MicroStrategy Review
One step ahead of much of the competition, and delivers a highly configurable and quite uniquely functional BI environment


Verdict: MicroStrategy is one step ahead of much of the competition, and delivers a highly configurable and quite uniquely functional BI environment. Should be on any BI shortlist.

MicroStrategy pretty well does everything when it comes to BI and analytics. Data visualization and exploration compares well with best of breed, scorecards and dashboards are feature rich and easy to use, the reporting capability is extensive and, somewhat uniquely for a BI platform, MicroStrategy supports the implementation of data mining models. This does not however mean that MicroStrategy supports the building of such models, because in the main it doesn’t. More on this in a moment.

The MicroStrategy Business Intelligence Platform is described as enterprise class, and indeed it is. It contains too many components to provide details here, but the whole architecture is shown in the diagram below.


The range of supported data sources is exhaustive and includes big data. Numerous management, development and reporting tools provide an extremely flexible environment, and delivery is via web browsers, desktop, mobile devices and through other applications such as Microsoft Office.

Scalability is guaranteed through the MicroStrategy Intelligence Server which supports asymmetric clustering, shared caching and many other features. Security is also sophisticated and robust.

Now back to support for predictive analytics and data mining. MicroStrategy has to be congratulated on its support for PMML (Predictive Model Markup Language), an industry standard for representing predictive models. It means these can be incorporated into reports, visualizations and dashboards so that scoring mechanisms can be seen. The models have to be built using PMML compliant tools, of which there are many. But this is an extra, and much needed dimension to BI and will assume more importance as data mining and predictive analytics become more widely used.

MicroStrategy offers various packages for different needs and size of organization, and it also has some useful free trials. It is very hard to fault MicroStrategy; they have been around a long time, but always seem to keep one step ahead of much of the competition – worth a look.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.

1 Comment

Arpit AgrawalConsultantTOP 10POPULAR

Martin i really like this review i would also like to add
"For any business intelligence tool the level and depth of customer support is becoming increasingly critical as BI becomes more integrated into organizations’ operations. Better product support results in higher application success rates and helps to ensure customers get full value from their Investments. MicroStrategy on that note has one of the best customer support offering in the industry. This helps you to report your issues and business cases enhancements to MicroStrategy which can be taken into consideration for the subsequent release/hotfix/patch depending on your business impact. The support offering also helps in providing solutions to MicroStrategy developers and Administrators for the issues they face during the development. Striving to maximize the business benefits of a MicroStrategy one should prioritize customer support strategy. Apart from the excellent customer offering MicroStrategy hosts customer trainings events at different Geographic locations as it is important to keep decision makers across the company educated on the tool. End user training and mentoring is very important for success of any BI tool. MicroStrategy also hosts their annual user conference called as “MicroStrategy world” which consists of lot of sessions; it is also a good opportunity for individuals looking for more networking opportunities in MicroStrategy."

They have always been a leading innovation based company with more focus on inhouse innovations rather than aquiring small firms.

In case you have any questions/queries I would be happy to assist. Feel free to reach out to me.
Thanks and Regards
Arpit Agrawal
Business Intelligence Consultant
Email: ArpitAgrawal9@yahoo.co.in

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20 November 13
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