer MUST appear with any/all FrontRunners reference(s) and graphic use:

FrontRunners constitute the subjective opinions of individual end-user reviews, ratings, and data applied against a documented methodology; they neither represent the views of, nor constitute an endorsement by, Software Advice or its affiliates.

Escalation Guidelines

We take the integrity of our research seriously. If you have questions or concerns about FrontRunners content, the methodology, or other issues, you may contact the FrontRunners team at DigitalMarketsResearch@gartner.com. Please provide as much detail as you can, so we can understand the issues, review your concerns and take appropriate action.

FrontRunners Methodology (Version 2: May 2018 - May 2019)


The Basics

The FrontRunners methodology calculates a score based on published user reviews for products on two primary dimensions: Usability on the x-axis and User Recommended on the y-axis.

The Usability score is a weighted average of two user ratings:

  1. End-user ratings of one to five stars on the product’s functionality.
  2. End-user ratings of one to five stars on the product’s ease of use.

The User Recommended score is a weighted average of two user ratings:

  1. End-user ratings of one to five stars on how valuable users consider the product to be relative to its price.
  2. End-user ratings of one to five stars on how likely they are to recommend the product to others.

There are two FrontRunners graphics for each market, one “Small Vendor” and one “Enterprise Vendor” graphic. The “Small Vendor” graphic highlights qualifiers from smaller (by employee size) vendors, while the “Enterprise Vendor” graphic displays qualifiers for larger (by employee size) vendors.1

Products that meet a market (or product category) specific minimum score for each axis for their respective size group (Small Vendor or Enterprise Vendor) are included as FrontRunners in their respective size group. The minimum score varies so that no more than 15 and no fewer than 10 products qualify for any FrontRunners graphic.

The minimum score cutoff to be included in the FrontRunners graphic varies by category, depending on the range of scores in each category. No product with a score less than 3.0 in either dimension is included in any FrontRunners graphic. For products included, the Usability and User Recommended scores determine their positions on the FrontRunners graphic.

 

For each individual rating in both the Usability and User Recommended criteria, the methodology weighs recent reviews more heavily.

Eligibility

Markets are defined by a core set of functionality, and to be eligible for FrontRunners, products must offer that core set of functionality. Core functionality required is determined by our research analysts, who provide coverage and have familiarity with products in that market. Additionally, a product must have at least 20 unique user-submitted product reviews across the three Gartner Digital Markets web properties: softwareadvice.com, capterra.com and getapp.com, which must be published within 18 months of start of the analysis period.

Inclusion in a “Enterprise Vendor” or “Small Vendor” FrontRunners graphics is based on the vendor’s employee count. Vendors eligible for the “Enterprise Vendor” graphic must have more than the median employee count for all vendors in the market, or 100 employees—whichever is greater. Vendors whose employee counts do not meet either of those thresholds qualify for the “Small Vendor” graphic.

In cases where fewer than 10 products qualify to be on either a “Small Vendor” and “Enterprise Vendor” FrontRunners graphic in a given market, the market will have only one graphic combining both enterprise and small vendors, which are color coded to show distinction between size.

Data

Data sources include published user reviews, public data sources and data from technology vendors. The user-generated product reviews data incorporated into FrontRunners is collected from submissions to all three Gartner Digital Markets sites (see above section for details). As a quality check, we ensure the reviewer is valid, that the review meets quality standards and that it is not a duplicate.

The employee count data comes from public sources, collected by Gartner associates. As a quality check, we compare this data against data submitted by the providers. We use this data to place a product in either the or “Small Vendor” or “Enterprise Vendor” version of the graphic. Employee size has no bearing on a product’s inclusion in the graphics beyond determining which version the product qualifies for.

External Usage Guidelines

Providers must abide by the FrontRunners External Usage Guidelines when referencing FrontRunners content. Except in digital media with character limitations, the following disclaimer MUST appear with any/all FrontRunners reference(s) and graphic use:

FrontRunners constitute the subjective opinions of individual end-user reviews, ratings, and data applied against a documented methodology; they neither represent the views of, nor constitute an endorsement by, Software Advice or its affiliates.

Terms and Conditions

Vendors should submit only publicly available information and should not submit any information that they deem to be confidential.

1In the event fewer than 10 products qualify for either a “Small Vendor” or “Enterprise Vendor” FrontRunners graphic, the vendors that do qualify will be combined into a single graphic.


FrontRunners Methodology (Version 1: September 2016-May 2018)


The Basics

The FrontRunners methodology assesses and calculates a score for products on two primary dimensions: Capability on the x-axis and Value on the y-axis.

The Capability score is an overall weighted average of scores including:

      1. End-user ratings of one to five stars on the product’s functionality.
      2. End-user ratings of one to five stars on the product’s ease of use.
      3. End-user ratings of one to five stars on the product’s customer support.
      4. A score, relative to other products in the market, for the product's inclusion of key functionality for the software category.
      5. A score, relative to other products in the market, representing the number of other products that integrate with it.

The Value score is an overall weighted average of scores including:

      1. End-user ratings of one to five stars on overall satisfaction with the product.
      2. End-user ratings of one to five stars on how valuable users consider the product to be relative to its price.
      3. End-user ratings of one to five stars on how likely they are to recommend the product to others.
      4. A score, relative to other products in the market, for the size of the product's customer base.
      5. A score, relative to other products in the market, for the number of professionals in the market who have experience with the product (e.g., users, developers, administrators).
      6. A score, relative to other products in the market, representing the total number of user reviews across the three Gartner web properties.
      7. A score, relative to other products in the market, representing the average number of times per month internet users search for the product on Google.

