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MicroStrategy OverviewUNIXBusinessApplication

MicroStrategy is the #6 ranked solution in our list of top Business Intelligence Tools. It is most often compared to Tableau: MicroStrategy vs Tableau

What is MicroStrategy?

Company: Founded in 1989, MicroStrategy (Nasdaq: MSTR) is a leading worldwide provider of enterprise software platforms. With direct operations in 26 countries worldwide and approximately 2,000 employees, our mission is to provide enterprise analytics, mobility, and security platforms that are flexible, powerful, scalable and user-friendly. To learn more, visit MicroStrategy online, and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Product portfoilio:

MicroStrategy 10 Secure Enterprise™ empowers leading organizations to analyze vast amounts of data and distribute actionable business insight throughout an enterprise through two distinct offerings: MicroStrategy Analytics™ and MicroStrategy Desktop™. MicroStrategy Analytics delivers reports and dashboards, and enables users to conduct ad hoc analysis and share insights anywhere, anytime, via mobile devices or the Web. It also combines the agility and productivity of self-service visual data discovery with the security, scalability, and governance features of enterprise-grade business intelligence. MicroStrategy Desktop is a standalone, on-premise visual data discovery tool designed to enable business users to analyze and understand their data. MicroStrategy Mobile™ enables organizations to rapidly build custom business applications that deliver analytics combined with transactions, multimedia, and custom workflows to mobile devices. MicroStrategy Secure Cloud™ combines all of the enterprise analytics, mobile, and security features in MicroStrategy 10 Secure Enterprise with powerful and scalable data integration, validation, and warehousing services — all delivered in an environment where organizations can deploy transformational analytics applications in minutes.

Usher, MicroStrategy’s breakthrough security solution, is a powerful mobile security platform designed to dematerialize traditional forms of identity verification (such as passwords, tokens, and physical badges) and replace them with a single mobile identity badge that is cryptographically linked to its owner’s smartphone and dynamically linked to an enterprise’s existing identity repositories. Usher works on standard Android and iOS smartphones, and also boasts an Apple Watch™ integration.

MicroStrategy Buyer's Guide

Download the MicroStrategy Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: October 2021

MicroStrategy Customers

Allstate Insurance, Barneys New York, Boston Children's Hospital, Buenos Aires Department of the Treasury, Campbell Soup Company, DHL, eBay, eHarmony, Facebook, Four Seasons Hotels Inc., Godiva, Hard Rock International, LinkedIn, Netflix, Pfizer, SECO (Swiss Government Unemployment Agency), Starbucks, Texas A&M University, Thomson Reuters Markets, US House of Representatives, and the US Postal Service.

MicroStrategy Video

Archived MicroStrategy Reviews (more than two years old)

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EF
Senior Business Intelligence Consultant at Logsys Analytics
Real User
Dashboards and other features have helped us excel as consultants

What is our primary use case?

I am a consultant and I use this solution to assist in delivering projects.

How has it helped my organization?

This solution has allowed us to become a top-class competitor among other consulting companies.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable features are the self-service and the pixel-perfect dashboards.

What needs improvement?

I would like to see a single standalone application to control everything from the administration perspective, and also to develop new applications.

For how long have I used the solution?

Eight years.

What is our primary use case?

I am a consultant and I use this solution to assist in delivering projects.

How has it helped my organization?

This solution has allowed us to become a top-class competitor among other consulting companies.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable features are the self-service and the pixel-perfect dashboards.

What needs improvement?

I would like to see a single standalone application to control everything from the administration perspective, and also to develop new applications.

For how long have I used the solution?

Eight years.
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: We´re partners for project implementations
ITCS user
Director Departamento Data Analitics at a wellness & fitness company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Incorporates a set of tools and utilities of incredible analysis that greatly facilitate the construction of elaborated reports

What is our primary use case?

I have been using MicroStrategy for the last 10 years in the health sector in private healthcare, designing reports and scorecards for healthcare and billing areas, with health indicators including monthly and annual accumulators compared to the last few years.

I developed reports that were distributed daily by email to heads of departments and directors of hospitals of the company, with the information of each of them.

How has it helped my organization?

With the MicroStrategy reports, we got the directors of each hospital and each department to have daily information on the status of each center, with the time evolution, to make decisions based on real data and take corrective measures against trends in activity or billing, analyzing niches of activity or specialties that show seasonality.

What is most valuable?

MicroStrategy incorporates in itself a set of tools and utilities of incredible analysis that greatly facilitate the construction of elaborated reports.

The evolution of MicroStrategy in its latest versions facilitates the construction of objects, although it still allows the definition of schemes in the projects that give the reports a lot of functionality in navigation (drill-down), filters, ...

What needs improvement?

It is essential to have a good project partner in the beginning with MicroStrategy to be able to use their full potential. It is not a work tool that can be controlled in 2 days (triggers, attributes, derived metrics, transformations, etc) but I can assure you that there has not been any project that you have tried with MicroStrategy that has not been a success.

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Great!

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Good.

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

No, I didn't. 

What was our ROI?

It is very difficult to quantify the possibility of having the information analyzed from a large company with data from the previous day and some in real time. For me, the ROI is total since the first report was sent.

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

It is important to make an analysis of consumer users of reports that will interact with MicroStrategy because it is what most will condition the investment. It is necessary to take into account the training of the architects and designers of the project to try to internalize them since the dependence of a third party can be very expensive in the medium-long term.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

No, we didn't. Currently, we have other tools that coexist with MicroStrategy (Power BI) but there are certain reports that by volume and functionality, we continue to develop them in Microstrategy.

What other advice do I have?

For me, it's the best tool for BI.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Learn what your peers think about MicroStrategy. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: October 2021.
541,708 professionals have used our research since 2012.
Ganesh Dalal
Project Manager at a tech services company with 10,001+ employees
Consultant
It is a reliable solution for our needs.

What needs improvement?

I would like to see enhanced features in the dashboards. This would enhance the solution in the future, and is currently missing.

For how long have I used the solution?

One to three years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is reliable.

How is customer service and technical support?

We have not contacted the tech support team. 

How was the initial setup?

I was not involved with the initial setup.

What about the implementation team?

When selecting a vendor, we consider all of the necessary requirements, and how it can incorporate the current data.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I was not involved in choosing this solution.

What needs improvement?

I would like to see enhanced features in the dashboards. This would enhance the solution in the future, and is currently missing.

For how long have I used the solution?

One to three years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is reliable.

How is customer service and technical support?

We have not contacted the tech support team. 

How was the initial setup?

I was not involved with the initial setup.

What about the implementation team?

When selecting a vendor, we consider all of the necessary requirements, and how it can incorporate the current data.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I was not involved in choosing this solution.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
MS
Senior Application Analyst at a manufacturing company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
The implementation was fairly straightforward. The most valuable features are ad hoc reporting and the ability to create dashboards.

Pros and Cons

  • "The implementation was fairly straightforward."
  • "The most valuable features are ad hoc reporting and the ability to create dashboards."
  • "The product could be improved by adding additional visualization."
  • "Another feature to consider in the future would be adding some additional offline capabilities without using desktops."

What is our primary use case?

Our primary use case for this product are analytics and visualization. 

How has it helped my organization?

It has allowed us to standardize the reporting so that everybody is looking at the same view of the data.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable features are ad hoc reporting and the ability to create dashboards.

What needs improvement?

The product could be improved by adding additional visualization.  Also, another feature to consider in the future would be adding some additional offline capabilities without using desktops. In addition, continued development of mobile reporting. 

For how long have I used the solution?

One to three years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I have not encountered issues with stability. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

 I have not encountered any issues with scalability. 

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

We have used CognitiveScale in the past. 

How was the initial setup?

The implementation was fairly straightforward. 

What was our ROI?

Make sure to do your due diligence and understand that the tools meet your needs. 

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

The licensing is a bit high per user. 

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Yes, we considered Tableau, SAP Business Objects and Cognitive Scale.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
DR
Director at a tech services company with 11-50 employees
Real User
The Repository enables us to develop something once and use it anywhere

Pros and Cons

  • "The whole repository side of things is beneficial because you develop it once, and you can use it anywhere, in the Enterprise grade."
  • "If you compare it with Power BI with the DAX language, it would be great to put that into MicroStrategy."

What is our primary use case?

I'm a system implementer, so I implement the system for customers. I implement whatever the customer needs at their site. It's generally all the BI information that they have in the data warehouse.

Its performance is very good.

How has it helped my organization?

Users are getting their reports when they need them.

What is most valuable?

The whole Repository side of things is beneficial because you develop it once, and you can use it anywhere, in the Enterprise grade.

What needs improvement?

If you compare it with Power BI with the DAX language, it would be great to put that into MicroStrategy.

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's pretty stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability is excellent.

How are customer service and technical support?

I would rate technical support at seven out of 10.

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

The choice was political: IBM Cognos against MicroStrategy, and due to IBM internal mechanisms.

My criteria for selecting a vendor are, first, that the application software works, and secondly, the support - and local support as well.

How was the initial setup?

I was involved in the initial setup and it's pretty complex, but it's very powerful once it's set up.

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

Pricing, in general, is high. With Power BI, you get mobile with the license, whereas with MicroStrategy, you have to purchase mobile for extra.

What other advice do I have?

If you're looking for enterprise BI, go for MicroStrategy.

I would give the tool an eight out of 10. The local office would get a two out of 10. But the tool itself is just a good enterprise-grade tool.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Consultant-implementer.
ITCS user
Consultant at a tech services company with 1-10 employees
Real User
Offers mobile, In-Memory Analytics, and data connectors to everything you can imagine

Pros and Cons

  • "It scales well. It used to have only a max of four I-servers, but I think recently, somewhere in version 10, they doubled that, so you can have eight I-servers now."
  • "I don't think that they will, but I'd like to see parallel processing, scalable parallel processing."

What is our primary use case?

Primary is the enterprise reporting. That's our baseline. Everything else is "nice-to-haves."

It performs very well.

How has it helped my organization?

If you provide the necessary data to make decisions in a timely and visually stimulating way, then you can make better decisions. It profoundly impacts the organization.

What is most valuable?

It's such a rich platform, it's got so much to offer: it's mobile, In-Memory Analytics, and there are data connectors to just about everything you can imagine. It's a total package.

If they didn't do their enterprise reporting very well then it wouldn't be as successful.

I would say what's unique is that it's a comprehensive package, and wasn't done piecemeal. It was built internally. They didn't buy products and stitch them together. Everything works really well together. It's such a powerful platform and I've worked with it for a long time. It's amazing that I still continue to learn and discover new things even to this day.

We have rolled out self-service to business teams. Data governance is the biggest challenge.

Looking forward, for this year, mobility is something I think we'll utilize most. We're currently on the mobile platform but we're looking to use it more. It's going to continue to be a strong push.

What needs improvement?

I don't think that they will, but I'd like to see parallel processing, scalable parallel processing. 

Also, there are minor features, that I've already logged with MicroStrategy, nothing major.

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's one of the most stable platforms I've ever worked on. I've never had it fall on me, never.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It scales well. It used to have only a max of four I-servers, but I think recently, somewhere in version 10, they doubled that, so you can have eight I-servers now.

The only problem with that - yes it's a cluster, they raised it from four to eight - but your jobs aren't distributed. Your job goes to a single server - one of the eight. If you have a really huge job, it'd be nice to distribute it across all eight and cut the response time significantly.

How is customer service and technical support?

They're actually pretty good. It's support, it's a difficult job. They're actually really good.

How was the initial setup?

Windows implementation is pretty straightforward. Linux is pretty easy. High-level, it's very easy.

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

Take the time to find an experienced consultant. A good consultant can increase your adoption and lower your overall cost by saving you from costly missteps.

What other advice do I have?

I would prefer having analytic capabilities from a single platform, rather than from many-point solutions, but in reality, I don't think that's very possible. 

I can give you an example. MicroStrategy, was very early to do In-Memory Analytics. I think everybody else is catching up to that. It doesn't really set them apart anymore today, but it did at one time. But beyond that, with MicroStrategy you're still limited to a single server, and to really crunch through a lot of data you need to parallel, across servers. MicroStrategy doesn't currently offer that so you have to go to something like Spark.

So I would love that on one platform, but in reality you can't get everything you possibly want in one platform. But MicroStrategy is smart. They have data connectors to open source applications. That may provide the functionality that you need to fill in the gaps.

Most important when selecting a vendor is 

  • the support 
  • their stability, are they going to be here tomorrow
  • release schedule, a fairly stable, consistent, high-value release schedule.

I give MicroStrategy a nine out of 10. It's pretty solid. It's not perfect, but it's pretty solid. I think it is probably the best solution out there right now.

Do your homework. Shop around. Really understand MicroStrategy and the alternatives. Do enough research to realize where the real value is at. It's a mature product, it's a mature suite. It's more than just pretty dashboards. If you look past that, the administration, mobility, the analytics, if you look at all of it and rate each of the categories, I think you'll realize that MicroStrategy is at the top of the list.

There is a steep learning curve with it, a skill set that goes with it. But they've balanced that with the new Data Discovery module that is fairly easy to use by anyone.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
ITCS user
Project Manager at a tech vendor with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
We can create a single report/dashboard from multiple data caches (Cubes)

Pros and Cons

  • "Cube performance and easy integration with third-party tools/products, are valuable features."
  • "Data writeback, and on-the-fly predictive analysis results from R and Python could be improved."
  • "With Cube partition (v10.1 and above) scalability has not been an issue, but the Cube publish time, and temporary space consumption while the Cube is being published, has almost doubled during implementation of Cube partition."

What is our primary use case?

Predictive analysis with R, reporting and dashbaords.

How has it helped my organization?

With the advent of the partitioning concept in Cube partitioning, predictive analysis with visualizations, our organization is able to win back customers and customer appreciation.

What is most valuable?

  • Its Cube performance
  • Can be easily integrated to D3
  • Can be easily integrated with third-party tools/products

What needs improvement?

Data writeback, and on-the-fly predictive analysis results from R and Python.

For how long have I used the solution?

Three to five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Cube publish time exponentially increases with MicroStrategy Cube size. Also, it has been observed that the Cube data gets unloaded from MicroStrategy's Cube cache resulting in reports and dashboards being impacted, having no data when executed.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

With Cube partition (v10.1 and above) scalability has not been an issue, but the Cube publish time, and temporary space consumption while the Cube is being published, has almost doubled during implementation of Cube partition.

How are customer service and technical support?

I would rate tech support seven out of 10, in terms of response and issue resolution.

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

We used SSRS reports, but the performance and visualization were always an issue.

How was the initial setup?

Initial setup is bit of complex, this being an enterprise tool. It has three main components: Desktop, Web development, and Intelligence Server, and each has to be installed separately.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Before going ahead with MicroStrategy, we evaluated Tableau and QlikView, but in terms performance, data handling, and stability, we found this product scored highest. In fact, Tableau and QlilView are less stable and in no way match the Cube (cached data) functionality offered by MicroStrategy. A single report/dashboard can be created by pulling information from multiple cached data (called Cubes).

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
ITCS user
Solution Executive DAG at a tech company with 51-200 employees
Real User
Seamless integration between browser-based BI and Mobile BI

Pros and Cons

  • "​Mobile brings reports/dashboards closer to the business user."
  • "Provides seamless integration between browser-based BI and Mobile BI."
  • "​The product is designed for enterprise. A lightweight version would be easier for a smaller workgroup.​"

What is our primary use case?

  • BI reporting
  • Dashboard
  • Mobile

How has it helped my organization?

Provides seamless integration between browser-based BI and Mobile BI.

What is most valuable?

Mobile. It brings reports/dashboards closer to the business user. They can access it whenever they want with their mobile devices. It also provides consistent user experience similar to the same reports/dashboards on browser, and it is very intuitive. 

What needs improvement?

The product is designed for enterprise. A lightweight version would be easier for a smaller workgroup.

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Not at all. MicroStrategy is known for its enterprise ready platform. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Every software with a flawed design has issues. MicroStrategy is not an exception.

How is customer service and technical support?

I would rate technical support as an eight out of 10.

How was the initial setup?

Initial setup was straightforward.

What other advice do I have?

MicroStrategy needs a certain level of back-end design skill. Choose the right back-end system.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user812775
Department Manager with 10,001+ employees
User
Speed for high level aggregation by using Intelligent Cubes

Pros and Cons

  • "Speed for high level aggregation by using Intelligent Cubes."
  • "Semi-automatic support of implementing date dimensions, including delta to prior year implementation."
  • "Consolidate the functional offering to be more concise in the front-end for web reports, dashboards, and self-service."
  • "Currently, the client view looks completely different depending on what you are building."

What is our primary use case?

Dashboarding first and foremost for financial power users.

Web authoring and report bursting for enterprise-wide business user community.

How has it helped my organization?

Mature product with a lot of features and connections to almost all back-end technologies used in the BI space.

What is most valuable?

  • Semi-automatic support of implementing date dimensions, including delta to prior year implementation.
  • Speed for high level aggregation by using Intelligent Cubes.

What needs improvement?

More flexibility for hierarchy displays, especially tree views with ad hoc expand and close. Consolidate the functional offering to be more concise in the front-end for web reports, dashboards, and self-service. 

Currently, the client view looks completely different depending on what you are building.

For how long have I used the solution?

Still implementing.
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer:
it_user807384
Platform Data Visualization Architect at a pharma/biotech company with 10,001+ employees
Real User
The platform can be easily monitored. You have quite a good overview of tasks which are being run.

Pros and Cons

  • "The platform can be easily monitored. You have quite a good overview of tasks which are being run."
  • "The mobile for MicroStrategy is the best of all the BI platforms. As a separate product for the mobile device, MicroStrategy is the entire BI platform. It is an enterprise solution, a separate unit, etc."
  • "I did not see any additional value of providing one button for installation on the whole platform if it was going to be installed for different servers. You would have to make customization every time. There was no additional value in an installer."
  • "We would really like to see MicroStrategy have some support teams based more in Europe, because for now it seems that there is one person for the whole CE region. That is not exactly what we would like to see. We do know that MicroStrategy supports most places, either in the US or India, but those are different time zones, people, and cultures."

What is our primary use case?

As it stands now, the primary use is just for utilization, the mobile device, and the reports which are built for it. There might be plans in the future for spreading the entire platform to other areas and divisions as well. 

How has it helped my organization?

The truth is that this is not about business impact, such as high reliability. This is something that can be perceived, but other features are more compelling, like visualizations, which have a possibility of utilization around mobile devices with great GUI. Those stories, which are built for them, are something that they can really utilize. 

What is most valuable?

The most important features are its enterprise-based features. The platform can be easily monitored. You have quite a good overview of tasks which are being run. Also, you can see the users who are logged into the platform. Also, the tasks that are not performing well, you can easily kill them. These are core features which are not as common in other BI platforms, like Tableau or Qlik. 

In a few months, we will be distributing personalized alerts to users using mobile push notifications.

What needs improvement?

We hope the new tools will make a huge difference, especially considering the new workstation. We would like to see features that were introduced for the Operations Manager that have been discontinued. We would like to see those features somehow integrated into the Desktop Workstation tool. 

From time to time, there is for a specific project and the focus is that the support is close to the HAPS. We had three HAPS and the fourth one is currently under construction. We would really like to see MicroStrategy have some support teams based more in Europe, because for now it seems that there is one person for the whole CE region. That is not exactly what we would like to see. We do know that MicroStrategy supports most places, either in the US or India, but those are different time zones, people, and cultures.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

In early phases of the 10th release, there were some issues, especially on several OS types like Windows, but then it stopped. It has been resolved, especially the issues with the intelligence errors were kind of serious, but it turned out that after some time we received a patch which worked. It is definitely better than it used to be. 

How is customer service and technical support?

This is an area that could somehow improve, because the support was not exactly as responsive as we had hoped for. It is the reason why we utilized the MicroStrategy Community for solving these issues. 

How was the initial setup?

I did not do the initial setup for the mobile solution, because that was somehow developed by third-parties. Otherwise, I was hands-on for the initial 10th releases, like 10.2, 10.3, and even 10.4.

In the beginning, it looked straightforward, but each of the releases had its own issue for some reason. I did not see any additional value of providing one button for installation on the whole platform if it was going to be installed for different servers. You would have to make customization every time. There was no additional value in an installer. 

This should be an area MicroStrategy focuses on as well as the upgrade pads, especially Enterprise Manager and its statistics. This has always been an issue. Many of the reports were basically unusable. 

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

The mobile for MicroStrategy is the best of all the BI platforms. It has some drawbacks, but its functionality, if done by skilled developers, I am really not sure if there is anything better. Some people can consider, I would say dedicated mobile applications, for example, maybe SAP. Then, it is very nice for the end users as well. 

However, as a separate product for the mobile device, MicroStrategy is the entire BI platform. It is an enterprise solution, a separate unit, etc.

What other advice do I have?

We are not using MicroStrategy's WriteBack capabilities, but it is something to be considered in the future, especially considering the fact that it is a unique feature that could be utilized. 

Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
it_user807390
Mobile Consultant at a tech vendor
Consultant
Writeback enables our users to see instantly refreshed data on their mobile dashboards

Pros and Cons

  • "It's a stand-alone mobile development app that you don't even have to do business intelligence on. You can just use it to build apps."
  • "Building apps is easy. You just drag in your data, and then you drag in all the elements that you want on your app. It's drag and drop design, and then you can customize your visuals. They make it all easy with plug and play widgets."
  • "We are embedding multimedia content in our apps... You can embed streaming video from websites, or you can host the video files on your internal media servers. The video is clear, absolutely."
  • "On our mobile solution you can deploy up to 100,000 users. In our case, we're up to about 10,000 active users, and MicroStrategy's server technology behind the scenes, the Intelligence Server and the Mobile Servers, are very robust and they can handle the workload."
  • "The interface you can design in MicroStrategy is great, but I feel it needs to be refreshed, add a bit more functionality. I would like to see more capabilities on the mobile side, to bring it on par with apps that you see in the App Store."
  • "MicroStrategy is dragging behind other tools on the self-service visualizations, like Tableau. I would rate Tableau as a 10. For the same visualizations, I would say MicroStrategy is an eight, maybe nine. They're still behind on the self-service visualizations,"

What is our primary use case?

Primary use case would be for mobile apps, exposing mobile data to people who need data at the right time and the right location, and MicroStrategy does that. 

It does so extremely well. They have one of the best mobile BI apps available. They've the got the whole power of the MicroStrategy ecosystem, and they just expose it through the app. It's a stand-alone mobile development app that you don't even have to do business intelligence on. You can just use it to build apps. It's pretty cool.

How has it helped my organization?

In the old days - which is not long ago, about 10 years ago - before iPhones, you literally had to go back to your desk to run a report, and your report could take an hour to run. 

Now, you can run that same report, you can access it from Starbucks, or wherever, to your mobile device, and you've got access to information. The decision makers within your company have access to the information wherever they want it, whenever they want it.

What is most valuable?

Building apps is easy. You just drag in your data, and then you drag in all the elements that you want on your app. It's drag and drop design, and then you can customize your visuals. They make it all easy with plug and play widgets. That just makes it too easy. Don't tell my employers.

We use Writeback mainly for regular database transaction tables. It's just a feedback loop, back into the mobile dashboards. You can type into those and then writeback whatever you wrote in, back to a database. And then, when you refresh your dashboard, everybody can see your input refreshed, instantly. It's an instant feedback loop, we don't writeback to any source systems. It's just for MicroStrategy's circle of functionality, an "interloop."

What needs improvement?

Since I'm a "mobile-dashboardy" guy, I would like to see more capabilities on the mobile side to bring it on par with apps that you see in the App Store, like Uber or Facebook. They've got all the bells and whistles - well, maybe not Facebook. The interface you can design in MicroStrategy is great, but I feel it needs to be refreshed, add a bit more functionality. As a developer in 2018, at least I have features that we're seeing in other apps in the App Store. I feel like we're a few years behind with our features, but still pretty excellent features.

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We haven't really had issues with stability. 

Well, in the old days, say a few years ago, upgrades only came out once every year and they were more stable. But MicroStrategy has moved to a quarterly release, so they've got a lot more new features in there, which means there's an opportunity for bugs to slip through. So, occasionally, the Mobile Server does crash, but it instantly recovers and users typically don't even notice it. 

If the disconnect happens when they're on a screen, at least their data is there, and because there are local device caches holding the data, there's a certain offline capability that is just built-in naturally, so you don't need a connection all the time. By the time the Mobile Server comes back, they didn't even notice. Typically, downtimes are very limited.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

On our mobile solution you can deploy up to 100,000 users. In our case, we're up to about 10,000 active users, and MicroStrategy's server technology behind the scenes, the Intelligence Server and the Mobile Servers, are very robust and they can handle the workload, which is impressive.

How is customer service and technical support?

I've learned by trial and error, but I've been working in it for about 10 years, so I've seen everything. We do use support occasionally in our company, for the bugs that we can't find a solution for.

They have different levels of support. The front-line support is okay resolving problems. I couldn't put a percentage on it, but once it escalates up to the next it usually gets resolved.

They've got a robust knowledge base that's open to the public, in the Community. You can literally search any problems there and somebody else has usually encountered it. You can fix a lot of problems yourself using the knowledge base, or talk to service. They usually fix the problems pretty fast.

How was the initial setup?

Regarding upgrades, for version 10, which is the latest version, the upgrades are more robust. There aren't as many issues as in the previous version, version 9. There were definitely issues upgrading from 9 to 10 because it's a huge upgrade, but typically it's the same issues that you're going to encounter. 

