MicroStrategy Review

With its single, integrated architecture, we develop once and deploy anywhere

What is most valuable?

The most valuable features are:

  • A single integrated architecture: develop once, deploy anywhere.
  • MicroStrategy Mobile: best in class mobile integration
  • MicroStrategy Office: no need to connect to MicroStrategy web/mobile; open Microsoft Office documents, worksheets and refresh data as and when required
  • MicroStrategy BigData Gateway: seamless connectivity to major Hadoop distributions
  • Pixel perfect dynamic dashboards: high quality dashboards for board-level and management reporting
  • Intelligent Cubes: load data once a day, no need to connect to the database.

How has it helped my organization?

We tried one of the leading reporting/BI tools in the market, but was it was not scaleable for enterprise levels. MicroStrategy does scale for enterprise levels.

What needs improvement?

There are a couple of areas that could be improved. Formatting the dashboard takes lot of time, which increases IT costs.

  1. Dashboard development is time consuming, if you are doing corporate themes with a similar look and feel across all your visualizations. Starting Version 10.2, MicroStrategy provided features to re-use themes and templates across multiple dashboards. This does helps a little when you have grid/graph types of dashboards. However, when every visualization is different, it takes time to achieve pixel perfect visualizations. Having a Visualization Expert in the initial design stage helps with annotations and scales used within different panels, borders, etc., but it does take time to develop.
  2. Tableau visualizations provide targeting from different data points to very different visualizations. There are some visualizations in Tableau which are much better than MicroStrategy.

We would also like to see more visualizations within Visual Insight. The existing visualizations are not at par with Tableau. I believe they were supposed to match Tableau capabilities, but they fall short on that. However, Visual Insight is better for end users who want to develop their own analysis and visualizations.

For how long have I used the solution?

I’ve been using this product for 13 years; from version 7.5.2.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We did not encounter any issues with stability.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We did not encounter any issues with scalability.

How is customer service and technical support?

I would rate technical support a six out of 10 (one-worst 10-best). Based on the level of support (Gold) we had, I have found tech support a bit sluggish. We had already resolved issues with workarounds before technical support came up with solutions.

Which solutions did we use previously?

We were using Tableau, but it had scalability issues and per-user licensing costs.

How was the initial setup?

We did have some issues, but good documentation from MicroStrategy and the Technotes helped resolve most of them.

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

Pricing/licensing is little bit on the high side. Businesses buying this product should plan in advance what licenses to purchase. I would advise you to hire a contractor or free lancer with previous MicroStrategy experience to plan your project correctly.

What other advice do I have?

If you have a user base that is going to increase over time, this product is best suited. Web-user licenses are unlimited for users who do not wish to create their own reports or dashboards and just want to view, download, and use.

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