MicroStrategy Review

Considered Cognos but went with Microstrategy - we found it to be easy to develop new reports & change metadata layer


What is most valuable?

Easy to develop new reports, easy to change metadata layer

How has it helped my organization?

We automatize daily management reporting, ad hoc reporting, and schedule reporting with fix structure

What needs improvement?

Web interface has to be more quick-response and user friendly. There is a desktop application that is still used. Creation of a report with complicated structure (documents) is not easy.

For how long have I used the solution?

5 years

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

No

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

No

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Yes, sometimes web-application works unstable with big amount of data (it's not actually the big problem for the most cases but if you need few hundreds of thousands records - there could be an issue)

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service:

We have good support from consultant company and we don't works directly with a vendor.

Technical Support:

Same answer as above question.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

Microsoft Excel (power pivots). Microsoft is the easiest and the more user friendly especially for beginners in the simple edition (pivot table). We don't use Microsoft BI products like report and analysis services - I can't estimate how they are easy to use and powerful.

How was the initial setup?

Independently from the tool, initial setup is always complex. Usually complexity depends on the scope of the project. Few reports and 1-2 datamarts this one thing, plug-in data warehouse to the reporting - another.

What about the implementation team?

Initial implementation was with consultancy, further - in-house. Consultant was good, at least they was more skilled as we were in the particular area.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

The most expensive position is license cost. It is very expensive so this one of the reason why we can't expand the solution more widely in the company.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Microstrategy was the first our mature BI solution in the company. IBM Cognos BI was the next but it didn't get a lot of fans. IBM Cognos BI from our opinion is weaker in many places and not so handy.

What other advice do I have?

Nice easy to use product, I can advise to use it for others.
General advice (not depends on the particular product), implementation of BI tools MUST be a general company strategy. Implementation has to cover significant part of the reporting and everyone who need a reporting has to use it. - in this case you will get benefit from reporting unification and control over new reports growing.
There is in the company has to be developed reporting creation rules (who are allowed doing what and there it's can be located - public or private)
BI team has to be fully responsible for reporting environment including testing and describing reports in the public area. BI team in the company has to be created with dedicated analysts who are responsible for making analysis of the reporting requirement from other people and make internal in-house support for the users
BI team MUST have rights not to make reports (at any level of complexity) but make changes and develop metadata layer as well in the BI, - that is very important, otherwise you will have "armless BI".


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

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