MicroStrategy Review

It has striven to simplify, yet has not compromised on robustness.

Valuable Features

I have always admired how MicroStrategy has continued to strive on one particular aspect, simplification, yet not compromise on its robustness. The mobile features have proven to be the most valuable to me. Their Mobile solution is one of the best in the BI industry when it comes to quality, presentation, out-of-the-box features and ease of development. My client has fully adapted to this solution and we are extremely pleased with the end results.

Improvements to My Organization

In the past, our sales VP and directors will bring their laptop loaded with Excel sheets whenever they meet with their clients, but that has now been replaced with an iPad using the MicroStrategy Mobile solution. The BI application now is able to provide the analytics and visualizations required to empower our VPs and directors to make informed decisions in real time with their clients. The application has also helped identify the weak links within the sales structure.

Room for Improvement

If I were to pick a few areas with room for improvement, I would suggest the following:

  • It would be nice to have more visualizations available for the user community right out the box instead of using the D3 plugin.
  • It would be nice to have more features packed with the ESRI Map engine that is supported right out the box.
  • MicroStrategy Operations Manager needs improvement from a visualization and stability perspective. (This is a new feature that was introduced in MicroStrategy 10.)

Use of Solution

I've used it for 12 years, implementing MicroStrategy solutions for both government and corporate clients.

Stability Issues

I have been involved with implementing MicroStrategy Solution for over 12 years and I have worked with other BI solution providers (IBM Cognos, SAP BusinessObjects, SAS BI) while contracting for the government. In my experience, MicroStrategy have had the greatest uptime percentile when it comes to stability compared to the rest of the tools. I've seen great improvement in stability, especially in versions 9 and 10. It is a stable tool when it’s deployed and configured as recommended.

Scalability Issues

The MicroStrategy solution is very scalable. An organization can start out with limited licensing and grow more robust without compromising on the performance.

Customer Service and Technical Support

I would say their technical support quality has been a little questionable lately and I have brought up our concerns to their regional director. MicroStrategy has acknowledged my concerns and assured me that they are working towards providing a better quality of support.

Previous Solutions

I started my career with MicroStrategy and have not worked with a different solution before. On the other hand, I was involved in a project where we switched from another BI solution, Cognos, to MicroStrategy, while contracting for a government entity.

Initial Setup

MicroStrategy’s implementation has always been very straightforward and the organization has continued to strive to simplify the whole deployment process. It requires minimal support from other IT personnel.

Pricing, Setup Cost and Licensing

MicroStrategy licensing structure has been recently revamped and in my opinion, they have done a great job. From a cost perspective, it’s pretty competitive, but one thing to keep in mind is the fact that you don’t need to hire a ton of consultants to manage this application.

Other Solutions Considered

Before choosing this product, I did not evaluate other options.

Other Advice

MicroStrategy has always been one of the top leaders in the business intelligence industry and they have worked hard to provide new breakthroughs in the industry. There are other BI tools that can potentially provide a better solution for various reasons but in my opinion, they are very much focused on a specific area. If you are looking into a tool that offers the full suite of business intelligence needs, you will never go wrong with MicroStrategy.

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