MicroStrategy Review

We've rolled out self-service to business teams to help with decision-making

What is our primary use case?

We have about 50-plus applications that we're currently running on MicroStrategy, and most of these are around tracking demand and supply, profitability, and growth for the organization. 

We've also opened it up as an open BI platform, so that all our business analysts can build their own dashboards and Dossiers and the like.

How has it helped my organization?

We are a data-driven company, so a lot of decisions happen out of data at every level. Most of our tactical decisions are data-driven, our strategic decisions are definitely data-driven. MicroStrategy is now the de facto tool within the organization, it's the go-to BI tool in the organization.

What is most valuable?

We have yet to explore the prescriptive analytics and the SDK. I expect we'll focus on these most, moving forward in 2018.

I think what we're currently excited about is the ability to integrate R. Most of our data scientists use R for their modeling. I heard at one of the sessions, here at MicroStrategy World 2018, that you can put your R scripts directly into MicroStrategy, so any modeling effort that you've done in the past can be transferred into MicroStrategy. I'm hoping it will be a plug-and-play feature.

We've already rolled out self-service to business teams with MicroStrategy. I think it's good. We just need to ensure that there are some security guardrails around any open BI setup. There's a tendency to screw up something when you just leave it open. You have to ensure that there are some processes and guidelines before you open it up for a larger platform. But there have not been any serious issues so far, so we're good.

What needs improvement?

As part of this MicroStrategy World 2018 conference, we saw some of the VitaraCharts. If there are some advanced visualization features - maybe I'm not aware of them - but if there were a Vitara which could work on top of MicroStrategy, it would make sense for MicroStrategy to have that within their own library. So they should add more visualizations to the library.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

No stability issues so far.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

No issues with scalability. As I said, 50-plus applications so far, and it will probably get bigger and bigger from here on. No issues.

How is customer service and technical support?

We do use the community a lot in terms of understanding some of the best practices and the like. We've never really reached out to support because we also have a couple of partners that we work with, so they help us with the consulting and any support requirements.

How was the initial setup?

I was not involved in the initial setup, but I was involved when we increased the number of licenses from 260 to now almost 950. I was involved in that deal making.

What other advice do I have?

We prefer having the analytic capabilities in one platform, like MicroStrategy, as opposed to having them in many points. As it is, we deal with a lot of big data systems, tons of other vendors. It doesn't make sense to have to deal with multiple vendors and deal with different support issues. It's always better to have a single point of contact for our kind of use case.

Regarding investing in the mobile platform, out of the 800,000 odd users that we have on MicroStrategy, about 25 are already mobile. We've limited it to our CxO audience so far, but we will evaluate whether there is a use case for extending it to the larger organization.

We are still scratching the surface when it comes to our adoption. I would still rate it a 10 out of 10 for now. Once we get far and wide into the utilization of the product in the organization, that's when we'll probably realize this feature works better or that feature doesn't work better. At this stage, there are no complaints.

What we appreciate most in a vendor is their being proactive in terms of understanding what the customer needs, and showcasing their product roadmap so that we are aware of what's coming up next and can be prepared for it.

If a colleague were looking to implement this kind of solution, I would definitely ask them to evaluate MicroStrategy at some point in time. 

There's a lot of competition in terms of Power BI and Tableau. To be honest, the country where I operate in, not many people are aware of this, of MicroStrategy. Although MicroStrategy has a big presence in India, obviously Power BI or Tableau become the de facto choices. To be honest, even I hadn't heard of MicroStrategy until I started working in this organization. Maybe they should make their presence felt a little more.

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