MicroStrategy Review

Data access could be improved but I find the totality of the product to be the best in the business

Valuable Features

The ability of the end user to be able to design and modify their own solutions, as well as the ROLAP architecture that provides almost unlimited scalability.

Improvements to My Organization

With MicroStrategy's focus on end user empowerment, a business analyst can make any modifications needed to follow wherever their analytical thought process leads them. With a multi-dimensional cube solution (Cognos, for example), if the analyst falls into the "white space" between cubes he/she needs to stop and request a new cube from the IT shop, interrupting the analytical thought process, possibly for a significant amount of time.

Room for Improvement

Data access could be improved. MicroStrategy has a data import capability but it only works for data in a Excel spreadsheet or a CSV file. It would be helpful if one could point the data importer at a web site, or provide it a URL of a data source and have it import the data.

Use of Solution

I have followed MSTR's development for nearly 20 years and find the totality of the product to be the best in the business because of scalability, single metadata, SQL generator, and end user usability. I organized a review of 6 then-current BI applications in 1996, including MicroStrategy, Holos, Information Advantage, Essbase, Oracle Express, and Cognos. Only MicroStrategy, OBII (formerly Oracle Express) and Cognos are still standing.

Deployment Issues

Not on my personal WIndows 7 Pro 64-bit machine. I've never deployed the Server product.

Stability Issues

Not on my personal WIndows 7 Pro 64-bit machine.

Scalability Issues

Not on my personal WIndows 7 Pro 64-bit machine.

Customer Service and Technical Support

Customer Service: Unknown.Technical Support: Unknown.

Previous Solutions

One customer was using Cognos and I advised them that they may want to consider switching to MicroStrategy for the reasons I stated above.

Initial Setup

On my personal Windows 7 Pro 64-bit machine. I don't know how different it might be on an enterprise server, although an acquaintance who has deployed it says that there are no issues.

Other Solutions Considered

I've also looked at Tibco Spotfire and Pentaho, and read reviews and evaluations of Tableau. All of these are seductive, but their solutions ignore the challenges of dealing with masses of data. MicroStrategy's single metadata also makes it possible to track every object and action in the system, and to autogenerate documentation.

Other Advice

Look at the complete package, considering TCO, administrative ease and end user usability/empowerment.
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
1 Comment
Professional Services Manager at a tech consulting company with 501-1,000 employeesUser

Hi Keith,
I am not sure what version you are working with, but MSTR 9.4.1 can import data from files (CSV, Excel and Text) located on your computer or anywhere (using URL). It can import data from databases, Salesforce, and Freeform (scrits made by DB professionals) too.

07 August 14
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