Unfortunately, MicroStrategy is known for upgrade pain, so a lot of companies don't upgrade. You will encounter problems, and when you have major enterprises that can't run some reports for days or weeks on end, that's not acceptable. But that happens rarely. 

Version 10, I've noticed that in the upgrade process I have not encountered any problems, so there something has changed in the upgrade process for the better.

What other advice do I have?

We are embedding multimedia content in our apps. Last week, I did a for-fun dashboard. It was all about Star Wars and Return of the Last Jedi. I had some active video in there that I started streaming from Vimeo. You can do that, you can embed streaming video from websites, or you can host the video files on your internal media servers. The video is clear, absolutely.

We are also distributing personalized alerts using native mobile push ads, for IOS and Android. It's pretty easy on MicroStrategy. There is a bit of configuration involved, so you definitely need to have a technical administrator help you get it set up, and your Apple developer to get all the certificates. There are a lot of moving parts, but once you get it set up, the alerts are great. You have to manage them, because you don't want an alert, the same alert, coming to the same person every 10 seconds because they will get annoyed and they will stop using your app. So, there's a fine line between too much information and too little.

We have configured our mobile apps to work offline to a certain extent, but most of ours do not work offline because there are some limitations involved with the offline modes, the performance issues, and sometimes performance is more important. There are tradeoffs. In some cases, we need offline data sets, but most of our clients use WiFi in the stores where they can launch their mobile app, and they're always connected. So they don't need offline. It depends on the use case. In our case, it doesn't really apply.

What I appreciate most in a vendor would be transparency, that they're being upfront with me. I would like to be able to purchase a piece of software that I know is going to cost me a lot of money, but I want them to be giving me their best price and not trying to give me a higher price and then I have to haggle with them to get a lower price. It would be nice if there was a sticker price that says, "This software costs this amount of money." But I think that's just indicative of all software vendors. A lot of people are in it to make money, commissions, so it's just the nature of the business. But I would like to see more transparency, more equality, on pricing. Some people get better deals than others, I think.

From my perspective as a mobile-focused, dashboard kind of guy, looking at how the business intelligence solution looks, I would rate it, capability-wise, an eight out of 10. It is dragging behind other tools on the self-service visualizations, like Tableau. I would rate Tableau as a 10. For the same visualizations, I would say MicroStrategy is an eight, maybe nine. They're still behind on the self-service visualizations, but on mobile visualizations I would give them a nine or even a ten. It depends on what part of the tool you use. Some parts are older and haven't had any "love" in the past, and some areas, like Dossiers, are getting all the love right now and they look modern. From my point of view, I would rate them pretty high, overall.

Think about how many people and how much money it's going to cost to implement a solution. It's not just buying the software, which is pricey. You have to think about all the servers - you need multiple servers. You need a lot of people, you need an administrator, an architect, you need developers, mobile developers. I was talking to one guy, he has a team of 40 people, and this is just building reports. So that's a hidden cost there, if you want to crank out a lot of work, you're going to have to have a lot of people. It's not just for a small company. It's just too much.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user807381
Senior Management- Project at a tech services company with 10,001+ employees
Consultant
The single stack solution will always be more profitable, scalable, and elastic for organizational needs

Pros and Cons

  • "The single stack solution will always be more profitable, scalable, and elastic for organizational needs."
  • "There are people who are using MicroStrategy as transaction services."
  • "We use MicroStrategy as an integrated solution with some of their other CRM type applications."
  • "It has the potential to become a great evangelist for AI and other embedded analytics."
  • "We have seen some stability issues with MicroStrategy on cloud. We have a few unhappy customers."
  • "One of the things that I want to see MicroStrategy do is become more cloud native. Right now, the deployment on cloud is very easy to ruin, it is very much like spinning up separate VMs."
  • "MicroStrategy is not cloud native today and some of their APIs are a little limiting.​"

What is our primary use case?

We help customers utilize MicroStrategy in multiple ways:

  • We have enterprise analytics being used.
  • We use MicroStrategy as an integrated solution with some of their other CRM type applications.
  • There are people who are using MicroStrategy as transaction services. I have never been successful with it. 

There are a broad range of applications that we see.

How has it helped my organization?

MicroStrategy is one of our key tool sets which we are focusing on for 2018 and beyond. It has the potential to become a great evangelist for AI and other embedded analytics. For more futuristic design solutions, our organization as such, is focusing on this area in terms of artificial intelligence and analytics. MicroStrategy, so far, has based on their product roadmap to fit squarely to match the design that we have.

The single stack solution will always be more profitable, scalable, and elastic for organizational needs. 

In 2018, we will be focusing a lot on artificial intelligence and analytics. Embedded analytics will be another key area that we will be focusing on, therefore we will be looking to see how the SDK shapes up and the road map for cloud implementation. This is the next major push that we see. The ease of upgrades and mobile analytics are also other key areas that we will be focusing on.

What is most valuable?

MicroStrategy's multilarity and the range of features which it comes with makes it a key building block of our entire data value chain, starting from the production of data, where you could essentially use the transactions services to become your app that generates the data through to data blending and data wrangling, which handles most of your cleansing and cleaning up of the data. Then, you have data storage and analytics, all the way through to presentation. The key value proposition for MicroStrategy is its ability to support each of these use cases. 

Distribution services are definitely something that sets it apart from the rest of the tool sets. Embedded analytics are a side of this field where not many key players are doing really well, and MicroStrategy strategy has the open APIs and SDKs that can be leveraged here.

We have seen mixed success with Self-Service. There are customers who are very happy with what they are seeing in MicroStrategy. However, there are some customers who are not as happy, but most of it has to do with the process of data governance and BI governance. They need to put it in place together with the tool set. The tool set will only give you features, then ultimately how you use it is what generates value for the business users. It is more about educating the customers, etc., but Self-Service in MicroStrategy has been a very successful deployment.

What needs improvement?

There are learning curve issues due to organizational processes. Most of the time, there are processes in which the user is not sure how to implement the solution and what the other surrounding processes and frameworks that he needs to put in place.

MicroStrategy is not cloud native today and some of their APIs are a little limiting.

One of the things that I want to see MicroStrategy do is become more cloud native. Right now, the deployment on cloud is very easy to ruin, it is very much like spinning up separate VMs. We would like to see it be more modular on the cloud, where people can look and scale different portions of the applications as they want. That will be a very interesting feature if MicroStrategy could do this.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Their on-premise solution is very robust. 

However, we have seen some stability issues with MicroStrategy on cloud. We have a few unhappy customers.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The solution is scalable. A little expensive perhaps, but it is scalable.

How is customer service and technical support?

We have our technical support team, but we have interfaced with the MicroStrategy technical support on several aspects. Most of the time, they are knowledgeable. 

We hear this from our customers mostly (about waiting long times for responses). Those customers that approach us, we have the right sort of contacts to give them the answers quickly. It is the customers that have direct interactions with MicroStrategy where we hear mixed reviews.

How was the initial setup?

If you are a technical person, someone who has all the tools and processes to get you trained on the platform and be able to manage the platform and installation by yourself, it would be straightforward. But for a non-technical person, it could be a little heavier (complex).

What about the implementation team?

We had MicroStrategy train us on the platform.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

As a consultant, we have multiple tools which we are focusing on.

What other advice do I have?

Definitely research the key business use cases. Make sure you have your key technical person trained on MicroStrategy and on how to implement the solution. One of the important things for people to keep in mind is the Henry Ford slogan, "If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses." However, the horse might not be the right solution in this case. Just keep that in mind. I think MicroStrategy has everything else I need.

Most important criteria when selecting a vendor: Customer support is a very key area for us. When we help someone through the journey, we want to make sure of the following:

  • The vendor's equally committed.
  • Has the resources.
  • Ready to support us.
  • The tool's key features and capabilities are aligned with the digital transformation team, which we see around us.
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner.
it_user807393
Senior Analyst at a retailer with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Provides us with analysis on a daily basis and helps us define our forecast

What is our primary use case?

We use MicroStrategy for our supply chain and merchandising, because we are retail.

Performance has been pretty good so far.

How has it helped my organization?

Because we are in retail, we do a lot of analytics. The way that we designed the graph is pretty cool for our analysis on a daily basis, so that we can define our forecast.

What is most valuable?

Definitely the dashboards and the VI, because they're pretty cool for our customers.

Our business users have access to self-service.

And looking at 2018, the feature we plan on using the most is Dossiers.

What needs improvement?

Right now, MicroStrategy is on AWS by itself. Since we are retail - and AWS is Amazon, which is our competitor - if they would move onto different cloud environments, that would be awesome.

For how long have I used the solution?

Three to five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Stability is pretty good. We have been using it for four years. We might have had some downtime, but it's pretty easy to bring it up.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It really scales. The stability and scalability are really cool. That's the beauty of MicroStrategy. It competes really well with Tableau, but data-wise, MicroStrategy beats all odds.

How is customer service and technical support?

We have used tech support many times. Sometimes they're knowledgeable. I would say that there is a lot room for them to improve. The time that I spend with the technical support, if I'd spent the same amount of time doing my own research on the knowledge base side, I could get pretty much the same thing. 

Some of the technical support guys are really awesome, but others...

How was the initial setup?

It was pretty straightforward.

What other advice do I have?

We prefer having the analytics capability in a single platform, versus in a many-points solution, because our user base is pretty small. I don't know if we even offer multiple platforms. I'm not sure if we have tried that or not.

We have already invested in MicroStrategy's mobile platform and it's pretty good.

When looking at vendors to work with, we look not so much at name brand but at technical support and application features.

I would give it an eight out of 10. There's a lot of room for improvement, with all the other BI tools in the market.

Go for it. If you are a retail company, I would say go for it, do a PoC, it should be fine. Because I've been working with MicroStrategy for the last 12 years, I know what it is capable of.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user807396
BI Team Lead at a healthcare company with 501-1,000 employees
Real User
An integral part of our financial decision-making, predictive analytics is key

Pros and Cons

  • "With all the APIs it's very scalable."
  • "I think they're still lacking on customer service. I think historically, MicroStrategy's customer service was a lot better than it is today."

What is our primary use case?

Data analytics, as a reporting tool.

How has it helped my organization?

It's integral enough to make financial decisions in our organization.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature is predictive analytics. We also have some users that love using self-service.

In 2018, I think the most utilized MicroStrategy capability, for us, will be dashboarding.

What needs improvement?

I can't think of anything.

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I think it's rather stable now, compared to where I come from. Earlier versions of MicroStrategy weren't so stable. Around v7's, they weren't as stable as they are now.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I think with all the APIs it's very scalable, although ours is a relatively new company so we haven't scaled yet.

How are customer service and technical support?

In the last three years, I have probably opened three tickets. However, they do not get back to you quickly at all. The longest I waited for them to get back to me was a week.

Historically, MicroStrategy has been a technical solution. You could just call and get somebody on the phone. Now, you never know if you should call or you should open a ticket online. And then, if you get the ticket open, is someone going to call you back? The last couple of weeks been better. Last year, I complained to MicroStrategy quite a bit about the technical support.

I do love the tech notes, I do love the online community. I think that's very helpful.

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

I've been using MicroStrategy for 20 years but I've used Cognos, I've used Crystal, and there used to be another reporting tool called Eureka Suite. I've worked with Tableau too. It was a company decision to switch.

How was the initial setup?

It's straightforward.

What other advice do I have?

We have not invested in the mobile platform, but we do plan on it, towards the end of the year.

When selecting a vendor, I appreciate customer service. That's the best thing. No matter how difficult the tool is, as long as you have good customer service, it'll take care of itself.

I would rate it an eight out of 10, because I think they're still lacking on customer service. I think historically, MicroStrategy's customer service was a lot better than it is today.

I would definitely recommend MicroStrategy over anything I've worked with before. And I worked with Tableau too. If you want some pretty designs, Tableau is a good tool, but other than that, as far as analytics, it's definitely MicroStrategy.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user807378
BI at a comms service provider with 1-10 employees
Reseller
A good tool to help our customers visually see loads of data

Pros and Cons

  • "The technical support of MicroStrategy can be helpful through implementation."
  • "It is a good tool to help our customers visually see loads of data."
  • "Training would be an area that they could improve upon."
  • "If you do not learn the ins or outs, it can be a difficult tool to use. You could do a PoC and get enough out of it to be able to use it. However, when it comes to administering it, you definitely need the training.​"

What is our primary use case?

We sell it as an underlier to our own analytics tool. It works pretty well. 

How has it helped my organization?

It does not really impact the way we function, so much as what we sell. It is a good tool to help our customers visually see loads of data.

We will be using Dossier the most in 2018.

What is most valuable?

The dashboards. The visual end side. Being able to do visualizations is important. 

What needs improvement?

The Geospatial and mapbox stuff that will be coming out should be really helpful. I know that is something that we have wanted: the map. That is coming, so it is good.

There are areas for improvement. Training would be an area that they could improve upon, but otherwise it is a pretty good tool. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is very stable. We do not have any issues. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We have not experienced any issues with the scalability.

How is customer service and technical support?

The technical support is good. We always get very responsive care, but we are a reseller so we probably get a little bit more support. 

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is complex, because of the customer's data and the configuration is time consuming.

What about the implementation team?

The technical support of MicroStrategy can be helpful through implementation.

What other advice do I have?

Spend a lot of time with the training. If you do not learn the ins or outs, it can be a difficult tool to use. You could do a PoC and get enough out of it to be able to use it. However, when it comes to administering it, you definitely need the training.

Most important criteria when selecting a vendor: 

  • Usability
  • Stability 
  • Good support. 
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Reseller
it_user807375
Technical Project Manager at a tech services company with 501-1,000 employees
Real User
It has had a direct impact on bottomline improvements, but users say the interface is a pain

Pros and Cons

  • "Our primary use case is to deliver all data insights to our company."
  • "I have shown our users how to stop using Excel. They would create these vast Excel files, and I showed them how to do the same thing with MicroStrategy, which saves a significant amount of time for them everyday."
  • "It has had a direct impact on bottomline improvements."
  • "Our users tend to say the interface is a pain."
  • "Our data warehouse is sort of static; negative load and that is it. It is not as real-time as we would like. We are working on building that out first to create more real-time, at which point we will work on some potential integrations with other applications, but I don't think we are there yet."

What is our primary use case?

Our primary use case is to deliver all data insights to our company. We do not serve our platform engineering computing teams, but we are working on that. We're actually trying to do that. We serve the entire business: the finance, merchandising, and marketing team. All those teams are meant to use our tool, so we produce a lot of reports for them. We connect it directly to our data warehouse, that is their direct connection to all the data they need to run their business. 

It is performing great. We have built some really cool tools. We would like our users to use it more. For some non-technical people who do not have experience with a tool like this, they were a little intimidated. Therefore, they use Excel a lot. Thus, our big mission over the last year, and we have been successful with it, was to get them off of Excel and to make them use MicroStrategy. The more we get them to overcome their initial intimidation, or whatever it is, the more they take to it more quickly.

We use it as a front-end application. We connect directly to MicroStrategy web.

How has it helped my organization?

There have been actual direct bottomline impacts in terms of extra revenue created from the reporting solutions that I showed them how to do. Without getting into any details, I showed our marketing team how to go after more high value products that they could then push out, which resulted in more revenue. I showed another team how to identify other products that would otherwise be swept under the rug, and because they found these, they made an extra push and we got an extra X amount in revenue from a specific sale because of it. Therefore, it has had a direct impact on bottomline improvements. 

The other win is a lot of productivity. I have shown our users how to stop using Excel. They would create these vast Excel files, and I showed them how to do the same thing with MicroStrategy, which saves a significant amount of time for them everyday. 

These have been the two big impacts from MicroStrategy. 

What is most valuable?

From the perspective of serving the users, the most valuable feature that we have been able to give them is the Self-Service reporting tool. For example, the cubes in the report builder and showing them how to do that has gone a long way over the past year to getting them to develop their own insights for specific problems that they have. 

What needs improvement?

We already got some demos of the next release, so we are really excited about the Dossier. It is going to be really big. 

The other one that we are excited about is the collaboration aspect, where you can ping somebody on a dashboard and it sends them an email. Those are two things that we want, and those are two things that we are expecting. 

Our users tend to say the interface is a pain, which I can go either way. I find that once you use it for about a month, you are fine. But for some reason, some users are maybe not tech savvy or they are not familiar with applications like this. They have a steep learning curve, for whatever reason. Everything else is great. It has integrated very well into our data warehouse. I find it easy to build dashboards and create stuff. So, I am happy with it. It is just the end user has that pretty common steady complaint, but we are overcoming it. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Stability is good. It is really stable. We rarely have issues with MicroStrategy going down. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scaling is something that we also are going to have to do a lot of in 2018, because our user base is going to increase. We are connecting to other people that are producing more. Up until now we have had a stable base of users, so scaling has not even been a thing. 

We have grown along with it pretty well, so I have not had any issues. 

How is customer service and technical support?

We will occasionally reach out to tech support. One of our Dev guys actually used to work for MicroStrategy, so he is our guru. He will occasionally reach out to MicroStrategy for error bug fixing, etc. However, it is very few and far in-between.

How was the initial setup?

I was not involved in the initial setup. 

We are going to be looking for the next platform release. That is what we are hoping for, and so I will be involved in that. 

What other advice do I have?

Explore the Self-Service tool functions to rely on cubes. I will also recommend to teach your users to become comfortable with the tool. Since we started doing this in 2017, rather than having our data team build everything, such as all the reports, we have started pushing it more towards the users. The response has been phenomenal. Create Self-Service tools and "force" your users to use them. 

We do not use it to embed analytics into the applications. Most of the people use the web access. We are working on actually building out more enhancements to our whole data warehouse. Right now, our data warehouse is sort of static; negative load and that is it. It is not as real-time as we would like. We are working on building that out first to create more real-time, at which point we will work on some potential integrations with other applications, but I don't think we are there yet. 

We have not used any of the APIs, but that is what we have just started to explore. A lot of the stuff that we have done, unfortunately, has been a lot of manual stuff. At least on our end, we have ETL intensive processes. We have data sense, which we write ourselves then have to send them. We have to create some job framework and all this really time consuming stuff. So, one thing we actually did start talking about recently is how to get more API-focused work done. That is going to be our goal for this year. 

Most important criteria when selecting a vendor: responsiveness. That is probably one of the big ones. We are a relatively small company. Our parent company is huge, but we operate autonomously from them, so we are small compared to them. Being able to reach out and still have access to people that will help us, even though we are small, is really a big thing for us.

Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
it_user807399
Analyst 2 with 5,001-10,000 employees
Real User
Enterprise reporting and self-service; our users quickly get information and insights

Pros and Cons

  • "It offers us a lot of out-of-the-box tools, which give us the ability to automate a lot of our administrative tasks. Some things become menial: user creation, restarting a server at 10 o'clock on a Friday - simple things that they really give you the tools to be able to do. That's one thing I really like about the MicroStrategy platform from an administrative perspective."
  • "We've made a few enhancements to our Enterprise Manager system to allow self-reporting to grow. We see that as a very useful system. It's been incredibly beneficial in diagnosing production performance issues, diagnosing what reports are running slowly, where the SQL could be optimized, opportunities or metrics where we see long-time running performance. Enterprise Manager has been absolutely vital in giving us some of the insights about our system."
  • "I think we have a huge enterprise-wide push to Visual Insight. Our environment has transformed over the last year. We were a strong "grid to PDF," "document to PDF," that's all we did. And then they came in with these Visual Insights and everyone was like, "Wow, that's kind of cool." We created a static reporting portal behind it and now, it's just taken our reports to another level. The level of insight that you get in a 30-second glimpse, it just revolutionized it for us. It gives the user a larger subset of the data so that they can actually maneuver around, rather than being specifically pointed at whatever your document is designed for."
  • "I like that they're trying to incorporate Developer into Workstation and Desktop into Workstation, so you get the all-in-one encompassing, highly technical Developer Workstation where you can do the VI, you can do the Dossier."
  • "We're starting to open it up to more and more people to give them the ability and start looking at these things themselves, but it's not the most intuitive system, Enterprise Manager that is, so it's tough. We're trying to bridge the gap between usability and who we let in the system, because you're not going to come in and just pick it up."
  • "The problem is the way that their metrics are designed. It can be difficult to understand what you're actually looking at. Then when you're comparing a document against the VI, you can't actually do that properly. So there are components, and there is a huge learning curve in the Enterprise Manager space. I think it would benefit them greatly if they were to exercise a significant amount of research and development in that space."
  • "They need to supply the support system that's just not there right now. They don't have Enterprise Manager classes. You need in-depth classes to understand what those metrics are doing, to understand the table associations from one to the other. You can't just go and pick it up and understand that DT_DAY connects to all of these tables, without going into Architect, looking at the source tables. I, as a analyst, a slightly technical user, I don't have the expertise to do that. Business users definitely don't have the expertise to do that."
  • "It needs row-level security, column-level security, on attributes. I want to be able to handle full-scale security model from the semantic layer, flat out."

What is our primary use case?

We are Reynolds American. We work in product supplies scenarios. In our environment, we work with any kind of volume data. We use MicroStrategy to deliver reporting to our trade reps who go into outlets, so account-level reporting. That's going to be more of our embedded reporting. That is an application that we created in Salesforce that links into MicroStrategy and links back and forth between the in-house application we've created.

But then, a large majority of our reporting is going to be that enterprise application where we have a fixed reporting environment on a monthly basis. We deliver reports to a large majority of our cooperate departments, anywhere from 300 to 1000 users.

We also have second, ad hoc environment, which is more of a weekly environment, where we typically do the same delivery of those static reports. But there is that component of the ad hoc where we facilitate the back-end development of all of the objects going through the STLC to Git, to production, so our business users can actually utilize what's available to them in the production environment. They can then take the next steps, pulling back those insights off of the data that we provide them.

How has it helped my organization?

I think one of the greatest things about MicroStrategy is their holistic approach to business intelligence. They don't put priority on one component of report development over document development, over administrative functionality, and security. I think they have a very holistic application. 

They offer us a lot of out-of-the-box tools, which give us the ability to automate a lot of our administrative tasks. Some things become menial: user creation, restarting a server at 10 o'clock on a Friday - simple things that they really give you the tools to be able to do. That's one thing I really like about the MicroStrategy platform from an administrative perspective. 

Regarding our users, the insights that they can gain, how quickly they can gather information, has been a huge benefit for us from MicroStrategy.

What is most valuable?

I think ease of use is definitely a benefit to our users, from an administrative perspective, as well as a business end-user perspective. I found that it's very easy to get users into the system, get them familiar. 

The biggest part is the caveat of our data. We have more trouble getting people to learn our data than we do the structures, the navigation, manipulation, and all of these things that you do as a report developer and end-user. Most of them are familiar with Excel and it's just so similar that they can pick it up very intuitively. When you start talking about the really specialized data sets that we have, that's when it starts to become a little bit more hairy, so that's not really a MicroStrategy component.

In terms of self-service, we make use of Enterprise Manager. We've been trying to involve it a little bit more with some of our actual rep data, so we can start to look at that enterprise report utilization on a geographical scale, departmental scale. We've made a few enhancements to our Enterprise Manager system to allow that self-reporting to grow. We see that as a very useful system. It's been incredibly beneficial in diagnosing production performance issues, diagnosing what reports are running slowly, where the SQL could be optimized, opportunities or metrics where we see long-time running performance. Enterprise Manager has been absolutely vital in giving us some of the insights about our system. 

We're starting to open it up to more and more people to give them the ability and start looking at these things themselves, but it's not the most intuitive system, Enterprise Manager that is, so it's tough. We're trying to bridge the gap between usability and who we let in the system, because you're not going to come in and just pick it up.

Personally, looking ahead at 2018, we're getting into the administrative side of our cloud implementations. We're really trying to move to the cloud in 2018, so I see myself getting more familiar with MicroStrategy on AWS Console. And even if we intend to go to the on-prem on AWS, I see us getting more familiar, and it's not necessarily a MicroStrategy component, but structuring the infrastructure of the server in such a way that we're cost-effective, we're maximizing our utilization when we can. I think that is going to be a large component for us in 2018, though it's not necessarily specifically MicroStrategy.

Then I think we have a huge enterprise-wide push to Visual Insight. Our environment has transformed over the last year. We were a strong "grid to PDF," "document to PDF," that's all we did. And then they came in with these Visual Insights and everyone was like, "Wow, that's kind of cool." We created a static reporting portal behind it and now, it's just taken our reports to another level. The level of insight that you get in a 30-second glimpse, it just revolutionized it for us. It gives the user a larger subset of the data so that they can actually maneuver around, rather than being specifically pointed at whatever your document is designed for. 

So VI, Dossier. 

If we can get on 10.9 this year, I would like to but we're not big on feature releases and we had difficulty with 10.9 on sandbox, so were hesitant right now.

Then our cloud implementation, coming in 2018, is going to be a big play on the 10.9, I think. There's no point in us upgrading and then going up the cloud two weeks later. It's a lot of stuff, but that's our focus.

What needs improvement?

The problem is the way that their metrics are designed. It can be difficult to understand what you're actually looking at. Then when you're comparing a document against the VI, you can't actually do that properly. So there are components, and there is a huge learning curve in the Enterprise Manager space. I think it would benefit them greatly if they were to exercise a significant amount of research and development in that space.