Markets are defined by a core set of functionality, and products considered for, and included in, FrontRunners must offer that core set of functionality. Additional related functionality can contribute to the capability score for a product. To qualify for consideration in a FrontRunners graphic, a product must have a minimum number of unique, user-submitted product reviews across the three Gartner Digital Markets web properties: softwareadvice.com, capterra.com and getapp.com. The minimum number of reviews required per product may differ by category, but will generally be between 10 and 20 unique reviews.

More Methodology Details

The FrontRunners methodology assesses products on two primary dimensions: Capability on the x-axis and Value on the y-axis. Products receive a score between one and five for each axis. Products that meet a minimum score for each axis are included as FrontRunners. The minimum score cutoff to be included in the FrontRunners graphic varies by category, depending on the range of scores in each category. For products included, the Capability and Value scores determine their positions on the FrontRunners graphic.

FrontRunners Graphic

The Capability score is based on three criteria: user ratings on capability, a functionality breadth analysis, and a business confidence assessment.

      1. The capability user ratings criterion captures user satisfaction with the product’s capabilities. The capability ratings score is a weighted average of the one- to five- star rating scores from three user ratings:
        1. Functionality
        2. Ease of use
        3. Customer support
      2. The functionality breadth analysis is based on:
        1. The product’s coverage of core software category functions
        2. The number of other products it integrates with, along with the number of other products that state they integrate with it

For each of these data points, the methodology calculates the percentile ranking for each product relative to all other products in the software category that have qualified for FrontRunners consideration. That percentile ranking is then translated into a one to five score.

      1. The business confidence assessment is an indicator of whether the software company will likely continue to invest in the product for the next 12-18 months. The analysis is based on four data points:
        1. The product’s current customer base
        2. The annual growth rate of the product’s customer base
        3. The vendor’s current employee base
        4. The annual growth rate of the vendor’s employee base

If the company's size and product's customer base are both significant and growing, then the likelihood that the business will invest in the product is higher than in the alternative scenarios. For each of these four data points, the methodology calculates the percentile ranking for each product relative to all other products in the software category that have qualified for FrontRunners consideration. That percentile ranking is then translated to a one to five score.

The overall one to five Capability score is a weighted average of the scores for user ratings, functionality breadth and business confidence.

The Value score is based on two criteria: user ratings on value and product adoption.

        1. The value user ratings criterion captures users' satisfaction with the business value provided by the product. The value ratings score is a weighted average of the one to five star rating scores from three user ratings:
          1. Overall ratings of the product.
          2. How likely users are to recommend the product to others.
          3. How valuable users consider the product to be relative to its price.
        2. The product adoption data analysis assesses if the product is positioned in the market as more of an industry standard with higher adoption (thus earning a higher score), or as an emerging competitor with more limited adoption (thus earning a lower score). The product adoption methodology analysis for each product is based on four data points:
          1. The size of the product's customer base.
          2. The number of professionals in the market who have experience with the product (e.g., users, developers, administrators).
          3. The total number of user reviews across the three Gartner web properties.
          4. The average number of times per month internet users search for the product on Google.

For each of these four data points, the methodology calculates the percentile ranking for each product relative to all other products in the software category that have qualified for FrontRunners consideration. That percentile ranking is then translated into a one to five score.

The overall one to five Value score is a weighted average of the scores for value user ratings and product adoption.

Data

Data sources include user reviews and ratings, public data sources and data from technology vendors. The user-generated product reviews data incorporated into FrontRunners is collected from submissions to all three Gartner Digital Markets sites (softwareadvice.com, capterra.com and getapp.com). As a quality check, we ensure the reviewer is valid, that the review meets quality standards and that it is not a duplicate.

The business confidence and product adoption data comes from public sources, collected by either a third-party data provider or by Gartner associates. As a quality check, we compare this data against data submitted by the providers. We use this data to calculate a product's percentile ranking, which allows us to determine how products compare relative to one another rather than determine an absolute number.

The functionality breadth data is collected from the technology providers. We check the data provided and challenge data that seems inflated or unlikely. We use this data to calculate a product's percentile ranking, which allows us to determine how products compare relative to one another rather than determine an absolute number.

External Usage Guidelines

Providers must abide by the FrontRunners External Usage Guidelines when referencing FrontRunners content. Except in digital media with character limitations, the following disclaimer MUST appear with any/all FrontRunners reference(s) and graphic use:

FrontRunners constitute the subjective opinions of individual end-user reviews, ratings, and data applied against a documented methodology; they neither represent the views of, nor constitute an endorsement by, Software Advice or its affiliates.

Terms and Conditions
Qualifying vendor's corporate logo is used to identify its position in the FrontRunners graphic. Qualifying vendor grants to Software Advice a non-exclusive, worldwide license to use its corporate logo for this purpose, provided that such use (i) adheres to qualifying vendor’s standard approved format; and (ii) is limited to the Software Advice website and related FrontRunners materials.  

Vendors should submit only publicly available information and should not submit any information that they deem to be confidential.