They need to supply the support system that's just not there right now. They don't have Enterprise Manager classes. You need in-depth classes to understand what those metrics are doing, to understand the table associations from one to the other. You can't just go and pick it up and understand that DT_DAY connects to all of these tables, without going into Architect, looking at the source tables. I, as a analyst, a slightly technical user, I don't have the expertise to do that. Business users definitely don't have the expertise to do that. 

What can they do embolden that system, to make it more intuitive? But also, to supply that support system so that they can get a higher level of reporting.

I know they're working on the telemetry initiative right now, and they have given us some reports in that system, the Enterprise Manager space, that really do help us look at those insights. But the biggest piece is that we can't get to them by ourselves, that's the problem. We don't see it by ourselves. We can't get to them by ourselves because there are association-joins and things that we don't understand, that are causing either cross-joins or any other crazy thing that you could think of. 

It's kind of like a trial and error deal, to see what's coming back. You look at the SQL, make sure it's a synched. It can be a little difficult to get in there and really figure things out.

In terms of features for a future release, I have a whole list somewhere. Row-level security, column-level security, on attributes. I want to be able to handle full-scale security model from the semantic layer, flat out. 

I want to be able to have one report that's delivered to 30 different people and all 30 different people see something different. Now, you can do that today with metrics. You cannot do that with attributes. There's a component of that which, if an attribute is on granularity-one and another is on granularity-two, and you remove granularity-one, you're now going to be summing to a level that you did not expect before. 

They have a long road ahead of them to be able to accomplish it. But, being that we're in a very regulated industry, it is incredibly useful for manufacturing, for research and development, for those in Earth sciences, environmental sciences, those folks who have a lot of SPI, a lot of that data that they want to restrict users having access to, I think that's a selling point that they don't have right now. I think is going to take them out of the Earth sciences space as a true competitor. There are so many out there, and it's a space that they have an opportunity in, and that row-level of security was a big component of what we would do.

Then there's significant digits, which my client team will probably laugh about if I told you that, which gave us a lot of difficulty trying to get to a scientific way to look at decimals, but it's not straightforward and it's a pain. 

Then a few of those consolidations that I mentioned. 

Then, if they could beef up Enterprise Manager - if I could go to my client team and tell them this report has been run three times in the last three months by these three people and they say, "Well, those three people, what are they doing? Why are they running it? Get it out of our system. That's a waste of our time. It's a waste of our resources. It's taking up space." So if we can get to that next level in Enterprise Manager, I think that would be huge for us as well.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We are running into performance issues on the database side right now. We have MicroStrategy issues. We upped to the named user licenses, no issues. Then we introduced some new things to the environment, which is causing, again, database issues.

From a stability standpoint, from MicroStrategy, I would say it's fairly consistent. I would give it a "B" because there are times where we have issues that are just inexplicable. They go away and then we have no resolution. To me, that's not acceptable. There are just times where our users can't access things and we're not sure why, and that's a problem to me. 

We had some failures on data load, whether this is a component of MicroStrategy or how our service is configured, I'm not sure. We just had some issues keeping our data loads running from an Enterprise Manager perspective, but from the production Intelligent Server, stability is fantastic. We've really not had many issues.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability seems great. It wasn't great when we were on the core licensing, to be completely honest, because we were restricted to a single core across 2,500 users, so we moved to named user licensing, giving us eight cores - no problems, whatsoever. You start to think about how you move to the cloud, those eight cores become 16, then become 64 very quickly - not an issue. Scalability on that end, of the Intelligent Server, I think that's huge. We need to figure out the database component of that, but I don't think what you're asking about.

How is customer service and technical support?

We have 24/7 technical support. They're incredible. We have the extended support plan, so we have actually an account rep assigned to us. If you go for the extended support plan, it's unbelievable. You email him and you've got someone talking to you within an hour; they're working to solve your problem. They'll go through iterations. Sometimes, they'll be taking shots in the dark, but it's IT, it happens; shut it off, turn it back on, things like, you've got to do the basics first. But they have some incredible resources on their team.

The majority of people that I talk to, that I get onboard with, absolutely understand our business model, how we incorporate MicroStrategy into it. But it's the occasional person who you get and you say, "Hey, I already did this troubleshooting stuff, etc." and they say, "Well, why don't you try this?" and you tell them, "Well, if you read my paragraph, I've done that three times." It's just like one in 10 that you get someone like that, but I think you're going to have that everywhere. Then you've got some people who know us by name, they know who we are. When we request support, they are the people who come to us. Creating that relationship with the support team has been absolutely incredible for us.

We have had production problems, Enterprise Manager problems, and they're right there every step of the way, going through our installations, making sure things are coming through properly. In the event that we do have problems, they are always there to support. I think that's been huge for us.

How was the initial setup?

I wasn't involved in the initial setup, but I have been involved in upgrades. The upgrade from 10.4 to 10.8, simple click of the button, but it just didn't go through as we had anticipated. There's really no explanation as to why. We ran it again and it went through without a hit. Again, that was one of those problems where we don't really know what caused it, we don't know why our installation wasn't working very well.

Then when we attempted to upgrade from 10.8 to 10.9 on our sandbox server, we spent roughly a month and a half trying to do that, completely and totally unsuccessfully. I don't know why. Again, I think that might be a component of how our servers are structured, the way our registries are structured, the way our security interacts with MicroStrategy, but it's a problem. We're working on that.

What other advice do I have?

Being in the position that I'm in, I see the benefit of having the disparate locations. I love web. Web is great for the business user. I love Developer. Developer is great for me. I do not want my business users touching Developer. I don't even want them to know it exists. 

Honestly, MicroStrategy came and did a demo for our clients, and part of the reason they didn't get the contract is because they showed Developer. The business users got so confused that it just was not good. But for someone like me, highly technical, there's just so much more functionality. I like that they're trying to incorporate Developer into Workstation and Desktop into Workstation, so you get the all-in-one encompassing, highly technical Developer Workstation where you can do the VI, you can do the Dossier. But then you have your business users' side. 

Then I think there's another component: You've got all of your administrative apps in the back-end like Enterprise Manager, System Manager, Command Manager, Object Manager, and they're disparate.

I was talking to them a little bit yesterday about trying to bring all of this together under one platform. They've done a touch of that with System Manager, but not to the point that it's easily replicable to just run Command Manager out of System Manager. The only reason to use System Manager is if you have a large workflow. Otherwise, it will be quicker to go to Command Manager. Now, if they could kind of bundle that all under one umbrella, I think it would be possible. I think it would be huge from an administrative standpoint, giving your developers, giving the DBAs that level of access in one location that would really bring it to the next level. 

Then if you want to take it even a step further, you can start to think of incorporating Workstation, but that might be a little bit too much in one application, so we'll let them bite off what they can chew for now.

In terms of mobile, I plan on pitching and pushing mobile pretty hard. We have an initiative coming in 2018. We're going to replace all of our trade laptops. We don't use mobile devices today, but we will then replace those laptops in two years. That means that we need to get into the mobile space within a year, we need to validate that everything works, and then, quite frankly, we're probably going to have to redesign many of the applications that we have around that mobile platform. We use Salesforce for some of our trade applications which then import to MicroStrategy to pull in some information. With the new Transaction Services, where documents are now, and where VIs and Dossiers are heading, we could get to a point where we're no longer using that Salesforce application, and we're running a full-fledged customized application out of MicroStrategy. So, I would like to get to that.

That will be a large-scale push on my company, but the mobile platform: absolutely. I will be pushing very hard for that.

One of the beautiful things about getting into the cloud space is, it's already there. It's just a matter of us getting it tested, messing around with it, getting the credentials squared away. We've been through conversations of how to get security for people who don't have Active Directory on an iOS device. That's where we are in our talks right now, but mobile is definitely a big, big thing in our sights.

What I appreciate in a vendor is integrity. It's a fault and it's a benefit. Our team at MicroStrategy is honest. When they can't do something, they will very easily, flat out, come out and say, "I don't think I can do that. I will put this amount of effort into trying to figure out how we could do it. I'll put out a tech note, see what kind of pickup I get back." That's one of the incredible things, because you're not having someone who's saying, "Well, I can do this. I can do that. I can do this," and then you're thinking, "Well, he said he could do it," so now I could do it. Let me go out and spend X amount of hours to go and do something where he's going to pull in a third-party, spend $60,000, and complete something. 

I think that it has been great for us to be able to level-set our expectations as to what we can and cannot accomplish, what's realistic, what is pushing us to the next level. When they spot something, they'll say, "That's wrong." They'll laugh at us and literally say, "What are you doing?" and I love that. I think our client team is fantastic. They're unbelievably knowledgeable. Integrity, intelligence, and honestly. Those are my criteria right there.

Overall I rate MicroStrategy a nine out of 10 because of a lot those things I mentioned before. We have issues where we don't really know what's going on. I think it goes back to that "B" rating I gave earlier. There are a few pieces that we're trying to get a handle on that we just can't. I think there are a few enhancements that they could do to make their system better. A "B" rating - I am very judgmental, I do not take things lightly. 

Then also, they need to work on their license structure. They are not competitive against somebody like SAP BusinessObjects.

We had a quote that was almost a third the price, coming from SAP BusinessObjects, and it's not a better platform. It's not cheaper. They do concurrent user licensing, while MicroStrategy does named user licensing, and that was literally the only difference. But it made a $500,000 difference. They've got to do something to make themselves more competitive. Maybe it's assessing your business users and what you really expect them to use, and maybe giving a reduced price on that. But they are already giving us a 60% discount and they were still a million or so above, over a three-year time period. That doesn't account for synergies as we get from on-site resources that are already available, and things of that nature, but I thought that that was a big, big deficit for them.

Regarding advice to a colleague who is looking to implement this type of solution, first, if you can get support online or at least aware that you're doing an installation so that they can be ready for some questions, that is absolutely huge. I know most people only get support for "nine to five," but that, for us, has been absolutely vital.

Also, planning and testing. It's really all you can do. It's just a typical installation. I don't think there's anything out of the ordinary. There are no caveats about MicroStrategy that are different than anybody else. It's relatively straightforward. You've installed a disk before. You plug it in, you pick what you want out of the drop-down box and then you go, boom. But then, when you start to get to the security setup and things like that, you need to be thorough. You need to plan properly, and you think of your use case down to the end user.

I think that one of the most important things that we may have overlooked is getting to: What are you going to do in your two, what are you going to do in your three, where are we going with this? Not, "What do we have now." You've really got to think about, are we structuring this in such a way that in two years, we're going to be so disoriented that we don't know where anything is in the system. I think that ensuring that you have a vision for what your three-year or five-year plan is, I think that's huge.

Again, coming from a project management background I would say plan, plan, plan, plan, and then plan again. That's the best thing that you can do, because implementation is not that long. It's not that hard. As long as you've gone through the settings, you know what you want, it's not going to be a 20 or 30-hour process where you're setting up. You'll install, it'll take 15 minutes, you come in, you set your settings, 30 minutes, and then, boom, you restart the server and you're done. It's just planning. Making sure you know exactly what you're going to do when you do it.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user807372
Developer at a renewables & environment company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Having the intelligence server sit in the middle is huge. It is going to save us a lot of time.

Pros and Cons

  • "Having the intelligence server sit in the middle is huge for us. It is going to save us a lot of time, make our work a lot simpler, make it easier for deployment, and getting the reports in the hands of our users sooner."
  • "It was easy to install and implement a report with it."

    What is our primary use case?

    We have installed MicroStrategy and implemented a couple sample reports just to prove we can. However, we do not have all our current reports from Tableau replicated in a MicroStrategy environment, and we are headed that direction. 

    How has it helped my organization?

    We are planning on rolling out Self-Service and investing in mobile analytics.

    In the immediate future as in the next month, because our other license expires in March, we want to hurry up and just get all of our reporting replaced and have them all in MicroStrategy, then we will move forward from there. 

    What is most valuable?

    We are still on the beginning stages, however having the intelligence server sit in the middle is huge for us. It is going to save us a lot of time, make our work a lot simpler, make it easier for deployment, and getting the reports in the hands of our users sooner. 

    It was easy to install and implement a report with it.

    What needs improvement?

    It is too early to tell. We have some ideas regarding what we can do, because we have been using a different product all along. We will see as time passes as to what we could do before that we have trouble with MicroStrategy, but I do not think it will be a problem. 

    For how long have I used the solution?

    Still implementing.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    No issues.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    No issues.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    During installation I had some trouble, I created actually a couple tickets with the support department and Micro Strategy helped us straighten those out. They were very knowledgeable.

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

    We are currently using Tableau. We recently signed a contract with MicroStrategy. We are going to move all our reports from Tableau to MicroStrategy. We are not going to connect Tableau to MicroStrategy, which we could. We are just going to let our Tableau license expire in March, then we are just going to go MicroStrategy all the way. 

    We do not want to pay Tableau and pay MicroStrategy. It is a business decision. We are going to do one, not both. 

    How was the initial setup?

    Initial setup was straightforward.

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

    They gave us a good deal. They convinced one of our executives that we are getting a deal, so they signed. 

    What other advice do I have?

    We want to do what makes sense for our business. We are not married to one way of doing it. We will listen to our business people and we will do whatever makes sense depending on the situation. 

    Most important criteria when selecting a vendor: We want a solution that we can implement in a short amount of time. We don't want to go back and forth in a month; we want it to work right now. Also, we want to be able to have a vendor who we can reach, and they respond when we submit a ticket. They need to respond in a short amount of time. Even though, they are busy answering requests from other people our requests are important to us.

    Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
    it_user807402
    BI Administrator at a tech services company with 1,001-5,000 employees
    Real User
    Reporting, dashboards, and new visualization functions help us realize opportunities

    Pros and Cons

    • "The reporting, the dashboards, and the new visualization functions. It is very easy for users to understand their data and dashboards."
    • "We haven't invested in the mobile platform. We want to invest, but the problem is the security. We are in the health domain, so we have PHI data."

    What is our primary use case?

    We have insurance customers, health customers, in our organization. The performance is good.

    How has it helped my organization?

    The reporting, the dashboards, and the new visualization functions. It is very easy for users to understand their data and dashboards. The dashboards which we are using in our enterprise, they're very helpful in realizing business opportunities for us.

    What is most valuable?

    The Dossier functionality. We are on 10.4, but we have a sandbox for 10.10 and we are planning to upgrade to 10.10 next week.

    We are planning to roll out self-service to business teams, but we are still working on that. We want to deploy a self-service solution to them but we have not done so yet.

    For 2018, we want to use Dossier and visualizations. We have a new Vitara visualization chart. We are now planning to buy Vitara visualizations and we'll be using that.

    What needs improvement?

    I can't think of anything at the moment.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    More than five years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    Enterprise is very stable. I've been with MicroStrategy from more than 12 years. The performance and the stability has been increasing. It is the best solution for enterprise BI platform.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    We haven't faced the issue of scalability.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    I like them. They have very good technical support.

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

    We were using SSRS and we converted that, and SAS as well.

    We switched because it is a stable platform and we know the good features in MicroStrategy. We have moved more and more of the reporting solutions to MicroStrategy. We still have some SSRS reports, but by the end of this year we are planning to move everything to MicroStrategy.

    How was the initial setup?

    It is straightforward because I have been working with it for 12 years. So it's easy for me.

    Maybe for newcomers it might be a little bit difficult, but they can easily see release notes or get some technical support. They can easily implement the solution. It's not that tough.

    What other advice do I have?

    In terms of having the analytic capabilities in a single platform, like MicroStrategy, versus a many-points solution, we are planning to use it like that. We had different reporting solutions, but we are moving everything to a single MicroStrategy BI platform.

    We haven't invested in the mobile platform. We want to invest, but the problem is the security. We are in the health domain, so we have PHI data. We have some challenges, so most probably this later year or at the start of 2019 we may be able to get the mobile solution.

    When choosing a vendor, the major thing I look for is the technical support; how reachable they are. And stability as well.

    I definitely recommend MicroStrategy. Install MicroStrategy and use it for reporting, the dashboards, and self-service. You can use it as a centralized BI platform.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    it_user807369
    Strategic Services Executive at a hospitality company with 1,001-5,000 employees
    Real User
    Scalability is fantastic. It can go from a small operation up to a gigantic operation.

    Pros and Cons

    • "We pretty much use the knowledge base.​ We feel that Microstrategy's community is a good forum to use."
    • "Scalability is fantastic. It can go from a small operation up to a gigantic operation. ​"

      What is our primary use case?

      We are a partner with MicroStrategy. We have over 300 casino installs of our casino operating system. Right now, we have them in about 10% of the properties which are with us. We pretty much do a lot of custom reporting for them and/or train them how to do customer reporting and visualizations.

      It is performing well.

      How has it helped my organization?

      In my particular area, it has actually enhanced it greatly. It has enabled us to get data to the customers, then have them turn around and create these reports in minutes rather than hours. 

      We have, to varying degrees, rolled out Self-Service and some of it is more IT driven on the properties. Other times it is more custom reporting done by us. They have it as a feature there. They can use it to the best of their abilities, but a lot of times they will bring us in to do all the custom stuff.

      In 2018, we will be using the capabilities of Dossiers more. We are not yet looking at investing in mobile analytics, because we are trying to do something in-house.

      What is most valuable?

      The drag and drop and point and click features of everything that will instantaneously render data and/or visualizations right off the bat.

      We like having the single platform of it. However, we also like the ability to go out there and hit disparate data sources because a lot of the properties that we deal with have a lot of different type of disparate data sources coming in rather than just our one casino management software.

      What needs improvement?

      They have so much stuff in there that I don't know what else they can put in there, unless they can get somebody to be able to talk in there and tell it to build a report. 

      From the standpoint of a partner and what I do as a job, there is nothing that I can see. Maybe from the customer's standpoint, because they are getting into something new.

      For how long have I used the solution?

      More than five years.

      What do I think about the stability of the solution?

      Stability is great. We have not had any issues.

      What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

      Scalability is fantastic. It can go from a small operation up to a gigantic operation. 

      How is customer service and technical support?

      We have used technical support a couple of times. It was more or less at a level that had to do with web Java errors and stuff like that. Other than that, we pretty much use the knowledge base. We feel that Microstrategy's community is a good forum to use.

      How was the initial setup?

      I have been involved in some parts of the setup, and it is pretty much straightforward. It is not horribly hard to set up in comparison to other things that I have seen.

      What other advice do I have?

      Do it now.

      Most important criteria when selecting a vendor: They have a knowledge base and offer training and/or have events where you can network with people from the company who do stuff. With MicroStrategy, actually meeting the people that you're dealing with face-to-face.

      Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner.
      it_user807405
      Analytics Technical Officer at a financial services firm with 10,001+ employees
      Real User
      Our underwriters love the transactional side to assess risk, but the performance needs improvement

      Pros and Cons

      • "The ability to create aesthetically pleasing information by providing dashboards."
      • "Needs ​tighter mapping integration."
      • "I would like to see more Writeback capabilities that would allow our IT department not to be worried about the wild, Wild West of Writeback."
      • "We did have issues with stability, and that was because we were co-located with another business unit, and we outgrew them on the unit. So we had to get to a separate physical instance."

      What is our primary use case?

      There are two use cases. One is on the transactional side. As we're doing insurance transactions, we're using the transactional side to assess risk on each transaction. On the portfolio side, we're looking at the whole portfolio of insurance risk.

      Underwriters love the transactional side. 

      The performance: We've thrown a lot of data at it, and now we're trying to improve the performance. But the underwriters love the content that's being delivered. On the portfolio side, we're just starting the launch, but underwriters seem to be responding well to it.

      How has it helped my organization?

      The goal is for all of our underwriters to see the risk of a property the same way. If I have 30 underwriters, they should all see and measure the same risk. With all of our modeling, we create a lot data. But with these dashboards, we're giving the same direction. So, underwriters are coming to the same risk conclusions on all of our risks.

      What is most valuable?

      Delivery, meaning the ability to create aesthetically pleasing information by providing dashboards.

      In terms of self-service, we have an ad-hoc platform, where you can build portfolio reports on your own, so that's already released.

      The capability of MicroStrategy that I believe we are going to be utilizing most in 2018 is mobile. We're trying to get to launch. We're having issues with legal, around the app store, those types of things.

      What needs improvement?

      • Tighter mapping integration.
      • More Writeback capabilities that would allow our IT department not to be worried about the wild, Wild West of Writeback.

      What do I think about the stability of the solution?

      We did have issues with stability, and that was because we were co-located with another business unit, and we outgrew them on the unit. So we had to get to a separate physical instance.

      What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

      There have been scalability issues which I attribute more to architecture than the tool. Meaning, we weren't leveraging capabilities that allow for the scalability, so we're incorporating them now.

      How was the initial setup?

      I'm on the business side, the design of the metadata and the like; on the hardware and that type of stuff, I don't get involved.

      What other advice do I have?

      We favor a single platform for this type of solution, versus a many-points solution like Cognos. Single point is always easier.

      What I appreciate most in a vendor is when they bend over backwards. MicroStrategy does that, when I approach them.

      I give it a seven out of 10, and the reason is, underwriters love the content. The performance isn't where I need it to be. When I get to the less than five seconds per click, it will be a 10.

      In terms of advice, you need to think abstractly enough so that it becomes a metadata layer that's usable for all of the things you want.

      Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
      it_user807408
      Product Manager at a tech services company with 5,001-10,000 employees
      Real User
      We've rolled out self-service to business teams to help with decision-making

      Pros and Cons

      • "We've made it an open BI platform, so that all our business analysts can build their own dashboards and Dossiers."
      • "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."
      • "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 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.
      it_user807411
      BI Analyst at a financial services firm with 1,001-5,000 employees
      Real User
      The landing pages make life easy for exhibiting, but connectivity can be problematic

      Pros and Cons

      • "It has landing pages, and that makes life easy for exhibiting things."
      • "The architecture is very solid."
      • "If they can make it more stable, in terms of the connectivity, that would help."

      What is our primary use case?

      The use case for this is for our sales people who work in the field.

      In terms of performance it's really good, they're giving good feedback.

      How has it helped my organization?

      I look at the front-end, the website. They have landing pages and that makes life easy for exhibiting things.

      What is most valuable?

      The architecture, it's very solid.

      We are also using the Writeback capabilities. We are writing back to our CRM, Salesforce.

      What needs improvement?

      If they can make it more stable, in terms of the connectivity, that would help.

      For how long have I used the solution?

      More than five years.

      What do I think about the stability of the solution?

      It is very stable. The only problem, I feel, is the connectivity - that has hiccups. Other than that, it's good.

      What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

      Scalability is pretty straightforward.

      How is customer service and technical support?

      We use tech support. They're knowledgeable and easy to contact.

      How was the initial setup?

      It is easy because we didn't customize anything. If you know what are you doing then it's not difficult.

      What other advice do I have?

      We are not yet using multi-media content in our ads, but we will. And we do have a capability for our mobile apps to work in offline mode.

      When looking for a vendor the most important thing to us is the use case, the capabilities of the product.

      I give it a six out of 10 because of the connectivity and a few other things. The main thing is the connectivity, and then there is the caching, so if they can work on that it would help.

      Still, I would tell a colleague to definitely go for MicroStrategy.

      Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
      VS
      Senior Manager at a retailer with 10,001+ employees
      Real User
      Used by all the store managers to track sales, stock, and inventory

      Pros and Cons

      • "​Scalability is the best thing. You can really scale."
      • "It is one tool which you can find everything. ​"
      • "The most valuable features are drill down, dashboards, documents, bringing everything under one roof, and visualizations."
      • "We are using mobile analytics, and it is amazing."
      • "Needs more visualizations out-of-the-box."

      What is our primary use case?

      We use MicroStrategy to generate enterprise-wide reports. It is used by all the store managers to track sales, stock, inventory, etc.

      How has it helped my organization?

      It helps all the store managers and supply chain people to obtain a view of the data and plan the next week, the next month, quarters, and so on.

      We are still learning on our journey of how to roll out Visual Insights to all the business users and how much data input capability should be given to them.

      In 2018, we plan on using Visual Insights heavily.

      What is most valuable?

      The most valuable features are drill down, dashboards, documents, bringing everything under one roof, and visualizations.

      We are using mobile analytics, and it is amazing.

      While we prefer having the analytic capabilities in single platform, it does depends on the use case.

      What needs improvement?

      More visualizations out-of-the-box. That would be my top priority. For example, the cool things that you see in 3D visualizations, if those could be made. If some of those things could be made available in MicroStrategy, that would be great. 

      For how long have I used the solution?

      More than five years.

      What do I think about the stability of the solution?

      It is pretty good. We have not had any issues so far.

      What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

      Scalability is the best thing. You can really scale. It has already scaled to approximately 2000 stores and more than 15,000 users.  

      How is customer service and technical support?

      Whenever we have had some issues, we have contacted the technical support, and they are knowledgeable. However, it never really gets to the point where we are contacting them, because a lot of resources are available on MicroStrategy's support site, which is helpful. 

      How was the initial setup?

      I was not involved in the initial setup.

      What other advice do I have?

      MicroStrategy was a little late with Visual Insights, but it is one tool which you can find everything.

      Most important criteria when selecting a vendor: 

      1. Technology
      2. Flexibility
      3. More partnerships.
      Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
      JD
      Operational Risk Manager
      Real User
      Its flexibility and performance help make our organization more efficient, less expensive

      Pros and Cons

        • "I would try to make it a little more basic, user-friendly. In terms of the UX, it's a bit sluggish there."

        What is our primary use case?

        Our primary use case is to use the business intelligence tool for court data, to make the court and judges work more efficiently, faster, and less expensive.

        It's performing well, we are expecting a major breakthrough this year regarding the analytics bot.

        What is most valuable?

        The flexibility.

        And looking ahead in 2018, we expect to be using dashboards and, hopefully, Dossier.

        What needs improvement?

        I would try to make it a little more basic, user-friendly. In terms of the UX, it's a bit sluggish there.

        What do I think about the stability of the solution?

        You should ask me this question when we get to version 10.10.

        We have had downtime with the current version but I wouldn't put that on MicroStrategy. Maybe it's MicroStrategy's fault, but I wouldn't it put it that way.

        What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

        I think the scalability is excellent.

        How is customer service and technical support?

        We haven't used tech support directlly, we have our partners to help us.

        What other advice do I have?

        Regarding rolling out self-service to business teams with MicroStrategy, we have been thinking about it, but I doubt that we will.

        As for having the analytic capability in a single platform like MicroStrategy, versus many-point solutions, we naturally prefer one platform. This is because of a single, standard mode. We don't have to scatter and search through eleven different platforms when there's only one there.

        We are thinking about investing in the mobile platform of MicroStrategy but I can't say positive, we will, or negative, we won't. I don't know at this point.

        For me, the most important criteria when selecting vendor, in general, are 

        • flexibility
        • and their Interest in work with us - I like devotion to our interests.

        You should have a clear goal, and focus on a single thing for the tool, to yield the best results as fast as possible.

        Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
        it_user807420
        BI Analyst Manager at a insurance company with 10,001+ employees
        Real User
        We leverage it, not only for reporting but for analytics and geospatial reporting

        Pros and Cons

        • "We leverage it, not only for reporting but for analytics and also for geospatial reporting."
        • "In the past, when we had so many legacy systems, with Cognos and others, it was took multiple steps to get what we wanted. Now, it's a seamless integration. We can connect directly, in the form of In-Memory Cubes or live-publish cubes, to the data warehouse, and blend in the data with big data. Not only relational databases, but we can also integrate other third-party files, and create a single-source software."
        • "It keeps BI in the hands of everyone, rather than a developer or an analyst."
        • "Now we can collaborate, in real time. In the past we had to wait for our business partners say if a visualization looked good or sufficed for their requirements. There was no real-time decision making. Now, with Dossier, it will accelerate the velocity of decision making."

          What is our primary use case?

          We use it mostly for business intelligence reporting, especially in personal lines of insurance, because of its pattern processing and other good functionalities, its key capabilities. It's a customer-friendly tool, especially with the Dossiers. And in the past we have had Visualization Galleries. So we leverage it, not only for reporting but for analytics and also for geospatial reporting.

          In terms of its performance, when compared with other products that we have, Cognos, QlikView, Tableau, I would rate MIcroStrategy number one in the above terms.

          How has it helped my organization?

          Definitely in the past, when we had so many legacy systems, with Cognos and others, it was took multiple steps to get what we wanted. We used to extract data from Cognos, pointing to any database, load the data into Access databases, and then some BA or system analyst used to create reporting out of it. 

          But now, it's a seamless integration. We can connect directly, in the form of In-Memory Cubes or live-publish cubes, to the data warehouse, and blend in the data with big data. Not only relational databases, but we can also integrate other third-party files, and create a single-source software. So, from that perspective, especially in personal insurance, it keeps BI, business intelligence, in the hands of everyone, rather than a developer or an analyst. Now mostly everyone in our area, the travelers, they have self-service.

          What is most valuable?

          Reporting for everyone; anyone from the customer, analyst, analytics, we have BAs. Everyone can use it because of Dossier and, in the prior versions, we have Visual Insights. It's custom-friendly, we can blend in a lot of data, single source software.

          In 2018 I expect the capability we will use will be Dossier. That is story boarding. Because in late 2016 and early 2017, no other tool had this kind of story boarding, storytelling feature. Our CIO called for a PoC. There was a tool which was rated highly by industry reviews, which plays story data. We did a PoC. And although we liked the story boarding feature, thereafter, the things that we had to do behind the screens for the story boarding, we didn't like, we liked MicroStrategy more.

          Now we can collaborate, in real time. In the past we had to wait for our business partners say if a visualization looked good or sufficed for their requirements. There was no real-time decision making. Now, with Dossier, it will accelerate the velocity of decision making.

          The other thing is, now we have Workstation and Desktop on the client side. I think that will speed up some development activities.

          What needs improvement?

          The 10.4 release is the biggest. I want to play with it to see what else I might want.

          Dossier is the thing we were missing previously.

          What do I think about the stability of the solution?

          Stability is very good. From stability, from usability, from adoptability for the end user. They're quickly adapting the new MicroStrategy features, functionalities. It's seamless for our users. It's a seamless integration.

          What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

          No issues with scalability. Whenever we have any technical challenges or something we don't know how to, how to integrate, we engage our partners, we reach out to MicroStrategy, and they send their technical support to assist us.

          How are customer service and technical support?

          Tech support is definitely knowledgeable. We have worked with them since 2010.

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

          We prefer having the analytic capabilities in a single platform like MicroStrategy, rather than many solutions. That is one of the main reasons why, in 2012, we switched to MicroStrategy. 

          Prior to that we had Cognos. To do report design we used to go to Report Studio, for analysis, Analysis Studio, for cubes different front-end applications. And it was so confusing. Now with MicroStrategy as a single-source software and single platform, we can do anything. Not only reporting and analysis; everyone can go to one single location and get what they want. So that is one of the primary reasons we have moved to MicroStrategy.

          In the past, I'm talking about 2012, during that time period, we spent a lot of money and a lot of our budget - we allocated something like 20% or 30% for new users to be trained on Cognos and other applications, because there was no single platform. But when we saw MicroStrategy it was a single platform. So we quickly decided, a major decision: Going forward, for any strategy projects, we'll use MicroStrategy.

          How was the initial setup?

          I was not involved in the initial setup but I have upgraded three versions so far. Upgrading has been straightforward.

          What other advice do I have?

          Regarding MicroStrategy Mobile, we have some PoCs which will kickstart in few weeks.

          Important criteria when selecting a vendor include

          • technical support
          • reliability
          • transparency.

          I would give the solution a seven out of 10 for now. I need to play with Dossier and other key capabilities, because initially I did a PoC in 2016-17. It went well when compared to the other products, but it was not sufficient for our requirements. But I went to a few sessions here at MicroStrategy World 2018, yesterday and today and it looks pretty cool. It seems they have improved a lot in the last two years. So I need to play with it more, to see what the footprint in geospatial is like.

          Start small and know your goals. Don't try to solve the world.

          That is what everyone seems to say. Last year I went to a Big Data conference because we have some Teradata relational databases. Most of the companies, because Teradata is expensive, they want to move to Big Data. And that's what they said too: "Hey, don't try to solve the world, start small. Know what you want to achieve and put together a great team, a great project manager, who can provide realistic information at the right time, rather than at the end of the project."

          Those are the key things: the right people, first; the right scope, and start small.

          Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
          it_user807423
          Director Analytics And Data Management at a engineering company with 10,001+ employees
          Real User
          Enables us to embed actions, comments, and use Transaction Services to embed the tool into a business process

          Pros and Cons

          • "The most valuable feature is the ability to actually embed actions, comments, being able to leverage Transaction Services to embed the tool into a business process."
          • "Transaction Services, that was really the part of the tool that made it very compelling for us, because it gave the opportunity to drive action."
          • "I would like to see a feature where migrations are easier. When you migrate from certain environments, it could probably be a little cleaner. Sometimes it seems to be somewhat clunky when you migrate from one environment, say a development to a test or production environment."

          What is our primary use case?

          Our primary use case is to improve our profitability across our field organization. It's performing fantastically. We have over 140 branch locations, over 1000 users, and it's scaling great. Performance is great. The feedback from our field users is fantastic in terms of form and function, so it's meeting all of our expectations.

          Our goal is to roll out self-service, because with the advent of our tool, being able to drive actionable intelligence is just the next natural thing for us; to give the users ability to perform analytics on their own. 

          What is most valuable?

          The most valuable feature is the ability to actually embed actions, comments, being able to leverage Transaction Services to embed the tool into a business process. 

          We get so much more value out of this tool because it's part of a business process. It's not a normal BI or analytics tool that has nice gauges and "dancing bears." It's actually a tool that's being used on a monthly basis, even a daily basis by our operational users, because it's embedded within an existing business process.

          Looking ahead at 2018, I think the MicroStrategy capability that we'll use most is Transaction Services. I think we'll continue to build upon Transaction Services, driving actionable intelligence to the business, aligning Transaction Services to those business processes that are most critical, to help drive profitability, to help drive quality improvements across the organization.

          What needs improvement?

          Maybe a feature where migrations are easier. When you migrate from certain environments, it could probably be a little cleaner. Sometimes it seems to be somewhat clunky when you migrate from one environment, say a development to a test or production environment. 

          Also, having some use cases from MicroStrategy that talk more about self-service, what self-service is and the applicability of self-service to different types of use cases and different types of personas in the businesses.

          For how long have I used the solution?

          Three to five years.

          How are customer service and technical support?

          We've submitted technical support tickets but it's never been anything where it was like "the boat was sinking" and we had to call technical support. Regarding the tickets, I would give the response to them a lukewarm rating.

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

          We were using Excel. We use Hyperion for financial reporting but we got the point where we had to put on our "big boy pants" and get a real solution.

          How was the initial setup?

          I don't think it was complex at all. I think the time to actually stand the solution up was relatively short. I think the complexity didn't come into the actual set up, it came into the actual configuration and development of solutions. The set up was easy. You just install the thing. It's the development that's the tricky part.

          Which other solutions did I evaluate?

          There were other vendors on the shortlist. I think initially, for us, it was some of the capabilities, the enterprise capabilities. And believe it or not, it was actually Transaction Services, that was really the part of the tool that made it very compelling for us, because it gave the opportunity to drive action.

          What other advice do I have?

          I prefer having analytics capabilities in many points, rather just in a single platform like MicroStrategy. I would hate to say that we have just this one "basket." I think there are many different use cases, and I think you have to address the many different use cases that the business brings to you. I think MicroStrategy is very complementary to what we need from an enterprise standpoint, but I believe that you also want to be armed with other tools that may fit other use cases.

          We don't plan on investing in the MicroStrategy Mobile at this time. I think when a tangible use case becomes relevant for our business, we probably would consider it, but not at this point.

          When selecting a vendor I would say our most important criteria are 

          • experience
          • having a tangible real use case that can articulate into my industry
          • credibility in the market place
          • having a bench of talented resources.

          I rate it a seven out of 10 because I don't think there's any silver bullet BI solution out there. The reason I would not rate it a 10 is, I think it's great for certain things but maybe not great for other things. I wouldn't put my eggs in one basket and say MicroStrategy is the savior for world hunger, because it's not.

          In terms of advice to a colleague looking into a similar solution, I would say clearly understand your use case and make sure you understand the culture of the organization before you dive into this tool, or any other tool. You have to understand, what is the use case? What is the business problem, what are you going to solve?

          What are the underlying support teams and resources that you need to actually manage, maintain, and support this particular solution? Because Excel, in some instances may be okay. In other situations it may not be okay. I would beg to say that there are probably a lot of organizations out there that are still running 80% of what they do on Excel, and basic reporting is fine. Some of these things that we talk about like predictive models, that's great stuff. But I'd say 70% of organizations need basic reporting. So focus on the basics. If you focus on the basics, then that should drive your decision.

          Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
          it_user807426
          Senior Functional Front End at a non-tech company with 10,001+ employees
          Real User
          Strong admin, sharing, collaboration features; and we can blend data at the document level

          Pros and Cons

          • "With the new version that's coming out, I think they have simplified a lot of things. Also, when it comes to the administration part, and sharing, and the collaboration features, they are really great. You can send out comments with a filter to someone in your organization, and if the person clicks on it, he actually ​sees what you are seeing. So that's really great."
          • "You can build once and deploy to multiple operating systems. Also, it resizes in the way you want it to​."
          • "It's an open platform. That's also important. You can create your own data connectors. There's everything you can do with APIs. It's not closed like, perhaps, an SAP system might be."
          • "There's extensive logging capabilities, if something is wrong then we are able to find out why."
          • "It is performing well, but sometimes we have complex requirements and the performance decreases, and then we have to find another way to make it perform again. That is what you encounter when use the project, but that's inevitable because if we would have used another product, we would've had the same thing."
          • "You can now do data blending at the document level and data blending allows you to show results from different data sets in one grid, so to speak. I want to be able to create a data set that can receive data from multiple cubes, have it in one data set, and then bring it to the document, because then I can reuse it for other documents. Now, I have to do it in a document and then it's less reusable, because if I want to share that functionality, I have to copy the document, strip a lot of things, and then work on that basic element that I've built in that document."

          What is our primary use case?

          The primary use case is that we want to get away from printed reports. So, not having to print PDFs and send them out; and the whole administration that goes with that. Rather, to make it all digital and interactive.

          It is performing well, but sometimes we have complex requirements and the performance decreases, and then we have to find another way to make it perform again. That is what you encounter when use the project, but that's inevitable because if we would have used another product, we would've had the same thing.

          What is most valuable?

          With the new version that's coming out, I think they have simplified a lot of things. Also, when it comes to the administration part, and sharing, and the collaboration features, they are really great. You can send out comments with a filter to someone in your organization, and if the person clicks on it, he actually sees what you are seeing. So that's really great.

          I think it streamlines business.

          We also use Microstrategy's Writeback capabilities with financial systems.

          We have the Multimedia widget but it's used for reports that we haven't yet converted to the mobile solution. So it's just to have them available aesthetically for reports but, again, on the iPad, so we don't have to print them.

          What needs improvement?

          You can now do data blending at the document level and data blending allows you to show results from different data sets in one grid, so to speak. I actually want to bring it a level lower. I want to be able to create that union of data sets under the document level.

          I want to be able to create a data set that can receive data from multiple cubes, have it in one data set, and then bring it to the document, because then I can reuse it for other documents. Now, I have to do it in a document and then it's less reusable, because if I want to share that functionality, I have to copy the document, strip a lot of things, and then work on that basic element that I've built in that document. That's for complex documents, but I really would want that to be added to the solution.

          What do I think about the stability of the solution?

          It's pretty stable, and if something is wrong then we are also able to find out why, so that's also good. There's extensive logging capabilities, so we quite often able to manage on this front.

          What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

          No issues with scalability.

          How are customer service and technical support?

          It was necessary that they would assist when there were problems. They are knowledgeable.

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

          Yes, we had Cognos TM1, we have Excel. These programs are still in use but they will be less in use in the future. We couldn't get rid of them yet but at some point in time we think we'll manage to.

          How was the initial setup?

          When we started it was still version 9, and we deployed our mobile solution through MobileIron, and then we still had to do repping of the app. So there was more complexity, but that's due to the mobile device management solution and it would be the same with any other kind of solution. That's just complexity because of security.

          Which other solutions did I evaluate?

          We did evaluate other solutions. That's the whole RFP. There are so many things involved before I can answer that question. There will be political answers as well.

          What other advice do I have?

          We are not yet distributing personalized alerts using native mobile push for iOS or Android. We want to do that for sure, but it's currently a "nice to have" and it takes some additional implementations on the server. You have to set up some certificates and then make the communication secure. That's some work that we still have to do.

          As for choosing a vendor, we had our requirements. They were: 

          • the app would be able to perform in offline mode as well because our audience, they're traveling a lot and then what if there's no Wifi? They can't get to their data; that was a strong requirement
          • the speed
          • the iOS look and feel.

          From what I've seen today, here at MicroStrategy World 2018, from the presentation team, I found it very impressive. I also think that it's good that MicroStrategy keeps up with the pace and they also look at what the competitors are doing, and I think that they should really be continuing to do that because we need the "wow."

          To someone who is looking at this type of solution my advice would be to start using it now. I think it will save a lot of time if you compare it with other solutions because I want to be able to create a data set that can receive data from multiple cubes, have it in one data set, and then bring it to the document, because then I can reuse it for other documents. Now, I have to do it in a document and then it's less reusable, because if I want to share that functionality, I have to copy the document, strip a lot of things, and then work on that basic element that I've built in that document., and they've improved so many things on the front end. If you compare it with other tools, which may or may not have an analytical engine, which MicroStrategy does have, with all of the other functions, there's so much. They've built in so many functions. It's such a vast solution. For me, it's the obvious choice. Maybe not for everyone.

          If you have a big company and you want to do all kinds of analytics, it's an open platform. That's also important. You can create your own data connectors. There's everything you can do with APIs. It's not closed like, perhaps, an SAP system might be. 

          Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
          it_user807363
          Data Engineering Leader at a consumer goods company with 10,001+ employees
          Real User
          The data governance leads people to trust the data they have

          Pros and Cons

          • "The data governance leads people to trust the data that they have, and they know where to get it."
          • "It needs better visualizations."

          What is our primary use case?

          We mostly do reporting for the business units. It is performing very well.

          How has it helped my organization?

          The data governance leads people to trust the data that they have, and they know where to get it.

          In 2018, we are planning to use the semantic layer. We are also planning to look at investing in mobile analytics.

          What is most valuable?

          The data governance is the most important thing.

          What needs improvement?

          I have not seen the data-wrangling capabilities in 10.10. If that is not good, then that. Then, it needs better visualizations.

          For how long have I used the solution?

          More than five years.

          What do I think about the stability of the solution?

          The stability is great.

          What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

          The scalability is great.

          How is customer service and technical support?

          Technical support is awesome. I have a specific contact who answers me correctly when I ask questions.

          How was the initial setup?

          I was not involved with the initial setup, but will be involved with an upcoming upgrade.

          Which other solutions did I evaluate?

          If MicroStrategy can do what Tableau does, then we would like to have one platform.

          What other advice do I have?

          Consider the maturity of MicroStrategy's data model. 

          Most important criteria when selecting a vendor: Going forward, it will be integration with other platforms, like Salesforce and Hadoop. 

          Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
          it_user807360
          BI Developer
          Real User
          The option to use various administrative tools, like Integrity Manager, is a valuable feature

          Pros and Cons

          • "Stability is great, especially with package deployments. It is very consistent and stable."
          • "The option to use various administrative tools, like Integrity Manager, is a valuable feature."
          • "Something I would be interested in is more visualizations, because right now we use SDK to create some. If there were more out-of-the-box options, we would be happy with that."

          What is our primary use case?

          Primarily, as a developer, I am administering user privileges and creating reports for analysts and clients. 

          The product is performing great.

          How has it helped my organization?

          It has greatly benefited our organization. We have a lot of products based on it. We license products from MicroStrategy to clients, therefore it is pretty important.

          We started with Self-Service and now we are actually restricting Self-Service. What we do is give access to prompted reports for clients and we control ACLs on those objects. It feels like Self-Service because they are picking what they are using in the report, but they are not actually getting to the semantic layer.

          What is most valuable?

          The option to use various administrative tools, like Command Manager, System Manager, and Integrity Manager.

          I prefer having the analytic capabilities all in one place, such as a single platform.

          What needs improvement?

          Something I would be interested in is more visualizations, because right now we use SDK to create some. If there were more out-of-the-box options, we would be happy with that.

          For how long have I used the solution?

          Three to five years.

          What do I think about the stability of the solution?

          Stability is great, especially with package deployments. It is very consistent and stable.

          What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

          We have not had any issues with it. Usually, a client selects only a couple of users, so we are not up to the thousands.

          How is customer service and technical support?

          I have not personally used technical support, but people on my team have.

          How was the initial setup?

          I was not involved in the initial setup, but I have implemented upgrades.

          Upgrades seem like they are straightforward now. A couple years ago, they were a bit more complicated. There were unknown changes and they would do version releases, then sometimes things would break and they would have hotfixes. However, when we were less mature, it was harder because we did not have the right Integrity Manager tests and automated tests that we really rely on, so it was very manual back then.

          What other advice do I have?

          We will not be investing in mobile analytics. We work in healthcare, and the data is sensitive. We do not want people on the move with healthcare data.

          Do not give clients access to Self-Service or the entirety of everything, such as the semantic layering and creating reportings. It is a headache if you do it. 

          Most important criteria when selecting a vendor: The ability to have multiple roles within the organization use it and being able to restrict it. For instance, there is consumer level access that business users can use, but then IT can use its tools and keep it separate but all within the same technology.

          Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner.
          it_user807357
          Director Of Healthcare Economics at a healthcare company with 1,001-5,000 employees
          Real User
          We have put in key metrics and performance indicators, thus it is customizable

          Pros and Cons

          • "It is definitely customizable. We have been able to put in key metrics and performance indicators, thus it is customizable."
          • "Getting more data to people more quickly. Providing more flexibility for how they use the data."
          • "I really like the visualizations. I like how you can put large data sets in there, then the user can quickly go through the data and drill down at various levels to understand things."
          • "When we come to them with a problem, they might know more of a generalized solution, but not one targeted to our industry."

          What is our primary use case?

          The primary thing that we are planning on using it for in the near future is analyzing healthcare trends and providing more visibility into what is going on within our healthcare spend. 

          How has it helped my organization?

          Getting more data to people more quickly. Providing more flexibility for how they use the data, so speed up the time and flexibility in how they are getting to use the data.

          We primarily use it to support more internal departments. Those are our customers. We have different areas which we support from a healthcare data standpoint. The plan is to enable them to use the data, so we would use some configuration and setup, but then the customers would go in and look at the reports that we have set up or be able to do ad hoc stuff based on those data sets which we have built. 

          What is most valuable?

          I really like the visualizations. I like how you can put large data sets in there, then the user can quickly go through the data and drill down at various levels to understand things. 

          It is definitely customizable. We have been able to put in key metrics and performance indicators, thus it is customizable. 

          What needs improvement?

          There are features which we are not using as far as some mapping and geography things which we could be using more broadly. That is in the current capabilities. 

          I also went to a class on some statistic stuff, R, and all that integration that I think we would like to use. As far as additional things that are not currently a part of the capabilities, I am not sure, because I do not know all the capabilities yet. 

          For how long have I used the solution?

          Less than one year.

          What do I think about the stability of the solution?

          Throughout the set up of some large data sets that we use, we have had to learn more about how to use MicroStrategy in the right way. At the beginning, there were things that we set up a certain way, and it might not have been the best way from a speed perspective. We have had to go back and adjust things accordingly, but so far the changes that we have made have gotten us to a place where we are comfortable with the speed and usability. 

          How are customer service and technical support?

          My team has a little bit, I have not personally. I know they have used support for some administrative stuff, but I do know our team is very hands-on. They will go research stuff on their own, too. They use a combination of the two, but I have not heard of any specific issues per se. I would say one thing that I probably get from a lot of customers is that based on our industry, they do not necessarily understand our industry as much as we do. Therefore, when we come to them with a problem, they might know more of a generalized solution, but not one targeted to our industry. 

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

          We are currently using a combination of Excel, SQL, and ad hoc queries.

          I am new to this position. I have been there a year. I got a glimpse of some of the things we were using it for initially and realized that the tool is a lot more powerful than what we were using it for. I do not believe we were leveraging it to its full capabilities. Being able to get the right data to the right people in a timely manner is really important, and I saw a lot of opportunity to use that tool to solve some problems that I currently had. I do not know where it is going to end, but we are trying to leverage it as much as possible and build out the capabilities. 

          How was the initial setup?

          Some stuff is easier than others. Throughout this big project that we are working on now, there have been challenges and hurdles. We have worked through those one at a time. It is user-friendly in some aspects, but in others, you definitely have to do some research to figure out the right way to fine-tune things. 

          Which other solutions did I evaluate?

          When I took the position we were already using MicroStrategy. We actually looked at Tableau 2 as an alternative, but we decided to stick with Micro Strategy because we thought it was a better solution for our business. 

          What other advice do I have?

          Make sure you have the right people and the right training going into the development aspect of it. Really understand the tool, its capabilities, and features before you start doing large scale development. 

          I like the capabilities MicroStrategy offers. I do not know if it would be the only solution, but it has a lot of capabilities that we are still learning to understand better. We are probably looking at investing in mobile analytics at some point in the future.

          Most important criteria when selecting a vendor: Attention to the customer's needs and having support here when we need it. 

          Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
          it_user807354
          Senior BI Developer at a individual & family service with 501-1,000 employees
          Real User
          It takes a very short amount of time to build a report. Tech support is not consistent with its responsiveness.

          Pros and Cons

          • "Reports are very easy to create. It takes a very short amount of time to build a report, which is very useful."
          • "The most valuable features are the Visual Insights and the visualizations."
          • "Sometimes you can do something in reports, but you cannot do the same thing in documents."

          What is our primary use case?

          We obtain all the data from different data sources and put them together. I report to different subject areas like finance, operations, product, etc.

          The product is performing well.

          How has it helped my organization?

          Reports are very easy to create. It takes a very short amount of time to build a report, which is very useful. It is very easy to access them from my desktop and web (everywhere). When someone logs in, they can simply see all the reports. It is easy to schedule them.

          We are running Self-Service to our business teams now. It is good.

          We prefer a many point solution right now due to different areas of the business, because they are asking for different things. Some functionality is easier to be built in different products. Therefore, I have found MicroStrategy to be probably doing 80% of everything, but there is 20% left that is easier with other tools with different types of visualizations slicing and dicing the data.

          In 2018, we plan on using Dossier.

          What is most valuable?

          The most valuable features are the Visual Insights and the visualizations.

          We are using the mobile analytics of MicroStrategy. It is in production.

          What needs improvement?

          It's just very small technical things. Sometimes you can do something on attributes in documents RSDs, but then you can't do the same thing in Visual Insights or Dossier. Just being able to do everything across everything. Sometimes you can do something in reports, but you cannot do the same thing in documents. So, it is expected that you should be able to do everything everywhere. 

          For how long have I used the solution?

          Less than one year.

          What do I think about the stability of the solution?

          It is stable.

          What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

          It is fine. Halfway there.

          If you make it much bigger, some performance issues come up. On a smaller scale, it's performing well. For us, it is not that big, so it is good. However, we are not going to add more on it.

          How are customer service and technical support?

          For technical support, it depends. Sometimes, they are very quick and very supportive. Sometimes, nothing comes back. Sometimes, I give them a 10 out of 10, and sometimes, I give them a two out of 10. The problems are mostly in L2 or L3.

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

          I was not involved.

          How was the initial setup?

          The initial setup was straightforward.

          What other advice do I have?

          If you want an enterprise solution, definitely go with MicroStrategy. If you want something for a small business area, like your HR needs some reporting or your finance needs some reporting, go with a different tool.

          Most important criteria when selecting a vendor: Just price. First thing is price. For larger companies, maybe price is not a big issue, but for a company of our size, price is important. Being able to address all the issues or all the capabilities that we require, it is very important. The support, the training, and all these things that come with the product, that is also important. 

          Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
          TE
          Sales Performance Manager at a government with 10,001+ employees
          Real User
          Can build customization in reports for different groups​, but needs to improve the analytic speed

          Pros and Cons

          • "I have never had any problems with the stability."
          • "The most valuable feature is the ability to build reports, then customize for different groups instead of having to build multiple reports. Therefore, the ability to build customization in the reports for different groups."
          • "It drives us away from Excel. For what it is for, it is good. You can't run a business on Excel."
          • "The analytic speed would probably be what I would look for in terms of improvement because we have super huge data, and if I do not build views on top of data, then reports render really slowly.​"
          • "I prefer the capabilities of a single platform, but it does not always work. We are a huge company. Some areas do not use MicroStrategy, so you have to blend whatever systems they are using together to get the data points that you are looking for."

          What is our primary use case?

          We use it in sales and product analytics. We are using it for reporting at a national level, so we use it for a lot of different reporting for a lot of different groups. It actually works really well.

          How has it helped my organization?

          It drives us away from Excel. For what it is for, it is good. You can't run a business on Excel.

          Some things are easier, some things are harder. A lot of things are easier.

          We have some self-service reports and some of those went really well. It depends on the level. When you get to the executive level, they do not want to go out and run a dashboard. They love dashboards, but they don't want to run them. They want someone to send it to them and that does not work well for MicroStrategy. If I am going to run it and send it to you, I did not need MicroStrategy to do it. 

          We will probably shift away from mobile because we are doing away with iPads. We have tablets or convertible computers, so there is no need to use mobile on those.

          What is most valuable?

          The most valuable feature is the ability to build reports, then customize for different groups instead of having to build multiple reports. Therefore, the ability to build customization in the reports for different groups.

          I am happy with the UI.

          What needs improvement?

          The analytic speed would probably be what I would look for in terms of improvement because we have super huge data, and if I do not build views on top of data, then reports render really slowly.

          Higher management does not have time to run reports. They need somebody to give them the bottom line.

          I prefer the capabilities of a single platform, but it does not always work. We are a huge company. Some areas do not use MicroStrategy, so you have to blend whatever systems they are using together to get the data points that you are looking for.

          For how long have I used the solution?

          More than five years.

          What do I think about the stability of the solution?

          I have never had problems with the stability.

          What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

          No issues.

          How is customer service and technical support?

          I have not used technical support.

          How was the initial setup?

          I was involved in the upgrading, not the initial setup. We did not have any issues with the upgrades.

          Which other solutions did I evaluate?

          We actually researched some of the other solutions. For options, price, and customer acceptance, this product has worked well for us.

          What other advice do I have?

          We are happy, so far. It has worked well for us. 

          Most important criteria when selecting a vendor: 

          • Ease of use
          • Customer acceptance (my customers are internal), if I build it and they won't use it, then it is useless. 
          Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
          it_user807348
          Software Development Management
          Real User
          It has a robust, analytical platform that we use for self-service analytics

          Pros and Cons

          • "​Technical support is knowledgeable. The right person gets back to us whenever we email them."
          • "It definitely impacts people, who are excited to use it."
          • "Sometimes, it has become too complex to upgrade and adjust to the ecosystem.​"
          • "Needs more visual essence and connectors for the ecosystems, which would be easy to use."
          • "Scalability is something which will need to be improved when it goes to a bigger audience."

          What is our primary use case?

          Our primary use case is to use for the self-service analytics and data sense, mostly in terms of the analytical platform.

          How has it helped my organization?

          We cannot measure in terms of values or pounds. However, it definitely impacts people, who are excited to use it.

          We are looking forward to distributing personalized alerts to our users using the native mobile push notification systems. We will also eventually configure our mobile apps to work offline.

          What is most valuable?

          • Visual Insight; now Dossiers
          • Its robust, analytical predictor
          • How we can enable program leaders, so they can be enabled to do their own jobs rather than depending on IT.
          • We are using MicroStrategy's Writeback capabilities for retail.

          What needs improvement?

          Sometimes, it has become too complex to upgrade and adjust to the ecosystem in general.

          Needs more visual essence and connectors for the ecosystems, which would be easy to use. Easy to use in corporate and to implement in the ecosystem, and not too complex in terms of implementing and enabling, then that is what we will do.

          For how long have I used the solution?

          More than five years.

          What do I think about the stability of the solution?

          Stability is good.

          What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

          Scalability is something which will need to be improved when it goes to a bigger audience. 

          How are customer service and technical support?

          Technical support is knowledgeable. The right person gets back to us whenever we email them. I would rate them as an eight out of 10, most of the time.

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

          No.

          How was the initial setup?

          The initial setup is in-between straightforward and complex. It is not too complex.

          What about the implementation team?

          We did it on our own, but sometimes we had some challenges, such as you do not know how it will react. This is one of the things which comes with usability. We would try to reach out to technical support for their help when this happened.

          What other advice do I have?

          Most important criteria when selecting a vendor: We look for their capabilities, what they have developed, and what they are up to in terms of innovation and creativity. Mostly, we consider that if you are creative, you can do anything.

          Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
          it_user807345
          BI Engineer at a tech services company with 1,001-5,000 employees
          Real User
          Users are able to drag and drop data, then create their own reports

          Pros and Cons

          • "Having the analytics capabilities on a single platform."
          • "The usability for users to be able to drag and drop, then create their own reports."
          • "​I have had a lot of projects where we had a lot of users, like thousands of users, and the data was in one report which could bring in six million records. MicroStrategy is doing a good job on scalability."
          • "​There is room for improvement on the graphs."
          • "They need to improve the web."
          • "I know we are not competing against Tableau, but MicroStrategy needs to step up its game on the GUI side.​"

          What is our primary use case?

          Currently, we are using MicroStrategy to provide Self-Service to clients. We have different departments in our company, like finance, accounting, and so on. We provided different projects for them and they are loving the product. We have approximately 200 users, and they have different roles from user to analyst to power users.

          How has it helped my organization?

          It improved a lot because coming from using Excel files, then using Oracle OBIEE, there is more flexibility now. The product is more scalable. We can support multiple platforms and different users. It is really good.

          In 2018, we will be looking at Dossier and it collaboration aspect, which will be good for us. 

          The future plan is to also introduce mobile, but right now we are in the infancy stage. We are trying to introduce the ad hoc reporting, and once we get in-depth in it and we make it sticky enough, then we will move to mobile.

          What is most valuable?

          • A single version of the truth.
          • Having the analytics capabilities on a single platform.
          • The usability for users to be able to drag and drop, then create their own reports.

          What needs improvement?

          • There is room for improvement on the graphs. 
          • They need to improve the web. 
          • I know we are not competing against Tableau, but MicroStrategy needs to step up its game on the GUI side.

          What do I think about the stability of the solution?

          I have been using MicroStrategy for a long time, so I know how stable it is. It depends on how you structure it and how you architecture it. Once you are done with the basics, it is pretty stable

          What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

          I have had a lot of projects where we had a lot of users, like thousands of users, and the data was in one report which could bring in six million records. MicroStrategy is doing a good job on scalability.

          How is customer service and technical support?

          It has gotten better. Before you had to go through Level 2, then Level 3 of support to get your questions answered. Now, even Level 1 could answer your intermediate questions, though there is still room for improvement.

          How was the initial setup?

          I did not do the initial setup at this company, but at my previous company where I did installation, upgrades, and configurations.

          The initial setup is straightforward for me, but it could vary from person to person. It is pretty straightforward, but you have to know the key words and so on, like project source. There is definitely a learning curve, but once you get to know it, everything is straightforward.

          What other advice do I have?

          Give the product a try.

          The most important criteria when selecting a vendor: 

          • Flexibility
          • Performance
          • Scalability. 
          Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
          BC
          Enterprise Analytics Manager at a retailer with 1,001-5,000 employees
          Real User
          The subscription model is excellent. About half of our reporting comes out of the subscription.

          Pros and Cons

          • "Tech support has been great, very responsive. We usually hear back within a day.​ We usually email them and that works out perfect. The right person always gets back to us."
          • "The scalability is great. It was one of the selling points for us on MicroStrategy."
          • "The subscription model is excellent. About half of our reporting comes out of the subscription, and from there, the ease of use in dragging and dropping reporting objects."
          • "I like the user interface and the experience has been great."
          • "​There are a lot of offerings, and we are not fully using everything to its advantage."
          • "There are some challenges in our organization on how we store the data."

          What is our primary use case?

          It is performing very well. We meet once a week in the organization and talk about the performance of the prior week. There are a lot of things going on. We sell a lot of product to a lot of customers for a lot of different reasons. Therefore, MicroStrategy gives us the opportunity to dig into the data and find out what the story was.

          How has it helped my organization?

          It has certainly given people the ability to ask more questions and get more answers. It has made them even hungrier for the data.

          In 2018, we are eager to start the mobile platform, because we are going to create a sense of urgency in developing more tools, then just creating more reporting solutions.

          What is most valuable?

          I like the user interface and the experience has been great.

          The subscription model is excellent. About half of our reporting comes out of the subscription, and from there, the ease of use in dragging and dropping reporting objects.

          Business systems are always going to have reporting solutions. A single platform is a good way to centralize it. I do not want to take data out of the database system unless I need to. When I do need to, that is when I am going to use MicroStrategy.

          We have rolled out Self-Service to our business teams. It has been pretty good. It can be a challenge and change, but when people see why we are offering them a solution that is governed by the analytics team, they get a better sense of saying, "Okay, all the work is done for me. I can just get this, and access it."

          What needs improvement?

          There are a lot of offerings, and we are not fully using everything to its advantage.

          There are some challenges in our organization on how we store the data. However, if you are throwing something at it and expecting it to give you the one true answer, you got to do some homework before that.

          What do I think about the stability of the solution?

          Their business practices and the solution itself are in sync with our business strategies, so I am very confident.

          What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

          The scalability is great. It was one of the selling points for us on MicroStrategy.

          We have not scaled yet, but we should be soon.

          How are customer service and technical support?

          Tech support has been great, very responsive. We usually hear back within a day. We usually email them and that works out perfect. The right person always gets back to us.

          We usually hear about updates every couple of months. 

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

          We were actually giving people SQL access to the database and certain people had it, but not everybody. While we had bottlenecks before, the bottleneck just got wider and the need to consume data got bigger. We really needed a more holistic solution that was governed and defined by a team to get the one single truth.

          How was the initial setup?

          The initial setup was pretty straightforward. We had some help installing it, but it made sense for what we were doing.

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

          The price was good. We have had great support along the way. 

          Which other solutions did I evaluate?

          We actually had Birst and Qlik on the shortlist. What made us choose MicroStrategy was its longer term benefits. While the other solutions seemed flashier, we would actually grow out of those solutions within a year or two.

          What other advice do I have?

          The biggest thing is to think about the people involved with the software process, not just the people installing the software or administrating the software, but the people who are going to use it. Then, you need understand how you maintain adoption throughout implementation and post-implementation. 

          How do you keep people hungry for the data? You have to make yourself available. It is critical for whatever solution you choose, because if you do not offer adoption, ways to help train, or think about the end use cases, then you are dead in the water.

          Most important criteria when selecting a vendor: 

          • Scalability
          • The administrative tools
          • Managing the reporting solutions
          • The user interface. 

          Pretty much everybody needs to be pleased.

          Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
          it_user807339
          Senior Applications Developer at a comms service provider with 10,001+ employees
          Real User
          Provides us charts and graphs for reporting. The UI seems klutzy with its manual entry.

          Pros and Cons

          • "It is always nice to have one solution in a single platform. You can do pretty much everything, instead of having to get a little bit here or a little bit there."
          • "Provides us charts and graphs for reporting."
          • "The UI seems klutzy with its manual entry."
          • "We would like access to more storage and access to more metadata to build the right programs that can construct all the stuff for us instead of us having to type it in all the time."
          • "We have the mobile server. We have not used it. That is because the people on our team have not been trained on it yet, but that is something that we want to do."

          What is our primary use case?

          We use it for reporting. The performance is okay.

          We are eventually looking to automate everything in our process.

          How has it helped my organization?

          What we are trying to do is eliminate the need for them to actually do anything Self-Service. We are trying to establish interface agreements so we no longer have to deliver Excel files, and things will just be there when they need it. 

          For example: They tell us what we need. We put it in the batch. It gets put to them right when they need it, right where they need it, then they can just process it. Therefore, we can automate everything. 

          In 2018, we are going to be using the pretty charts and graphs. What I want to do is move us more towards using machine learning artificial intelligent type capabilities in order to process all our data. It is a 100 terabyte database. You can't just aggregate everything up to a day or a month and say you understand everything. We are going to have to have some automated features. Therefore, we can actually parse the data and do some doppelganger analysis, then we can get some of our things solved. 

          What is most valuable?

          It is always nice to have one solution in a single platform. I think that was part of the reason for selecting MicroStrategy. You can do pretty much everything, instead of having to get a little bit here or a little bit there.

          I don't think we have actually taken advantage of anything that differentiates it from any other product. All the reports are very simple and straightforward. We probably could have worked with any application, but we chose MicroStrategy. 

          What needs improvement?

          I hate the user interface. I hate having to sit down and put in every little thing. It is almost like we are always having a start from scratch in order to build something new or to build something similar to what was there before. It seems klutzy. 

          We would like access to more storage and access to more metadata to build the right programs that can construct all the stuff for us instead of us having to type it in all the time. 

          We have the mobile server. We have not used it. That is because the people on our team have not been trained on it yet, but that is something that we want to do. We would like to have everybody with a phone, but again, this gets into what KPIs are you going to put on this phone that are going to be immediately accessible and actually usable because we have got thousands of them. If we put two or three on there, we do not have one RF engineer that is just going to use two or three. 

          We are unable to boil everything down to a number, like Nike did with their shoes, your exercise, your workout routines, etc. We don't have that capability. We are really going to have to lead the realm of pretty charts and graphs and build an AI. 

          What do I think about the stability of the solution?

          It has performed fine. There have been instances where we wish it could have perform better. My suspicion is a lack of expertise on our end. We probably need some consulting help. We have not had time to go out and try to acquire it, but performance is fine for right now.

          What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

          We have seen that it scaled in other places, and it works, so it is possible. 

          How are customer service and technical support?

          I have not used support, but I know a couple of my team members have. They did come through for us. I am not sure if it was tech support or if it was sales support. I can't remember when they did that, because there was a person that was helping us almost full-time to get the product implemented and get some of our first reports to them. 

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

          No. We were producing Excel spreadsheets and putting them out in order for people to consume, then we produced those. Now, they are just in reports that we can access over a website instead of pulling it down from our file server. 

          I think that trying to get into all the analytics and all of the visualizations is what turned everybody on: the colors, the pretty charts, etc. I do not think they really know how to use it yet, but we will get there eventually. 

          How was the initial setup?

          I was not involved in the initial setup.

          Which other solutions did I evaluate?

          At corporate, up in the C-Suite office, they had chosen MicroStrategy. We wanted to fall in line with them. That ended up being the primary reason why we chose MicroStrategy rather than just going to jQuery and making a web page with some jQuery objects in it. 

          What other advice do I have?

          MicroStrategy is probably overkill for what you are going to use it for. Just like when we were in school at tech studying electrical engineering. We studied all calculus, then finally, you get up into the upper echelons of electrical engineering at a bachelor's level and it is all algebra. 

          You did not use your calculus. That is what this product is. 

          Most important criteria when selecting a vendor:

          • Functional capabilities
          • Tech support.
          Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
          it_user807336
          FPNA Analysts at a mining and metals company with 1,001-5,000 employees
          Real User
          We use it for operations and sales data analysis

          Pros and Cons

          • "We prefer having our analytics capabilities in a single platform, which MicroStrategy's offers."
          • "We are using it for operations analysis and sales data analysis."
          • "Getting our data to work with the tool is where we are having issues.​"

          What is our primary use case?

          We are using it for operations analysis and sales data analysis.

          How has it helped my organization?

          We are still getting it setup, so it is hard to say how it is going to perform. We are not really live yet. We are in the setup and test phase.

          We do plan on rolling out the Self-Service to our business teams.

          What is most valuable?

          The dashboarding is probably the best feature for us. It is something that we have not had in the past.

          We prefer having our analytics capabilities in a single platform, which MicroStrategy's offers.

          In 2018, we will probably be using the documents and dashboards.

          What needs improvement?

          MicroStrategy seems to be very easy to use; user-friendly. Getting our data to work with it is where we are having issues.

          For how long have I used the solution?

          Still implementing.

          What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

          We have not really scaled much.

          How is customer service and technical support?

          I have not used technical support yet.

          How was the initial setup?

          I was more on the data side getting it ready, not the administration of the product. The complexity is with our data, not really MicroStrategy.

          Which other solutions did I evaluate?

          Probably Tableau and some others, but I was not really involved in the decision process.

          What other advice do I have?

          Most important criteria when selecting a vendor: They need to fit what we are trying to accomplish.

          Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
          it_user807333
          BI Developer at a manufacturing company with 1,001-5,000 employees
          Real User
          The convenience of having it on the mobile and our people having it right there in their pockets

          Pros and Cons

          • "The convenience of it. Having it on the mobile, so someone has it right there in their pocket most of the time."
          • "It is actually pretty complicated to use.​ It is complicated enough that user adaptation is sometimes difficult. We developed more experts rather than people using it.​"

          What is our primary use case?

          Reporting on some daily sales activities. It works well in this task.

          How has it helped my organization?

          It is convenient having it right there on the phone. They do not have to login. They can get it from anywhere they are.

          What is most valuable?

          The convenience of it. Having it on the mobile, therefore someone has it right there in their pocket most of the time.

          It is a pretty simple solution so far, so we have not really gone beyond where it is.

          What needs improvement?

          It is actually pretty complicated to use. It is complicated enough that user adaptation is sometimes difficult. We developed more experts rather than people using it.

          What do I think about the stability of the solution?

          If there was a server down, we are not allowed to use it offline. Therefore, if there is a server down, then it’s down.

          How are customer service and technical support?

          They are pretty good most of the time. There have been a few times that I have left a message and not been called back for at least a day or two.

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

          Previously, we did not know we could have a mobile app. We looked at having a mobile app with MicroStrategy when we found out that we could, then we tried it out.

          How was the initial setup?

          The mobile setup was not too bad.

          What about the implementation team?

          We set it up in-house.

          What other advice do I have?

          Most important criteria that I want to see when selecting a vendor: One that provides good, stable software. MicroStrategy does this.

          Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
          it_user807330
          Staff Software Engineer at a financial services firm with 10,001+ employees
          Real User
          Most suited to the enterprise-wide BI platform because of its scalability and stability. They need to improve on distribution services.

          Pros and Cons

          • "​Visual Insight gives you the capability of doing self-service analytics. This has been the most powerful and valuable feature.​"
          • "Dependency on development teams, as well as managing the platform, has reduced a lot with Visual Insight.​"
          • "I find MicroStrategy the most suited to the enterprise-wide BI platform, because of its scalability and stability.​"
          • "They need to improve on distribution services. There are lack of features which were there earlier with Narrowcast, but they are not there in the distribution services."
          • "They need to improve on having more professional, well-equipped premium support.​"

          What is our primary use case?

          We use it primarily for reporting. Most of the reports are grid reports. We do slice and dice, and use pivot tables on the reports. The data goes up to the level of CEO. Basically, we use it for basic grid level reporting.

          How has it helped my organization?

          It has helped our modern developers. It has helped the business users to design their own reports. They know exactly what the need, so the power is now in their hands. They do self-service and develop their reports. Dependency on development teams, as well as managing the platform, has reduced a lot with Visual Insight.

          What is most valuable?

          Visual Insight gives you the capability of doing self-service analytics. This has been the most powerful and valuable feature.

          We have rolled out Self-Service, and the rollout has been smooth so far. Customers are happy. When I say customers, the consumers of the report. 

          Maintenance and manageability becomes easier with a single platform. You do not have a complex environment for four or five different vendors to serve different purposes.

          We are developing a mobile platform. Until now, I have not worked on it. There are plans in development of introducing a mobile BI with MicroStrategy.

          In 2018, we plan on significantly using the Dossier feature. It comes with MicroStrategy 10.9. We have set up a platform in that version, and we are exploring the Dossier option.

          What needs improvement?

          I would like to see some enhancements in distribution services and the way reports are delivered currently. It is mostly static reports. We want to be able to do dynamic subscriptions and all that stuff in distribution services.

          They need to improve on distribution services. There are lack of features which were there earlier with Narrowcast, but they are not there in the distribution services. Then, they need to improve on having more professional, well-equipped premium support.

          For how long have I used the solution?

          More than five years.

          What do I think about the stability of the solution?

          It is stable. I have worked on three different BI tools. I find MicroStrategy the most suited to the enterprise-wide BI platform, because of its scalability and stability.

          What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

          It is scalable.

          How is customer service and technical support?

          I would give them eight, eight out of 10. Sometimes there is a delay, because I am based out of Asia Pacific region. The support is usually done during the US business hours. There is a delay and it is difficult. 

          If I am facing an issue today, then I have to wait for the US folks to come on and look at my problem and provide a solution, which I may see tomorrow. There is a one day delay. This goes on for different cases that I open. We are planning to take the Asia Pacific support license as well. We will see how it goes.

          How was the initial setup?

          No, I recently joined my company.

          What other advice do I have?

          I would suggest to explore MicroStrategy. It is a good tool. I have been working on it for seven years now. 

          I would definitely recommend my friend or a colleague to use it, and implement it in their company.

          Most important criteria when selecting a vendor:

          1. Security.
          2. Stability.
          3. Scalability.
          Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
          it_user803136
          BI Analyst at a healthcare company with 1,001-5,000 employees
          Real User
          We are using Dossiers to enable our executive committee to tell the stories behind the data

          Pros and Cons

          • "We have ramped up user adoption."
          • "Technical support has sent us to rapid response before, when we really needed them."
          • "Dossiers are going to change the name of the game for us. We want to be able to have the executive committee go into a meeting and tell a story. We want them to tell us a story, not us."
          • "Enterprise Manager should be a little bit less quirky when you build out-of-the-box customization reports for it."

          What is our primary use case?

          We actually have two industries we service. We service the transportation industry, as well as the healthcare industry. We typically do patient transports for emergency and non-emergencies. We do them by helicopter, that is our airmen division. We have a number of other businesses that we serve, like alarm system companies and the like, but primarily we use our analytics to look at patient transport counts and volumes, by the day, by the week, and by the month.

          We also look at specific parishes (we call them battalions) to see how we can expand businesses out in Texas and Louisiana. We have a large market in Louisiana, Mississippi, and the surrounding areas. Therefore, we do a lot of proof of concept reporting as well, and we use the Enterprise Manager for other things as well.

          How has it helped my organization?

          We literally have some issues with the high-end users using the data and trusting the data. A lot of it gets dumped into certain areas, therefore we made a central repository for it. Then MicroStrategy reports off of that central repository, so we can validate the data relatively easily. Thus we can say, "Look, this is what we are seeing for Louisiana. This is what you guys have from the communication center. It matches one for one."

          It builds a lot of rapport between the top end users and us. When I say that, I am referring to the "C" levels, the executive committee people, and other high end users.

          MicroStrategy self-service is on the horizon. We have a couple of groups of people that we are trying to test out self-service with right now, specifically, our quality improvement group and our business development group. The problem for us is we do not want self-service to become this thing where there are reports everywhere and we can't manage it, so we are trying to develop some auditing processes to make sure that we are not throwing ourselves to the wolves. However, the plan is definitely to move towards self-service. We want the users to be able to be intelligent enough to make what they need and see what they want.

          Dossiers are going to change the name of the game for us. We want to be able to have the executive committee go into a meeting and tell a story. We want them to tell us a story, not us. I do not want to go in as an IT guy and say, "Hey, this is the story." We really want the executive committee to be able to understand that this is a way of telling a story with data, because data without information is useless. If we can get them to that point, which I am confident that we can, then MicroStrategy will have done a great service to us, and rendered time back to us to go spend on other places. 

          That is really what we are shooting for. Dossier is a big thing for us. Geospatial analytics is huge for us. Anything that we can do with self-service is big for us. Those are the top three goals for 2018, in general.

          What is most valuable?

          The one thing that we have wanted to get more into, and we have touched a little bit of, is the Esri out-of-the-box: Esri mapping geospatial analytics. In fact, our presentation includes a piece of how we were able to leverage placing that airmen station in Texas for the first time, based upon transports from a geospatial map. 

          There also are a few others that we have taken advantage of recently. I think the chat feature inside of 10.10 is huge, especially if you are doing collaborative dashboarding.

          We mostly do MicroStrategy, so we prefer the single platform for analytics capabilities. There are some use cases to do multi-platform. We just have not been at a point where we can overutilize it yet, or even utilize it at all. The cases for us that come up, they are so far and few between that we really have to take advantage of it and spend a lot of time on it, so that we can sell it. I imagine in the future that we probably will have multi-platform stuff.

          We have some mobilize licenses right now. We have a small amount: 25. We built a couple of mobile apps. We have not jumped on the mobile bandwagon just yet. We have some use cases for it. We have not really identified where we can get the most bang for our buck. I imagine 2018 might have some of that as well, as a minor goal, possibly 2019. This being a huge issue for us, our getting into it, because a lot of our trucks, our medics, our people who drive on our trucks, and do the transfers, they all have iPads. If there is something that we can give them which says, "Hey, avoid traffic here," or do something to make a decision, that could be huge. Use cases are always a challenge.

          What needs improvement?

          If I had no issues with the tool ever or if I did not have any problems when I upgraded, then I would probably give it a higher rating (a perfect 10). If the Enterprise Manager was a little bit less quirky when you build out-of-the-box customization reports for it, I probably would give it a 10, but just those small things bring it down a little bit for me. However, it is a good tool.

          Let us say that you have someone who comes in who does not have a strong programming background and they want to use Enterprise Manager to do some things. It is sort of the way the warehouse is set up, they might need the statistics warehouse when they first get in and they could be very turned off by the UI. Just the way some of the reports tailor themselves out-of-the-box, it does not really lend itself to be helpful. 

          Then you have to customize, and when you start customizing, you bring in these attributes that sometimes do not even fit together. You may want to see something and how it gets done, then you are kind of stuck. That can make you leave the tool alone completely. Luckily for us, we have found ways to work with our consultant, and just really try to tackle it as much as possible. We have found ways to get around it.

          What do I think about the stability of the solution?

          I actually enjoy MicroStrategy a lot. When it came to Arcadia Data, it was sort of dead in the water, a Lazarus project. It kind of came up from the dead. Mostly because people did not understand the tool. My grandfather always had a saying that you got to know the tool before you can use the tool. That is what we did. My colleague and I took MicroStrategy, and said, "What does it do, what is it?" 

          We just started building simple reports from scratch and went from there. Now, that we understand it, people are like, "Oh, okay. I get it. It's not that bad, it's actually great."

          I am a fan of MicroStrategy and other tools, but I think MicroStrategy is a great tool. It does really well for what it serves.

          How is customer service and technical support?

          We like the tech support. They have done a number of things to help us out. They have sent us to rapid response before, when we really needed them. They have gotten back to us as early as a day, maybe half day, and even within an hour. 

          We have had positive experiences with them. There are areas that I can specify that they can improve in, but I think that is with any help desk or technical support.

          How was the initial setup?

          I was not involved in the initial setup. 

          I came in three years after its inception, and it was in the Lazarus stage. They were not going to spend any more money, get rid of the tool, phase out of it, and since then we have brought the tool back:

          • We have bought 100 new licenses.
          • We have ramped up user adoption.
          • We have run on trips to do symposiums.
          • We have found that it is starting to fit together.

          What other advice do I have?

          Do not walk away without taking the time to get to know the product or the people intimately. If you are trying to do analytics, it is a fantastic product, a top-tier product. We have dealt with a number of other products. I worked with folks who have dealt with Tableau and others. Especially with what they are doing with Dossier and all the things that are coming out, MicroStrategy has really started to lead the way with analytics in the future. I would court MicroStrategy and spend some time with them. Get to see what the tool does and what can it do for you. Do some proofs of concept.

          Most important criteria when selecting a vendor: We try to court them as much as possible. We want them to come and see how we do things in Louisiana. We are very much a down to earth folk. I will say that. People mention the Cajuns. We are kind of rambunctious, too. We got to get to know the person that is selling the product before we even get to know the product, then we look at the product, and say, "What does it do? What can it do for us?"

          We do a lot of proofs of concept. We are doing telemetry in our trucks, ambulances, and vans, possibly. What we found is the MicroStrategy reps travel a great distance to see us, and we appreciate that. We need to see them face-to-face. If there is a quote, it is amazing what you find face-to-face. That is huge for us. We have to have that.

          MicroStrategy is just readily available for us.

          Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
          it_user803139
          IT Consultant at a healthcare company with 1,001-5,000 employees
          Consultant
          We prefer having analytic capabilities in a single platform, because it is easier

          Pros and Cons

          • "We prefer having the analytic capabilities in a single platform, like MicroStrategy provides, because it is easier. The customer gets used to one type of tool, then sticks with it."
          • "We have been using it mostly for grid reports and its exporting features."
          • "We have not invested nor are we planning to invest in MicroStrategy's mobile platform.​​"

          What is our primary use case?

          We use it mostly for the operational reporting. We also use it for the insurance claims and how to track them. 

          The product is working fine. We feel they understand the healthcare system. 

          How has it helped my organization?

          The features of the product have definitely been beneficial. We do plan to roll out MicroStrategy Self-Service to our business teams.

          We prefer having the analytic capabilities in a single platform, like MicroStrategy provides, because it is easier. The customer gets to use one type of tool, then sticks with it. The customers are looking for Geospatial in 2018, so that is where we will be using it.

          What is most valuable?

          We have been using it mostly for grid reports and its exporting features. We are going to start using the Geospatial, which is a new feature. We are also looking forward to the 10.9 and 10.10 features coming out. 

          What needs improvement?

          We have not invested nor are we planning to invest in MicroStrategy's mobile platform.

          What do I think about the stability of the solution?

          It is a very stable solution, meaning the application is very good. MicroStrategy works very well.

          What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

          It is highly scalable. We have quite a few customers who are the users themselves. They use it and have not had any issues yet. 

          How is customer service and technical support?

          I sometimes use technical support. When I do, I have found them to be helpful. The right person answers me when I contact them.

          How was the initial setup?

          I was not involved in the initial setup.

          However, I have been involved in upgrades of the solution, which were mostly straightforward.

          What about the implementation team?

          The vendor technical support assisted in the upgrades.

          What other advice do I have?

          This is definitely a solution worth investing in. It will be useful for the long term. Anyone who is researching similar solutions should look for the longer term.

          Most important criteria when selecting a vendor: 

          • The technical capability.
          • They are able to deliver it.
          • They understand the product. 
          Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
          ITCS user
          Business Intelligence Engineer at a leisure / travel company with 10,001+ employees
          Consultant
          It is the perfect balance between self-service and governed BI

          Pros and Cons

          • "Visual Insights (VI)"
          • "Native VI on mobile apps and better android support are lacking."

          What is most valuable?

          • Mobile
          • Data marts
          • Cubes
          • Visual Insights (VI)
          • SQL engine
          • MicroStrategy Office

          How has it helped my organization?

          Perfect balance between self-service and governed BI.

          While VI gives self-serve agility, report wizard brings governance specifying limits on MicroStrategy and database end.

          What needs improvement?

          Development tools (developer and architect) need improvement.

          Native VI on mobile apps and better android support are lacking.

          For how long have I used the solution?

          More than 10 years.

          What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

          While deployment is easier, the upgrade is painful process.

          What do I think about the stability of the solution?

          Developer, iServer, Webserver all are very stable.

          Some versions have memory leakage or cube index issues, but overall very stable software.

          What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

          No, scalability is strength of MicroStrategy.

          How are customer service and technical support?

          Customer Service:

          Very average customer service.

          Sales is very responsive, but technical support is below average.

          Technical Support:

          Below average.

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

          Used Tableau, Cognos, SSIS, BO, and Pentaho.

          Moved to MicroStrategy for a scalable and mobile solution.

          How was the initial setup?

          Straightforward.

          What about the implementation team?

          In-house.

          What was our ROI?

          Hard to calculate but offering a single BI platform brings down maintenance and time to market time.

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

          While initial cost of MicroStrategy is still on the higher side, the long-term benefits brings down overall cost of ownership significantly as compared to other tools like Tableau/Cognos.

          Which other solutions did I evaluate?

          Yes, Looker BI.

          What other advice do I have?

          The real difficulty is finding a correct development resource for MicroStrategy as it has a steep learning curve and is unlike other tools on the market.

          Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
          ITCS user
          Senior Manager of Engineering at a tech services company with 10,001+ employees
          Real User
          Provides a unified user experience with a full set of BI features

          Pros and Cons

          • "Comprehensive security control and more."
          • "MicroStrategy's mobile dashboard is still not a RESTful design."

          What is most valuable?

          Centralized server and repository: It reduces the development and maintenance effort for the team, and provides a unified user experience.

          MicroStrategy also provides a full set of BI features, including:

          • OLAP reports
          • Dashboard
          • Data discovery
          • Visualization
          • Scheduling and alert
          • Comprehensive security control and more.

          All these features are built on the same architecture and repository, and support unix-like OS. Thus, we can easily fulfill a user's needs, and align with all the system and security policies of my organization.

          How has it helped my organization?

          All the business units rely on the information provided by MicroStrategy for their decisions on daily basis. This increases data accuracy and saves time to build reports.

          What needs improvement?

          The design process of the mobile dashboard development. Now, MicroStrategy's mobile dashboard is still not a RESTful design, which means we need to design a different layout according to the device's screen size. It costs us more effort if we want to support the mobile and tablet at the same time. It would be better if MicroStrategy supported a RESTful dashboard design pattern.

          For how long have I used the solution?

          More than 10 years.

          What do I think about the stability of the solution?

          No.

          What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

          No.

          How is customer service and technical support?

          A nine out of 10.

          How was the initial setup?

          It is somehow complicated for a user/analyst without a DWDM background. But for an experienced DWDM modeler, it would be an easy task.

          What other advice do I have?

          If your are looking for an enterprise level BI product for the standard BI platform in your organization, MicroStrategy would be the best choice.

          Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
          ITCS user
          Systems Analyst at a transportation company with 1,001-5,000 employees
          Vendor
          Features I consider valuable include: data blending for end users, intelligent cubes, project metadata and the mobile solution.

          Pros and Cons

          • "Project Schema/metadata- Very flexible, connects to a variety of different data sources and is very flexible for many specific tasks. Attributes/metrics/filters created once used by everyone."
          • "The web developer tool for documents creation does not have all the features of the client version"

          What is most valuable?

          Project Schema/metadata- Very flexible, connects to a variety of different data sources and is very flexible for many specific tasks. Attributes/metrics/filters created once used by everyone.

          Intelligent Cubes- Can improve almost any report to run in seconds. Used often for dashboards and documents containing millions of rows of data.

          Visual Insight Self-Serve tool - Allows users to create their own dashboards. There are multiple reasons this is important. Users create their own dashboards which saves resources. Users have better insight of the dashboards they require and a better on new data required in their schema and/or intelligent cubes.

          Data blending for end users- They can use other data that is not yet part of our managed/governed data. It is seamlessly included it into some of the dashboard/reports that they have created. This allows users to get the reports they require without having to wait for your data team to provide the data in the data warehouse or MicroStrategy schema. It also provides you with requirements for expanding your governed data.

          Mobile solution with iPad/iPhone - We haven’t gone this route yet but we did do some POCs and it was very impressive.

          How has it helped my organization?

          Management would spend half a week gathering data and number crunching in Excel. It was a long, slow and tedious process. In the end they could not calculate at the level of detail required. Today, management can focus on analyzing the numbers and also exploring other avenues of improvement using the self-serve features.
          One example is reviewing actual route performance versus the expected performance. The result is better identification of problem routes and measurement of changes.

          What needs improvement?

          - Many users have requested some specific graphing capability. More precisely, they would like the ability to configure a graph to be formatted and displayed identically to their excel documents. This is not always possible.

          - The web developer tool for documents creation does not have all the features of the client version. When adding a derived attribute you can no longer edit the dashboard in the client version.

          - There is no type of version control to check in or check out items. As a result, users create multiple backup folders and this produces multiple versions on the go.

          -Different functions and options available with intelligent cubes created from MicroStrategy Web and MicroStrategy Desktop. Options such as scheduling and multi threading/partitioning.

          - We would really benefit with more mapping functionality and compatibility with different types of mapping data types. One example is a Microsoft geography data type. Using the ESRI out of the box map plugin to draw lines between two co-ordinates and colour code them based on a metric value.

          - Visual Insight /Self-serve - Simple ways for users to total/percent their data to a specific level. Translating a grid developed to a graph. In summary, make the self-serve area even more intuitive/easy to use.

          -Exporting to PDF is a major pain point in the dashboarding/self-serve area. Alignment and colours are not maintained. This was allegedly fixed in version 10.6. We are starting the process to upgrade to 10.8 so I can not comment further.

          -Users were not able to login with using LDAP. We had to add an environment variable to ignore LDAP referral chases. TN#15655 on MicroStrategy’s website.

          -IIS Web Server would have a long initial load time. A variety of IIS settings were changed to increase performance. This is more of an IIS issue than probably a MicroStrategy issue, but I think it should still be noted since it’s above and beyond the basic installation setup instructions.

          For how long have I used the solution?

          3 Years

          What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

          Yes there were a few unique setup steps and configuration settings related to Windows Active directory and Web Server setup.

          What do I think about the stability of the solution?

          2 years in production and I don’t believe we’ve had a single issue in regards to the system being down or unavailable.

          What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

          No requirement to scale larger. Scaling infrastructure hardware such as additional severs would not be an issue.

          How are customer service and technical support?

          I’ve dealt with a lot of vendors such as SAP, ESRI etc. I would rate them better than those but overall just average. You can talk to a MicroStrategy engineer in person if you call their support number. I find I mainly use their online tool and they will usually answer the question within a day or two. Any type of enhancements or bugs you will have to wait for another release or two before seeing a fix. We are signed up with the lowest support package offered.

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

          No previous solution, we do have business objects within our environment but it was not selected as the platform moving forward.

          How was the initial setup?

          Initial setup is straightforward. Reading through the installation documentation is a must. Afterwards, you have a had a good idea of what is required before installation. You can run through a number of installation prompts and the software is installed. It gets a bit more technical setting up your environment after the standard setup. Manual steps after the installation such as setting up a clustered environment, integrating windows authentication with windows AD groups, intelligent cubes, cache and history etc.

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

          Was not involved in purchasing.

          We've converted our CPU licenses to user named licenses since we have two 32 core I-servers that are clustered. That means 90% of our power was sitting idle and wasted because of CPU licensing. There are a lot of benefits to have multiple CPUs. We've increased our cube refresh performance. Cube performance can be partition to use multiple CPUs. Best thing we did.

          Which other solutions did I evaluate?

          I was not involved in the decision making process.

          Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
          it_user702252
          Senior Technical Architect at a retailer with 10,001+ employees
          Vendor
          Handles ad hoc queries and provides formatted reports. The In-Memory Capability needs a lot of improvement.

          What is most valuable?

          The most important feature is the way it handles ad hoc queries and provides formatted reports.

          What needs improvement?

          The In-Memory Capability (cubes) needs a lot of improvement. They have tried a couple of new things in version 10.x, but it has stability issues.

          For how long have I used the solution?

          I have been using MicroStrategy for the past 10 years.

          What do I think about the stability of the solution?

          The current version that I am using is stable but it lacks some features. Also, version 10.x has some stability issues.

          What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

          We haven't faced much of an issue in terms of the scalability. However, due to its design (as it is very tightly coupled with the database), it depends on databases a lot,…

          What is most valuable?

          The most important feature is the way it handles ad hoc queries and provides formatted reports.

          What needs improvement?

          The In-Memory Capability (cubes) needs a lot of improvement. They have tried a couple of new things in version 10.x, but it has stability issues.

          For how long have I used the solution?

          I have been using MicroStrategy for the past 10 years.

          What do I think about the stability of the solution?

          The current version that I am using is stable but it lacks some features. Also, version 10.x has some stability issues.

          What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

          We haven't faced much of an issue in terms of the scalability. However, due to its design (as it is very tightly coupled with the database), it depends on databases a lot, which might be a big concern for scalability.

          How is customer service and technical support?

          Technical support depends on which tech support center is answering your queries. The US-based tech centers are very good as compared to the centers in Asia.

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

          The pricing for MicroStrategy is always on the higher side. They should seriously start thinking about their pricing and licensing strategy.

          Which other solutions did I evaluate?

          We evaluated SAP BusinessObjects as it was one of the enterprise-level tools at that point of time.

          Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
          it_user656304
          Data Architect at a tech services company with 11-50 employees
          Consultant
          Enabled our end users to do their own reports with little to no training. Metadata management could be improved.

          What is most valuable?

          Ease of use was valuable. It enabled our end users to do their own reports as self-service with little to no training, thus requiring less support.

          How has it helped my organization?

          It allowed end users to self-service their reports.

          What needs improvement?

          Metadata management could be improved. When you delete an object, if there is any object directly linked the metadata, this may become corrupted and break the software. The only way to restore it is to delete the linked objects, whether or not you know which of them have this issue.

          For how long have I used the solution?

          I have used this solution for eighteen months.

          What do I think about the stability of the solution?

          We did encounter stability issues. We had a serious metadata corruption problem.

          What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

          The cost of licensing made scalability unprofitable.

          How is customer service and technical support?

          We would give technical support a rating of 5/10. The existing whitepapers and documentation were very useful, but actual support never answered us.

          How was the initial setup?

          I cannot comment, as I took the server that was already set up by a previous colleague.

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

          This all depends on your budget.

          What other advice do I have?

          Ensure there is enough of a budget for continued support, or look for a different product where there is a bigger community.

          Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
          ITCS user
          Retail Solutions Manager at a computer software company with 501-1,000 employees
          Vendor
          Delivers POS transaction analysis in grids, dashboards, and documents.

          What is most valuable?

          • Ad-hoc capability is critical to our customers
          • They depend on the ability to take a standard set of data and organize it in a manner that is meaningful to their particular field of interest.
          • Our product delivers POS transaction analysis in grids, dashboards, and documents.
          • We group analytics under multiple areas, including Operations, Loss Prevention, Merchandising and Inventory, Loyalty and Fuel. 
          • Our customers’ users can modify a ‘canned report’ to deliver the information their organization finds key. 
          • Distribution is key as well. Typically there is one person within the organization or department ‘writing’ the reports. The reports are distributed to a larger group of consumers. Automated, scheduled distribution of information has become key to running their day-to-day operations.

          How has it helped my organization?

          Our customers and their users have used our product to:

          • Find theft
          • Reduce product waste
          • Increase profits
          • Make better staffing plans
          • Improve store and staff performance measures.

          The examples are numerous, so I’ve attached a couple of articles and included a link to our website. http://www.pinncorp.com/soluti...

          What needs improvement?

          There are a number of different applications bundled together and delivered under an umbrella product. It needs to be easier to determine which application controls which features and functionality.

          I need to point out is that our company is a MicroStrategy OEM partner. We use the MicroStrategy products to build a BI solution for our own retail clients. 

          With our EPM solution, we offer different user tiers to our customers, allowing them to acquire minimal functionality for Store Managers.

          Each tier includes a particular set of MSTR applications. The Store Manager tier was created so that a single report could be run, but the output for each Store Manager would be limited to that store’s data.

          This worked great on grid reports, but when our customer wanted to run dashboards and post them on a server instead of emailing them, it didn’t work. 

          After casting about, we learned that we had to add a Report Services license for each Store Manager in order to support the posting of docs and dashboards to a server folder and distribute emails with links. That was a financial hit and it was not what we understood our clients would be able to do with the licensing they were getting.

          This particular example actually got resolved when MSTR repackaged their solutions. This included many services in the server umbrella.

          For how long have I used the solution?

          We have used this product for eleven years.

          What do I think about the stability of the solution?

          We have not encountered any stability issues.

          What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

          We have not encountered any scalability issues.

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

          I am not aware of any previous solutions.

          How was the initial setup?

          There is an added complexity in an OEM setup because we ultimately have to be able to deliver a ‘reusable’ solution to our customers. The user setup seems flexible, but it can be complex. 

          My experience may be OEM-centric. It was, for the most part, addressed when MicroStrategy repackaged their applications under fewer solution umbrellas.

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

          I don’t typically advise others regarding the pricing. We tend to serve lower user count customers so they are not getting any volume discount consideration.

          Which other solutions did I evaluate?

          That was a long time ago. I believe they were using Cognos and Crystal Reports.

          What other advice do I have?

          • Take advantage of their training which they often offer to prospects. It will allow you to use the solution to your advantage much more quickly and efficiently.
          • Get a clear picture of the type of development skill that is required to get a quick start.
          Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: My company is a MicroStrategy OEM partner.
          it_user442254
          Business Intelligence Consultant at a tech company with 501-1,000 employees
          Vendor
          I like the dashboards, reports and filters. There isn't a proper mechanism to define proper KPIs, collaboration or analysis of numeric data separately.

          What is most valuable?

          • Dashboards
          • Documents
          • Reports
          • Filters

          How has it helped my organization?

          Working as a BI Consultant, I have to develop different analyses, reports and dashboard documents to analyze the status of different business measures. We are using OBIEE and MicroStrategy for the purpose of enterprise performance management by defining and describing different business perspectives and objectives, initiatives and results are analyzed on the basis of these defined attributes.

          What needs improvement?

          There are limited features available for the overall enterprise performance management and analysis. There isn't a proper mechanism to define proper KPIs, collaboration or analysis of numeric data separately.

          For how long have I used the solution?

          I've been using it for six months to a year.

          What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

          Sometimes there is an issue of font size, spacing and other related formatting document issues.

          What do I think about the stability of the solution?

          We've experienced no issues with performance. However, the larger amount of number of selectors, filters etc. you have, the longer it will take to display an analysis.

          What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

          It's been able to scale for our needs.

          How are customer service and technical support?

          Customer Service:

          7/10

          Technical Support:

          8/10

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

          I started with OBIEE, and I am still using it for References.

          How was the initial setup?

          It was straightforward.

          What about the implementation team?

          We implemented it in-house.

          Which other solutions did I evaluate?

          We're also using MicroStrategy.

          What other advice do I have?

          If you are looking for purely Performance Management of whole enterprise, then you should choose OBIEEE, otherwise choose MicroStrategy.

          Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
          ITCS user
          BI Team Leader at a government with 501-1,000 employees
          Real User
          The best features are R integration and visual insight.

          What is most valuable?

          The best feature is R integration. This uses predictions for medicine consumption.

          How has it helped my organization?

          I really appreciate Visual Insight because it is easy for end users and it breaks IT dependencies.

          We have a small technical staff. If we give opportunities to our clients to develop their own reports and graphics, we can concentrate our efforts on increasing the quality of other reports that demand a little bit more knowledge and expertise.

          What needs improvement?

          We need to act in advance of situations. I would like to be able to:

          • Gather information about how long the partner will take to bring us a product.
          • Find out what our real consumption average will be against our supply for that item

          This information would help us decide if we should wait until we reach the resupply point or if we should start the process immediately.

          For how long have I used the solution?

          I have used this solution for five years.

          What do I think about the stability of the solution?

          I only encountered stability issues when using the enterprise manager.

          What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

          I did not encounter any scalability issues.

          How is customer service and technical support?

          We enjoy a high level of expertise from technical support.

          How was the initial setup?

          The initial setup was easy.

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

          It is not worthwhile if you have a small budget, although it is worth every penny.

          Which other solutions did I evaluate?

          We evaluated Pentaho and OBIEE.

          What other advice do I have?

          Look for a solution that covers all enterprise areas, from the IT department to end-users, that will help you build a robust, star schema model.

          Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
          it_user505383
          Director at a tech consulting company with 51-200 employees
          Consultant
          Allows you to deploy analytical and security applications.

          What is most valuable?

          I really value that MicroStrategy is a complete suite built to enable organizations to quickly deploy sophisticated analytical and security applications. It has a very good balance between features, usability, and pricing options.

          How has it helped my organization?

          It enables you to build decision support systems. MicroStrategy has improved the decision-making process through Enterprise Reports with automated and corporate information management.

          What needs improvement?

          Analysis self-service could be improved.

          For how long have I used the solution?

          I have used this product for six years.

          What do I think about the stability of the solution?

          I did not encounter any stability issues. There were just some minor bugs that were fixed by the manufacturer in their regular patches.

          What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

          I did not encounter any scalability issues. This is one of its strengths.

          How is customer service and technical support?

          Technical support was good.

          How was the initial setup?

          The initial setup was straightforward and very easy.

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

          If you really need these features, it is an excellent product with a very good price. Sometimes you do not need much functionality and then other alternatives at a lower price might be a better option.

          In our company, we help our clients identify the option that best suits their needs. We then develop/implement the data warehouse, ETL process, data integration, and visualizations.

          What other advice do I have?

          Keep in mind your global and corporate design. It is best to start with a specific, small, and well-defined area.

          Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
          it_user519399
          Freelance MicroStrategy Expert, MicroStrategy Master at a tech consulting company with 51-200 employees
          Consultant
          I can create optimized queries for each data source type. It integrates various data sources without ETL.

          What is most valuable?

          • The ability to work directly on top of almost every known data source, while creating optimized queries for each data source type.
          • The ability to take the load of the DB with cubes while still baeing able to access the raw data at the db level when needed.
          • The ability to "complete" missing features in the big-data platform with mstr features.
          • The ability to create very complex queries logic automatically.
          • The flexibility to integrate various data sources without ETL.
          • The freedom to generate reports and use both cubes and relational data in the same dashboards seamlessly.
          • The ability to create simple but good looking dashboards easily while still being able to implement very complex logic and UI in more complex documents.

          How has it helped my organization?

          The ability to investigate high-level data in cubes and once an issue is found, you can directly drill to the row-level data within the same platform. No coding or integration is needed between different tools. It is all done within the same platform, using the same objects, which allows the best of both worlds, especially while working on large-scale projects (big data).

          What needs improvement?

          • The default color pallets could be improved, and they are improving with each version.
          • Simplification of the various configurations: The product offers a huge amount of options and configurations. It takes a while to get a good grasp of it all.

          For how long have I used the solution?

          I have used MicroStrategy very extensively for over five years.

          What do I think about the stability of the solution?

          We encountered a few stability issues in the early 10.0 and 10.1 versions. Since 10.3 was released about 6-8 months ago, it has been stable.

          version 10.4 was the first "platform version" and is more stable , while creating complex dashboards in 10.3 you might encounter various UI bugs , for most there are simple workarounds though.

          What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

          I have not encountered any scalability issues. The only thing is that if you plan on using cubes as a solution, prepare the servers with enough memory; processing the cubes is heavy on memory.

          The platform now supports a cluster of eight nodes, which should be enough for over X *10K users.

          How are customer service and technical support?

          Customer Service:

          the customer service is usually pretty high , support responses to cases within a day or 2 , even for cases which are not P1 priority.

          Technical Support:

          Technical support is at a high level. Most of the time, they are quite accurate; most issues are solved within 2-3 iterations, even without remote login to the servers, which is not possible most of the time.

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

          • I previously used Panorama on top of Microsoft SSAS cubes. I think that in today’s world, the cube is just a fragment of the performance tuning, rather than being the complete solution. Therefore, when people keep asking for the raw data, the cube simply does not contain it.
          • In today’s big data projects, nobody thinks about taking all the data out to a cube, with very limited capability to drill back to the actual live data.
          • Regarding SSAS cubes, today’s dashboards are complex, and only a small number of developers actually write MDX queries correctly. Therefore, each additional logic requires a very experienced developer and takes a lot of time.
          • Panorama had stability issues.
          • I also worked with Qlik, but I do not think it is meant for today’s big data projects. Nobody wants islands of data completely disconnected from the original data (no way to drill for further details, and no way the detailed level will be extracted from Hadoop/Vertica into an in-memory application).

          How was the initial setup?

          The initial configurations of the server and the project require a high level of experience. The installation is rather straightforward, but the configurations require deep understanding of the product and the environment.

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

          Most high-end tools cost roughly similar, but the TCO of MSTR is said to be lower than others due to the reuse of objects and the ability to work with the dependencies between the objects, instead of guessing which report/dashboard uses which metric.

          Which other solutions did I evaluate?

          Of course, we evaluated Qlik, Tableau and MSBI Suite.

          What other advice do I have?

          If you are not a MicroStrategy expert, use one, especially in the initial phases of the projects; it will save you a great deal in the long term.

          Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
          it_user6837
          Architect with 1,001-5,000 employees
          Vendor
          It is scalable. It is not a bottleneck for leveraging a high-capacity analytical database.

          What is most valuable?

          Highly scalable: It is not a bottleneck for leveraging a high-capacity analytical database.

          How has it helped my organization?

          Users can now consolidate data from across the business without reaching boundaries of cubes.

          What needs improvement?

          Even though self-service capabilities have been greatly improved, the basic reporting layout is still behind similar products.

          For how long have I used the solution?

          I have used it for 18 years.

          What do I think about the stability of the solution?

          We have only encountered minor issues from time to time.

          What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

          Scalability is excellent.

          How are customer service and technical support?

          Technical support has been similar to other vendors.

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

          We have not previously used a different solution.

          How was the initial setup?

          There is a lot of setup to perform, so initial training is important.

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

          Consider CPU-based licenses, if you have a large user population with highly varying reporting needs.

          Which other solutions did I evaluate?

          I do not recall whether we evaluated other options before choosing this solution.

          What other advice do I have?

          The core of your data source (data warehouse) should be star schema, preferably starflake. Then you can attach other data sources around that.

          Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
          ITCS user
          Microstrategy Project Manager & Microstrategy Lead Architect at a healthcare company with 1,001-5,000 employees
          Real User
          It has server distribution to publish the dashboards and reports in different formats.

          What is most valuable?

          It is one of the best BI reporting tools as per Gartner. It is a complete reporting bundle, which includes reports/dashboards/document creation along with Cube.

          It also comes with self-service analysis that helps the user carry out short analysis within the corporate level. It has a good administrator tool to handle the administrative part. It has server distribution to publish the dashboards and reports from the end user in different formats as well.

          It includes lots of other features that help to take the reporting to the next level; for example, R Integration that supports more than 70 databases.

          It has strong metadata in the architecture, which makes a huge difference with the other tools in the market.

          How has it helped my organization?

          It's a DSS tool. Thus, for analysis in an analytics-oriented company, it has made a huge difference in their decisions.

          What needs improvement?

          This product needs to be ready to use at the enterprise level . As the market is growing and changing very fast, sometimes the development team does not have sufficient time to incorporate requirements within the given time frame. Thus, some solutions should be ready to use, i.e., the plug and play functionality for solutions at the enterprise level.

          For how long have I used the solution?

          I have used this solution for more than 10 years.

          What do I think about the stability of the solution?

          Not many issues were encountered in terms of stability; there were only a few defects which were resolved in later releases.

          What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

          There were no scalability issues.

          How are customer service and technical support?

          I would give the technical support a 8 out of 10 rating.

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

          Previously, I have used different solutions. However, I have found MicroStrategy better than any other tool.

          How was the initial setup?

          A few configurations are needed as per requirement.

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

          The pricing policy is good compared to other products in the market. It's a license-based software.

          Which other solutions did I evaluate?

          We did not evaluate other options. As we know, it's the best solution.

          Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: We're partners.
          it_user538236
          Sr Staff BI Engineer at a financial services firm with 1,001-5,000 employees
          Vendor
          Object sharing helps the end user with self-service reporting.

          What is most valuable?

          • Sharing objects, which helps the end user with self-service reporting.
          • Security filter controls the data-level security in the report for sharing with more than one partner.
          • Access Control List controls the object-level security for accessing by user.
          • OLAP functionality:
            • Multidimensional analysis: OLAP helps the user gain an insight on the data coming from different sources.
            • OLAP helps faster execution of complex analytical and ad-hoc queries.
            • Allows trend analysis periodically.
            • Drill down abilities.
          • MicroStrategy Desktop is one of the popular analytic tools that can be migrated to a server for publishing for other users.

          How has it helped my organization?

          • * Reduced IT dependency. *
          • Using template
          • Users (Business Analyst) are using this canned report template for their reporting based on their info and save that report in their own folder. And they are using subscription to deliver that report to their stakeholder.
          • Allowing user to create report from scratch. Train them what to use and what to not use. Once they familiar these then they don’t dependent on IT.
          • Introducing the Dashboard; provide enough information in the dashboard. Once user started using those dashboard then they don’t dependent on IT.
          • Now most of the request from users like below;
          • - New metric (custom metric)
          • - New filters (custom filter)
          • - Complex reports where they can’t create by themselves.

          What needs improvement?

          • MicroStrategy Desktop: Personal analytical tool that helps users to do their analytical work using multiple sources of data. However, this tool needs to improve to add more analytical functions, and an easy solution to use third-party graphs and maps.
          • Multi-level security: Currently, MicroStrategy provides multiple ways of access (Standard, Windows, Database, LDAP, etc.) the MicroStrategy tool (use either one of them), but not combined solutions.
          • Big data solution: Currently, MicroStrategy is providing a very good big data solution for MicroStrategy Desktop but not an easy server-level solution.

          * Reduced IT dependency. *

          n Using template

          o Users (Business Analyst) are using this canned report template for their reporting based on their info and save that report in their own folder. And they are using subscription to deliver that report to their stakeholder.

          n Allowing user to create report from scratch. Train them what to use and what to not use. Once they familiar these then they don’t dependent on IT.

          n Introducing the Dashboard; provide enough information in the dashboard. Once user started using those dashboard then they don’t dependent on IT.

          Now most of the request from users like below;

          - New metric (custom metric)

          - New filters (custom filter)

          - Complex reports where they can’t create by themselves.z

          For how long have I used the solution?

          We have been using the solution for about eight years.

          What do I think about the stability of the solution?

          We have not encountered any stability issues.

          What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

          We have not encountered any scalability issues.

          How are customer service and technical support?

          I would rate the technical support as about 7/10.

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

          We were previously using Crystal Reports. We switched because of the analytical solution offered with this product.

          How was the initial setup?

          Initial setup is straightforward. Step-by-step configuration information has been provided by the vendor.

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

          I would advise others to go for the Named User license instead of the Server Level license initially. License pricing is moderate.

          Which other solutions did I evaluate?

          I am not aware of any other evaluated solutions.

          What other advice do I have?

          Go for it.

          Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
          ITCS user
          Senior Consultant at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
          Consultant
          Once you save a dashboard, it is available on all devices, including your iPad.

          What is most valuable?

          In version 10, Visual Insight had a major improvement. Now, it is a very powerful self-service BI. In version 9, you still needed Flash on your machine, but version 10 is based on HTML5. It is very easy to build your dashboard and once you save it, it is available on all devices, including your iPad.

          How has it helped my organization?

          MicroStrategy is using what they call a meta-database, where you store all your business logic and you can re-use it in any report or dashboard. This helped us a lot. You now have one version of the truth and it is re-usable. You don't need to build complex calculations in your Excel sheet, as we were doing in the past, with the risk that someone made a slight variation to the business rules.

          What needs improvement?

          The dashboard and reports are what they call pixel-perfect, which means you configure a fixed size for your report and align everything based on the fixed size. But now you have various devices with different screen sizes, and it would be smarter to have a flexible layout which will scale according your device.

          For how long have I used the solution?

          We have been using MicroStrategy for five years, starting with version 9.

          What do I think about the stability of the solution?

          MicroStrategy is running very stable but demands solid hardware.

          What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

          So far, we did not have issues with scalability, but we never had more than 50 users using it at the same time.

          How are customer service and technical support?

          Support is for technical issues, e.g., my installation does not work or I have a bug. It doesn't help you if you want to define new business rules and you would like to know what is the best way of doing this. Support will forward you to their consultants for these kind of questions.

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

          We had Excel and a tool called Excelcius, which was just a tool to create a better looking dashboard. But your intelligence was still in Excel. We wanted to remove the intelligence out of the Excel sheets and into a central database.

          How was the initial setup?

          MicroStrategy has a steep learning curve and you need to spend time in training before you can use the full potential.

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

          The license is based on a fee per user, but recently they did decrease prices.

          Which other solutions did I evaluate?

          We were looking at SAP BO and Cognos.

          What other advice do I have?

          MicroStrategy is what they call an enterprise solution, which means you can use it for reports, dashboards, self-service BI and mobile devices. The meta-database is a real advantage because of the reusability of your business rules, but you need to put time and effort into training; otherwise, you will get very frustrated.

          Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
          ITCS user
          Sub-Manager of Development at a healthcare company with 1,001-5,000 employees
          Real User
          The dashboards can be exported as .mht files, which can be sent by email or published on our intranet.

          What is most valuable?

          The most valuable thing is not the product. It's having a product for BI. We first made a lot of dashboards. They are very useful for management and automatic reports with summarized data.

          The dashboards can be exported to MHT. This allow us send them by email, or publish in our intranet and sync in mobile devices so they can use it off line.

          How has it helped my organization?

          We have centralized a lot of reports. We all are using the same data. We've discussed a lot about the significance of some terms.

          What needs improvement?

          The administration of automatic email reports is not very good. It has to be improved in a more easily and effective way, with the same license.
          I would like to see data mining integrated.

          For how long have I used the solution?

          I have used MicroStrategy for five years.

          What do I think about the stability of the solution?

          We have not had stability issues.

          What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

          We have not had scalability issues.

          How are customer service and technical support?

          We have had no technical issues.

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

          We used Oracle Discoverer but it was very poor.

          How was the initial setup?

          We have a very smooth setup. This was because we began with a small project that includes installation.

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

          Setup is not complex.

          Which other solutions did I evaluate?

          We evaluated an Oracle BI product, I think it was former PeopleSoft, but we choose MicroStrategy because .mht files cab be sent by email and you can use it without internet access.

          What other advice do I have?

          The main effort is making the DW and the models. The rest is not so difficult, but you have to implement a corporative strategy to stop using any other reporting system.

          Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
          it_user505854
          BI Manager at a government with 1,001-5,000 employees
          Vendor
          Dashboards can be built in a relatively simple manner.

          What is most valuable?

          We value the ability to build dashboards and reports in a relatively simple way. We can teach end users how to do their own reports and dashboards making the process cheaper and faster.

          Also, the ability to import data from a grand variety of sources and combine them into a single report/dashboard, skipping the expensive ETL process or validating it before a robust construction.

          How has it helped my organization?

          MicroStrategy makes it easier to control internal and external demands and also to monitor public programs financed by the institution.

          What needs improvement?

          Data discovery and self-service BI still needs to be simpler to end-users.

          For how long have I used the solution?

          I have used MicroStrategy since 2012; four years.

          What do I think about the stability of the solution?

          We have not had stability issues.

          What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

          We have not yet had scalability issues.

          How are customer service and technical support?

          I rate technical support a 4.5/5.

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

          We did not have a previous solution.

          How was the initial setup?

          Initial setup was complex. MicroStrategy is a hard tool to configure in many ways, starting from its licensing schema.

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

          Make a good study of your needs because its very expensive to change from nominal licensing to a server core licensing.

          Which other solutions did I evaluate?

          The buying decision was made by a previous team. But other solutions are always evaluated, like Tableau and ClickView.

          What other advice do I have?

          Make sure there isn’t a cheaper solution that satisfies your demands. Prepare a good team to develop and use it or you’ll have a big mess and difficulties making data discovery and self-service BI.

          Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
          ITCS user
          Application Developer at a healthcare company with 1,001-5,000 employees
          Vendor
          It has provided the ability for end users to self-service on ad-hoc reports.

          What is most valuable?

          The ability to create VI’s which are easy for front end users to manipulate in order to see the data they wish to see.

          Visual Insight allows the developer to create reports and/or cubes as the foundation and the end user can easily pull any of the metrics and attributes into the report, graph or other visualization without requiring technical reporting knowledge. This really gives the end user the ability to manipulate the data as they see fit. They can see as little or as much detail as the report/cube allows.

          How has it helped my organization?

          The ability for end users to self-service on ad-hoc reports.

          What needs improvement?

          Instead of using a lot of table joins within MSTR, we have had to rely on ETL for those same reports and then expose that view/report in MSTR. A couple of reasons for this are slowness when running the report inside MSTR and difficulty in setting up left joins when using multiple tables.

          For how long have I used the solution?

          We have been using the solution for about three years.

          What do I think about the stability of the solution?

          We have not encountered any stability issues. Only a few outages that have always been resolved quickly.

          What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

          Scalability issues have been the most significant which we have faced.

          How are customer service and technical support?

          This is not an area I have to deal with much but from what I have heard it seems to be good.

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

          We previously used SSRS. We still use this sometimes but have been working to transition to MSTR. MSTR gives the end users more flexibility when looking at reports.

          How was the initial setup?

          The setup was complex. Our warehouse was completely rewritten in order to fit the MSTR model.

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

          We have no specific comments regarding this issue.

          Which other solutions did I evaluate?

          We evaluated others but I was not part of that decision making so am unaware of other options being looked at.

          What other advice do I have?

          Find other companies who are willing to share their experience and the lessons learned when setting up their environments.

          Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
          it_user250524
          Development Director at a government with 10,001+ employees
          Vendor
          Mobility features help to supervise other locations. Visual Insight isn't as easy to use as the competitors.

          What is most valuable?

          It can be applied to a wide range of uses. It's a complete solution for all the BI needs of a company.

          How has it helped my organization?

          Mobility features have helped people who work supervising shops.

          What needs improvement?

          Visual Insight isn't as easy to use as the competitors.

          For how long have I used the solution?

          I’ve used MicroStrategy for 15 years.

          What do I think about the stability of the solution?

          We occasionally had stability issues.

          What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

          We did not have any scalability issues.

          How are customer service and technical support?

          I rate technical support 1.5/5 because they hardly ever help you with problems and when they do it's very late.

          Which solution did I use previously and why

          What is most valuable?

          It can be applied to a wide range of uses. It's a complete solution for all the BI needs of a company.

          How has it helped my organization?

          Mobility features have helped people who work supervising shops.

          What needs improvement?

          Visual Insight isn't as easy to use as the competitors.

          For how long have I used the solution?

          I’ve used MicroStrategy for 15 years.

          What do I think about the stability of the solution?

          We occasionally had stability issues.

          What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

          We did not have any scalability issues.

          How are customer service and technical support?

          I rate technical support 1.5/5 because they hardly ever help you with problems and when they do it's very late.

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

          We have always MicoStrategy.

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

          Recently, the licensing method and pricing have been simplified. Now it is much easier to understand.

          Which other solutions did I evaluate?

          At that moment many of the current tools didn't yet exist.

          What other advice do I have?

          No special advice.

          Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
          ITCS user
          Principal Architect at a tech consulting company with 501-1,000 employees
          Consultant
          Provides enterprise reporting, mobile access, and customizable dashboards. The development environment could be simplified.

          What is most valuable?

          • Enterprise reporting
          • Mobile
          • Distribution
          • Dashboards

          Most of our customers for whom I implemented the solutions were interested to see the level of detail. However, due to a couple of weaknesses we get from this tool, this was a bit painful.

          How has it helped my organization?

          We do consulting and Implementation of solutions to many industries like retail, distribution, manufacturing, oil & gas, wholesale, etc. Most of the solutions require the end reporting to be apt and simplified in nature. MicroStrategy’s built-in solutions help a very reasonable amount of customers. As they require customization, developers are required to use the desktop client. That is not simple.

          What needs improvement?

          Simplify the development environment and improve the visualizations.

          For how long have I used the solution?

          I have been using MicroStrategy for one year and three months.

          What do I think about the stability of the solution?

          We have not had stability problems.

          What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

          We have not had scalability problems.

          How are customer service and technical support?

          I rate technical support 2.5/5.

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

          We did not have any previous solution.

          How was the initial setup?

          Setup was pretty much straightforward.

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

          Licensing is completely dependent on the number of architects and developers the organization requires. The pricing is reasonable when compared with other industry leading tools.

          Which other solutions did I evaluate?

          We evaluated Oracle BI, Microsoft BI, Tableau and Cognos.

          What other advice do I have?

          I recommend that they evaluate the in-built dashboards, test them with sample data and see how dashboards best fit your needs. As the development or customization of this tool is a crutch, people do not prefer to get into this technology.

          Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
          ITCS user
          Senior BI Consultant at a tech services company with 501-1,000 employees
          Consultant
          Even non-IT personnel can create reports. I would like to see web and desktop functionality be reconciled.

          Pros and Cons

          • "The drill-down functionality is also very good."
          • "The graphs available for the new dashboard of version 10 are weak."

          What is most valuable?

          It is very easy for non-IT personnel to create (grid) reports. And once the report is created, the user can switch rows, columns, and add filters. This avoids the creation of a lot of reports that have just a different look.

          The drill-down functionality is also very good.

          How has it helped my organization?

          It did not really change the way the organization works. But it has improved our budgeting process. It also gives us a better overview of our warehouse management.

          What needs improvement?

          It has two versions: web and desktop. Some changes can be done with the web tools and some can be done with the desktop tool. Reconciling the two tools to make all functionality available in all tools would be a great improvement.

          The graphs available for the new dashboard of version 10 are weak. You can include all the 3D graphs that you find, but you have to find them and include them or develop them yourself. By default, you should have at least the same possibilities for the graph so that you can add in a document. For the moment, I still use the document because I did not find a line graph that can use multiple metrics and multiple categories.

          For how long have I used the solution?

          I have personally used it for three years now. The company I am working for has used it for four years.

          What do I think about the stability of the solution?

          We have not had stability issues, but we are a small group and we do not use the mobile functionalities.

          What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

          We have not had scalability issues, but we are a small group.

          How are customer service and technical support?

          I find technical support very responsive. If they do not know the answer, they search for it until they find a solution that solves your problem. The community site has also a lot of information.

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

          I am an external consultant and I know the Microsoft BI suite. I also worked a bit with QlikView. The company that uses MicroStrategy had no other tools before it.

          How was the initial setup?

          I was not there at the initial setup. I found it easy to add some new attributes, facts, and metrics.

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

          I am not in charge of licensing. They made a change in the licensing module some time ago and we can now use all the enterprise tools for free. This was a big improvement. We are using a name license. The advantage is that these licenses can be used on all environments.

          Which other solutions did I evaluate?

          I was not there for the initial choice. But I know they had a PoC on SAP BusinessObjects and Microsoft BI.

          What other advice do I have?

          If you use MicroStrategy on top of a data warehouse, put all the code translation in a snowflake schema. The reason is that often the last pass of the process translates the code into labels and it is easier if these labels are in separate tables.

          Install the enterprise manager tools and projects at the beginning. You can create a lot of objects and you need to know which one is used. This tool is not perfect, but it will give you an overview of the utilization of MicroStrategy.

          As an IT person, you have to create the model: define the attributes and the metrics. Once you have done that, if a user wants to create a grid report he must drag attributes and metrics and drop them in the grid area.

          This user has to know the business a bit because he must combine attributes and metrics that make sense.

          Another way of working is to create a big grid report with multiple attributes and metrics. A user can easily remove the attributes and metrics that he does not need and remove them from the grid. He then can save the report is his "my report" folder if he use it often.

          For example, as retail company, we created a "big" grid report with sales and stock by articles, shop, sales persons, year and month. The sales period is part of the filter. If a user want the sales per shop and years, he just has to remove from the grid the attributes and metrics that he does not need. Same thing if he wants sales per users. For us, it simplifies our life because one report replaced eight existing reports in our system.

          Now, the the reports are made by someone from the business that asks sometimes (but not often) for IT support.

          If you only want simple grid reports, almost anyone can make them. If you want advanced reports (dashboard, pixel perfect documents) the user must follow a training.

          Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
          it_user162021
          Business Development Manager at a tech company with 51-200 employees
          Vendor
          Blending and mashing enables business users to access different data sources, and combine them to create reports and visualizations.

          What is most valuable?

          • Visual insights:
            • For ad-hoc and self-service visualization
            • Faster user adoption
            • Connection to different sources
            • Data blending / mashing: Blending and mashing is valuable since users right now are currently tied up with the traditional way of getting data from databases prepared by IT. This feature will enable business users to immediately have access to different data sources, whether from IT or from their personal files, and allows them to combine these sources, and create reports and/or visualizations quickly and easily.
              Saves time and empowers business users.
            • Visual data discovery / data visualization
          • Developer: object-oriented BI modelling
          • Web services: building highly customized BI applications
          • Mobile: pixel-perfect mobile dashboards, building mobile apps
          • Object manager: migrations
          • Security: complete and secure for enterprise scale

          How has it helped my organization?

          • As a consulting firm: delivering BI solutions to customers effectively and efficiently at an enterprise level

          What needs improvement?

          • Developer: Simplify BI modelling features to increase learning curve and user adoption.
          • Data visualization: Improve and add visualizations and features to prepare BI apps. Reduce clicks and steps.

          For how long have I used the solution?

          I have been using it for 3-4 years, including earlier versions (9.2).

          What do I think about the stability of the solution?

          We have encountered minimal stability issues.

          What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

          We have not encountered any scalability issues.

          How are customer service and technical support?

          Customer support is great but can still improve TAT.

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

          We did not switch from a previous solution. We use Tableau, Microsoft and MicroStrategy depending on the needs or requirements of the customer.

          How was the initial setup?

          The setups I have done are all single-server deployments, both in Linux and Windows:

          • I-Server
          • Mobile server
          • Web server

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

          Further simplify the licensing scheme:

          • Architect is expensive
          • Match or beat the pricing of Tableau
          • Tableau is still cheaper

          Which other solutions did I evaluate?

          All products have been used depending on the customer.

          What other advice do I have?

          At the enterprise level, MicroStrategy is good but requires a longer learning curve to fully maximize the platform as compared to other traditional BI tools and niche products such as Tableau.

          Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: We are a business partner of MicroStrategy in the Philippines. Re-seller, SI and SP.
          it_user413238
          Technical Specialist at a tech company with 10,001+ employees
          Vendor
          I like the Visual Insights, reporting and subscriptions with alerts.

          What is most valuable?

          Mobile, Visual Insights, reporting and subscriptions with alerts.

          How has it helped my organization?

          From my experience, I see that it is definitely more useful for businesses to make effective decisions from the data used. One example I can recall is in healthcare, where it helps businesses to see hospital/facility level inflow/outflow information on a mobile device in real time fashion, and make decisions accordingly to improve the business.

          What needs improvement?

          Some of the basic features such as Axis Label formatting on Graphs, Quick Switch on mobile (iOS), properly updated documentation on their websites, and faster enhancement fixes when needed for customers/businesses that are simple in nature rather than holding it for longer durations to fix.

          For how long have I used the solution?

          I've been using it for five years.

          What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

          There are times where the installation cause problems – but those could be avoiding if we know the process or certified/supported items before doing it.

          How are customer service and technical support?

          I would rate it as average as enhancements and defect fixes takes years or months to implement. Other than that, their turn around on issues will be quicker depending on the priority of ticket.

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

          I’ve used Qlikview and Tableau – which is good in self service than enterprise delivery. I love MicroStrategy as it has full depth BI functionality inside right from Admin to End Users scalability. Hence, MicroStrategy is the best solution I have used to date.

          How was the initial setup?

          It was straightforward to me and now they have made it much easier in v10.x with express install and a static licence key rather than updating it on every sub release within the versions.

          What about the implementation team?

          I have done both as a vendor team and also in-house for my own organization. My advice is to read the complete install and upgrade guide that the product provides. This will help you to have a better implementation than doing it without this knowledge.

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

          They should make it cheaper and add more value to the product by resolving small issues that are very key to businesses. Other than that, the current pricing and licensing model is good.

          What other advice do I have?

          Understand your business needs and budget. In order decide whether or not to get this tool you need to know your the vision that will eventually help in growing your business.

          Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
          ITCS user
          Senior BI Analyst at a financial services firm with 51-200 employees
          Vendor
          All of the data is in a single place. It should move to the web completely and leave the desktop behind.

          What is most valuable?

          The OLAP environment is valuable. The user can find all the data in a single place and through the web, without needing to install anything on their machines and, of course, once you have created the necessary metadata. That is not as easy in other platforms, such as Microsoft.

          How has it helped my organization?

          It gives people access to data in a single place (portal).

          What needs improvement?

          I believe they should move to the web completely and leave the desktop behind. Features available one time through one and another time through the other complicates things too much.

          For how long have I used the solution?

          I have used it for three years.

          What do I think about the stability of the solution?

          We have had no stability issues.

          What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

          We have had some scalability issues, but they have not been a big problem.

          How are customer service and technical support?

          Technical support is poor. You have to read their manuals and that's pretty much everything you have.

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

          The company I was working for chose that course of action. I'd rather we did a proof of concept with several vendors instead of choosing MicroStrategy up front.

          How was the initial setup?

          The initial setup was complex, really complex! Lots of configurations and installations.

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

          It's expensive. I believe there are others that can provide most of the features for a better price.

          Which other solutions did I evaluate?

          No other options were evaluated. My boss at the time didn't want to spend time with evaluations, unfortunately.

          What other advice do I have?

          Compare, and if you're going to spend a lot of money anyhow, there are better options, surely!

          Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
          it_user198780
          Associate at a tech services company with 10,001+ employees
          Consultant
          The Distribution service sends notifications, emails, and files to FTP to different sets of users and locations, with a different personalization for each subscription.

          What is most valuable?

          In addition to its dashboard, reporting, and scorecard development tools, MicroStrategy has more than 10 tools in its product suite which help to integrate with other technologies and products.

          • Enterprise Manager tracks the usage of the MicroStrategy environment. This helps management to know how well the stakeholders, such as sales and business users, are using the tool for decision making or for daily sales tracking. They can know if there is an ROI for this tool.
          • Visual Insight helps top executives with little or no technical background to find the insights and visualize the data in no time. Multiple formats are supported: Excel, CSV, text, and more.
          • More than 50 data connectors include connectors to relational databases, NoSQL databases, social media, and other BI tools. This enables MicroStrategy to connect to any other data source to extract insights from it.
          • MicroStrategy's Distribution service is so robust that it can send notifications, emails, and send to FTP to different sets of users and locations with a different personalization for each subscription.

          How has it helped my organization?

          Our Finance team has to send alert emails to stakeholders for the open due balance during the first week of every month. The details include the bank account details for transfers, invoice details, and the repo rate.

          This used to be done manually. MicroStrategy’s Distribution services became a game changer for us. We send around 1000 emails in 10 minutes. It also provides a mechanism to track the delivery of emails and notify the administrator in case of failure.

          What needs improvement?

          Compared to other BI tools in the market, the development time for dashboards, reports, and scorecards for this tool is high.

          It has developer and web components that are that the other has. It becomes difficult for a developer to switch between them for development.

          Many BI tools enable you to develop a dashboard once, and then view it on various devices, such as web, mobile, and iPad. MicroStrategy dashboards are not auto-sized based on the device. A separate dashboard has to be developed for each device.

          For every release, there are new features with new bugs equal to them. The vendor has to come up with quarterly releases, which is good; but the applications in a production environment are unstable because of the frequent upgrades being done.

          For how long have I used the solution?

          I have been using MicroStrategy for more than five years.

          What do I think about the stability of the solution?

          Until version 10.2, the environment was quite stable. After that, MicroStrategy started releasing new versions on a quarterly basis. This means that more upgrades need to be done on the production environment. This makes the system a little unstable.

          What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

          With recent releases, MicroStrategy introduced the “Work Fencing” concept for hardware scalability.

          MicroStrategy uses PRIME (Parallel Relational In-Memory Engine), which it claims as the “interactive exploration of terabytes of data with millions of users.”

          MicroStrategy has been very good in upgrading itself to handle Big Data, both in terms of hardware scalability and the volume of data it can handle. We did not come across any problems in terms of scalability.

          How are customer service and technical support?

          Technically, the support team is very strong in terms of troubleshooting the MicroStrategy logs and other system logs. They also suggest a few best practices for better performance and maintaining a stable environment.

          However, they ask for too many logs and files if a help request is raised. It would be helpful to have a centralized log.

          The time zone of the support team and the development team is usually different. This delays the resolution time.

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

          Prior to switching to MicroStrategy’s Business Intelligence tool, we were using Excel and SQL queries to track business metrics. These solutions required more technical knowledge. There is no centralized ecosystem which can integrate and troubleshoot if there are issues.

          We purchased MicroStrategy licenses, expecting our business users to like the seamless experience. MicroStrategy has a mobile component which helps our sales team track and showcase insights to stakeholders without any problems.

          How was the initial setup?

          MicroStrategy setup requires a few hardware prerequisites, and a few other installations in the system. This include the .NET framework, IIS, etc. Once the prerequisites are met, it is straightforward.

          Also, we can install different MicroStrategy components in different servers, assuming that those servers are able to communicate with each other. This avoids the overhead of having traffic on only one server.

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

          I don't have much information on this. MicroStrategy offers two types of license: per user and per device. The licensing is a litter higher compared to other BI players in market.

          Which other solutions did I evaluate?

          Apart from MicroStrategy, there are a few other players in the market which are actually doing good. There are the in-memory BI tools like QlikView and Tableau, and traditional BI tools like Cognos.

          We have found some aspects of MicroStrategy which actually suit our business model, so we went with it.

          What other advice do I have?

          There are around 10+ good BI players in the market. All of them have their own strengths in terms of visualizations, predictive analysis, self-service, mobility, scalability, etc.

          I would definitely recommend this product, but I would suggest that companies identify what exactly the business users are looking for in a Business Intelligence tool, and try to evaluate the tools abilities and licensing cost before actually purchasing the tool.

          Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
          ITCS user
          Solution Architect at a tech services company with 1,001-5,000 employees
          Real User
          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 are 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 solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

          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.
          ITCS user
          Information Publishing Portfolio Manager at a comms service provider
          Vendor
          We design attractive widgets using the aesthetic capabilities of the dashboarding functionality.

          What is most valuable?

          The aesthetic capabilities of the dashboarding functionality are probably the most impressive. It enables designing really great looking widgets that I have not seen in other offerings.

          How has it helped my organization?

          A single management dashboard is visible on the big screens of all the company chiefs. This enables them to easily refer to it during meetings. They are able to drill down on specifics. It provides a view of the current position of the companies KPIs, and provides the main source of ‘true data’.

          What needs improvement?

          Licensing costs are extremely high and prohibitive for smaller to medium size businesses. This makes it the enterprise-wide reporting tool for larger corporations.

          For how long have I used the solution?

          I have been using MicroStrategy for seven years.

          What do I think about the stability of the solution?

          I did not have any issues with stability.

          What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

          I did not have any issues with scalability.

          How are customer service and technical support?

          In South Africa, the level of support is very limited to Johannesburg. Very few local partners exist that support the application, compared to other tools in the market. I would, therefore, rate the level of technical support specifically in South Africa as mediocre.

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

          Previously, the company used SAP Business Objects. I made the decision to switch over to MicroStrategy because Business Objects was acquired by SAP at the time. Most ongoing development on BusinessObjects became SAP-focused. This didn’t help us because we are an Oracle-centered organization. MicroStrategy seemed to be the best fit due to its being major database agnostic.

          How was the initial setup?

          The setup was straightforward and relatively simple.

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

          It’s very expensive. If the pretty picture isn’t one of your core requirements, then most other tools would fit the job.

          Which other solutions did I evaluate?

          We evaluated BusinessObjects, Cognos and QlikView.

          What other advice do I have?

          It is essential to have resources available in the organization for harnessing the true potential of the tool.

          Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
          ITCS user
          GRM Spain - Tools and Risk Models with 1,001-5,000 employees
          Vendor
          On-the-go reports do not require a fixed-forever template. In terms of usability, it is difficult to set up security.

          What is most valuable?

          I found the ability to create self-reports very valuable. This solution gives a lot of flexibility to analysts and support staff, in order to create reports on-the-go which do not need a fixed-forever template.

          How has it helped my organization?

          Combined with a data governance, it helped us to share information across the organization, to provide a unique source of relevant information, and to avoid duplicities.

          What needs improvement?

          The following are areas for improvement:

          • Self reporting
          • Metadata library / dictionary
          • A better security implementation (in terms of usability, it is difficult as hell trying to set up security.)
          • Ability to create big reports (e.g., tables are limited to 65000 rows, which is a limitation of the previous century).

          For how long have I used the solution?

          We have used this product for about six years.

          What do I think about the stability of the solution?

          The servers fall quite easily.

          What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

          There are some scalability issues. The solution is unable to respond quickly to big reports. I had to switch to Tableau, or perform pre-processing and then import data outside of the model.

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

          We were evaluating Tableau, which everybody found to be a better solution. However, MicroStrategy is the official reporting tool in my organization.

          What other advice do I have?

          Make sure you design the exploitation layer very carefully. If you don't, everything will turn into a mess. You will need technical gurus to understand the metadata, and the reports will be generated very slowly.

          Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
          it_user531798
          Consultant at a consultancy with 1,001-5,000 employees
          Consultant
          The data warehousing capabilities are robust, and it is mobile-ready.

          What is most valuable?

          MicroStrategy is an enterprise-wide Business Intelligence solution. There are various components of the software which are independent modules, but which work in conjunction to give a holistic enterprise-wide solution.

          The most significant product feature is its robust data warehousing capabilities and metadata management. MicroStrategy lets the user create a different data model on top of the actual physical data model, according to the project requirements. This is a very helpful feature for modelling data and managing the metadata from different data sources in a single place. Any changes in the project data model or inclusion of new data fields is fairly easily accomplished.

          Another key feature is that MicroStrategy is mobile-ready. This is one of the few software applications in the BI field which is mobile-ready. It is easy to build visualizations for mobile phones and iPads, and deploy them to end users.

          The server architecture is very robust and enables the user to blast company-wide emails with BI reports.

          How has it helped my organization?

          The product has enabled the organization to blend data from different business units of the organization and product reports on it.

          It has also replaced the manual process of sending out reports in an Excel sheet every Monday to specified users.

          What needs improvement?

          The product needs some improvement in its visualization capabilities. A fair amount of training is required to use this product.

          The product is not business-user friendly. It has a lot of IT components which require special expertise. Ad-hoc reporting capabilities can be improved.

          For how long have I used the solution?

          I have been using MicroStrategy for three years.

          What do I think about the stability of the solution?

          The product is stable. However, performance issues could be encountered if the server architecture is not set up appropriately based on usage and requirements.

          What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

          Product scalability is easy and MicroStrategy provides additional support if required.

          How are customer service and technical support?

          This software requires some training and technical expertise. MicroStrategy provides training sessions for users. They also provide technical support while installing the software and setting up the architecture, which is helpful. Technical support is very responsive and helpful. For larger organizations, they usually have a technical support specialist assigned who would answer any question via email or phone.

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

          I have used many BI solutions other than MicroStrategy.

          How was the initial setup?

          The initial setup is complex. However, MicroStrategy sends technical support to assist with the initial setup. These consultants work in conjunction with the company's employees to get it set up.

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

          The pricing and licensing is a bit different than most products due to the suite of standalone tools that exist within the entire product. A sales representative would be able to assist with the pricing.

          Which other solutions did I evaluate?

          I reviewed IBM Cognos along with MicroStrategy. MicroStrategy was a better fit for our company needs due to its robust architecture, mobile-ready dashboards and a good pipeline of features coming in the future.

          I keep learning new technologies and products to stay relevant in the ever evolving BI market. MicroStrategy has a good place in the market right now and is used by many enterprises as their primary BI tool. It also has better in some capabilities (handling large databases, server architecture, mobile-ready) than other tools in the market and has a good pipeline of upcoming advancements.

          What other advice do I have?

          This is an enterprise-wide solution for which the return on investment is long term rather than short term. Evaluate the product appropriately with others based on your needs.

          Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: My company provides Professional Services for MicroStrategy.
          ITCS user
          Tech Lead at a tech services company with 1,001-5,000 employees
          Consultant
          One stop platform for all flavours of BI

          What is most valuable?

          The OLAP functionality of this product is best in class. The cubes created in MSTR can utilize all cores of the server and thus can be configured to use MPP architecture.

          Another feature to highlight here is the latest Big Data Engine; MSTR's BDE is a Yarn based application that embeds right on top of Hadoop FS providing direct access to files in FS without need of any other language - Pig/Impala/Hive. I believe this is the closest a BI tool can embed on top of Hadoop FS.

          The last one (not a feature though) which I would like to mention is the SQL that MSTR engine creates to retrieve data from warehouse. The multi-pass SQL is a very effective tool that provides lot of VLDB settings to tweak the SQL in regards to database, load and multiple other factors.

          How has it helped my organization?

          We were able to automate multiple repetitive tasks in the BI environment using administrative tools provided with this product. This helped the team focus their energies on critical work tasks.

          What needs improvement?

          Version control is still a major concern in MicroStrategy. I am aware that MSTR is working on it as an enhancement.

          License cost is also on the heavier side. Perhaps the desktop version that launched recently, might help ease pressure on budget.

          For how long have I used the solution?

          I have been using it for 7 years.

          What do I think about the stability of the solution?

          There are no issues with the stability of the product. It works well even with huge datasets and under heavy workloads.

          What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

          Scalability is not an issue. Administrators can make use of clustering feature to balance out loads on MSTR I-Server. MSTR can scale vertically as well as horizontally.

          How are customer service and technical support?

          Technical support has improved a lot in terms of response time as well as technical know-how. The trend was observed with the release of major version 10.x.

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

          I have used some other solutions simultaneously and also at previous work places but I have never switched from one tool to another.

          How was the initial setup?

          The initial setup is quite vast. Users need to install & configure a lot of components in the MicroStrategy toolkit. Starting from version 10.x, enterprise manager console is embedded in the operations manager console which requires additional configuration.

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

          License cost is quite pricey with loads of add-on functionalities and tools. Organizations possessing an enterprise-wide vision should be the right customers for this tool.

          The new addition - MicroStrategy desktop can be used as a standalone application and can help ease pricing pressure.

          Which other solutions did I evaluate?

          I did an assessment of Microsoft and MicroStrategy but I realized that both fall into quite different leagues. Microsoft is an ideal fit for low to mid-level companies while MicroStrategy is perfect for huge enterprises. The assessment is a part of market study and will be used for future prospect engagements to position MicroStrategy.

          What other advice do I have?

          MicroStrategy requires a heavy dose of training and experience to master it. Prepare yourself with an experienced team before jumping into any project.

          Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
          it_user72435
          Solution Architect at a healthcare company with 1,001-5,000 employees
          Real User
          Objects are defined, validated, and provided once, and can be reused throughout the platform.

          What is most valuable?

          • Analytics power on a large scale.
          • Unified metadata.
          • Fully integrated platform covering all styles of BI.
          • We deal in TBs of data and MicroStrategy works well at high data volumes with complex analytics and with high user concurrency.
          • The common/reusable metadata, whereby many objects (e.g., attributes, metrics, hierarchies, custom groups, etc.) are defined, validated, and provided once and can be reused throughout the platform and use cases; a single truth is realized and maintained.
          • The various components of MicroStrategy are fully integrated and built upon a single code base providing for optimal exchange of objects and deliverables across the various platform components. E.g., you can build an exploratory dashboard using Visual Insight and hit a button to convert it on the fly to a Report Services Document.

          How has it helped my organization?

          Most of our SaaS products are analytic in nature and against TBs of data with users accessing a broad array of standard reports, guided ad-hoc queries, data exploration, and dashboards. For our high volume (both data and users), MicroStrategy continues to be the backbone of these SaaS solutions.

          What needs improvement?

          In general, MicroStrategy objects within their metadata object model roll up to “project” as the highest level today. Given that most users equate a project to a BI “application”, if you need a Microstrategy object (e.g. Single panel objects, graphs/visualizations/reports/templates including depicted data, schema objects, templates, etc.) to be used across projects – you have to duplicate/build and maintain copies in each and every project using them. There could be several possibilities for handling this.

          One option could be to create the concept of a “global” project in which all consistent, build-once-use-everywhere objects would be built and maintained and a corresponding option within each specific project to decide if/what “global” project objects should be inherited. To maintain the integrity of these global objects, they should not be modifiable within each specific project. Today, the only option to achieving this would be to have a single "mega-project" encompassing everything – this would not perform, would not be advisable, and would create dependencies that no organization could navigate successfully.


          For how long have I used the solution?

          I personally have used it since 1997.

          What do I think about the stability of the solution?

          9.4.1 HF9 has been quite stable; 10.0-10.1 was somewhat unstable but 10.2 delivered a very stable environment for us. We’re moving to 10.4 soon as that is the MicroStrategy “platform” release, where they will be issuing multiple hot fixes and will remain the core until they create a major new/next release.

          What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

          I have never encountered any scalability issues.

          How are customer service and technical support?

          Technical support continues to struggle a bit, although our recent downgrade of support level from Elite to Premium has been a good one. Our assigned technical account manager (TAM) has been doing a great job shepherding our various issues/enhancement requests effectively.

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

          I did not previously use a different solution.

          How was the initial setup?

          Installations/upgrades have been somewhat complex in the past and time-consuming; however, the increasing versions of 10.2 continue to reduce the number of total, and especially manual, steps.

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

          The new licensing model is straightforward; I’d recommend to any new customer to push for CPU licensing to avoid having to track/count specific user licenses.

          Which other solutions did I evaluate?

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

          What other advice do I have?

          Ensure you have a solid/local sales engineer to watch over your initial and continued success, and ensure you subscribe to a technical support level that offers a technical account manager to be your voice into technology.

          Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
          it_user111504
          VP of Customer Experience at a consumer goods company with 501-1,000 employees
          Vendor
          It allows us to code triggers to our affiliate system, CRM, and reporting services.

          What is most valuable?

          • Mobility: Until very recently, I ran the marketing department for my online gaming company. The ability to review reports, have alarms, drill through the data and make actions (referred to as TRX services) was invaluable. I could decide on the go or at home which campaigns to run the next day, which products to advertise or which partners to invest on. My business is quite volatile and fast changing and so need to be the tools that manage it.
          • Usher allowed us to let go of slow connections to VPN, speeding up the tasks probably by 10-fold and providing an improved security layer.
          • Transactional services allowed us to code triggers to our affiliate system, CRM, and reporting services. This allowed us to clean up the data on the go, start and stop campaigns and partners, and better relay data to other departments. It's a strong offering that most BI systems lack.
          • Visual Insights: This one is where most tools focus on, and although MicroStrategy is not the best – I rate Tableau and Qlik better – it is definitely up there; easy slice and dice of information and visually appealing reports for the non-techie businessman. :)

          How has it helped my organization?

          The main transformations came in the form of mobility, security and self-service.
          Smaller benefits came, for instance, from the disappearance of point-in-time presentations for board members with Office integration.

          Publishing centralized reports allowed a consolidation of metrics and interdepartmental cooperation and efficiency.

          What needs improvement?

          There are ways to go in the areas of newer technologies (big data), better integration with other visualization tools. For instance, MicroStrategy does not provide real-time reporting and integration with other services (social media listening, for instance).

          Transactional services should have a big overhaul in terms of delivery, tracking, rollback and documentation.

          On the major improvements I would recommend – I would say last but not least – is a review of the UX of the whole backend, as it looks a lot like it’s from the early 2000s.

          For how long have I used the solution?

          I have used it for three years.

          What do I think about the stability of the solution?

          We encountered stability issues in the beginning; the learning curve for troubleshooting is not small. However, after training on the MicroStrategy server was done, we found the platform very reliable.

          What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

          Not for our use case, yet. We use MicroStrategy just as the content delivery layer; all our backend is done using a Hortonworks "BigData" (dislike the term btw) stack.

          How are customer service and technical support?

          Technical support is good.

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

          We previously used several different solutions. :) I’ve been in business for a while. I actually for this business never switched, as Lottoland was a new business. The reason I didn’t use the technologies that I used in the past such as Oracle, SQL Server with Crystal Reports, Jaspersoft, Cognos, QlikView, SAP BO and so on..., is that I had looked at MSTR’s potential, but their pricing structure was far too complicated and convoluted. When that changed, it tipped the scales to choose them as our provider.

          How was the initial setup?

          From a technical perspective, the default installation is quite straightforward.

          However, initial setup complexity depends on the eye of the beholder I guess. I started with around 70 end users, 120 reports/dashboards across the company, one production server of MSTR with passive fallback, and transactional services for writeback on our data warehouse.

          MSTR has no contact with nor at any point was used to manage the data warehouse or our data sources.

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

          Pricing, as I understand it, is now based on:

          • Users
          • Cores
          • A separate price for mobile

          I have no advice, I'm afraid; it’s quite straightforward. As a rule of my company, we keep costs low so strictly report readers have no access; "inquirers", power users, and technical staff have full access. If at any point the cores become cheaper, we would switch. :) Then they have to reassess access strategies, as it becomes more important the time users access the platform rather than the amount. We'll never be in that situation because we run on commodity servers (we prefer more servers with more cores rather than a big mainframe). If I have any advice, it is to go cloud if possible; due to our regulations, we cannot.

          Which other solutions did I evaluate?

          Before choosing this product, we evaluated several other options, the usual subjects: BO, SQL Server, Tableau, Qlick,...

          What other advice do I have?

          If you implement a specific refresh window, be very wary of refresh times and memory consumption; system refreshes block any other action on the system. Other than that, the platform is quite intuitive for anyone who has BI solution implementation experience.

          MicroStrategy is the best of all enterprise solutions on a price/value axis.

          Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
          ITCS user
          System Architect at a tech services company with 5,001-10,000 employees
          Consultant
          It offers reports, dashboards and widgets for end users, along with mobile and web access

          Valuable Features

          • Perfect reports, dashboards and widgets for end users
          • Mobile and web access

          Improvements to My Organization

          Management can see how the business is going, financial stuff and analyze all sales processes. It is possible to build advanced beautiful reports, decorated with different graphs, charts, which is so liked by management, though this beauty can be infinitely improved, especially in mobile apps. Also, we can present analytics in dashboards, combine elements in a document, animate them, visualize them and more.

          Room for Improvement

          As an architect and implementation specialist, I think it must improve component integration, troubleshooting and diagnostics.

          The evaluation possibilities for developers are very bad. Obtaining the installation key and activation code is a complicated procedure; there are problems with the extension of the evaluation period. Unfortunately, it sometimes takes a long time for customers to understand the benefits of the product and in this way, MSTR is less convenient for developers.

          We had some problems with EM statistics ETL, Architect, and Operations Manager.

          Use of Solution

          I have used it for two years.

          Stability Issues

          I have encountered stability issues: unstable Architect mappings, IS crashes without diagnostics, and so on.

          Scalability Issues

          I have not encountered any scalability issues, because we did not risk using it for large projects. We use Oracle BI instead.

          Customer Service and Technical Support

          Technical support is a six out of 10. For example, MicroStrategy closed their office in Russia. Before that, customers could solve problems with the product through us, due to the lack of a Russian-speaking support line. After the office closure, they simply did not renew support.

          Initial Setup

          Initial setup was relatively straightforward. However, beginner users can suffer from a lack of information and help from the community after using Oracle products.

          Pricing, Setup Cost and Licensing

          The product has a nice price.

          Other Solutions Considered

          Usually, we use Oracle BI, MSAS or Pentaho. For only two projects, MSTR was the best choice for our customers. We also can use SAP BO.

          Other Advice

          Read the documentation, have patience and good luck in looking in the knowledge base.

          Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
          it_user528906
          Business Intelligence Consultant at a tech services company with 501-1,000 employees
          Consultant
          Architect lets you design schema for multi-dimensional analysis. Visual Insight is still not mature.

          What is most valuable?

          • Architect (lets you design schema for multi-dimensional analysis)
          • Visual Insight (self-service BI)

          How has it helped my organization?

          This tool lets you design operational/analytical reports that business utilizes to overcome bottlenecks in processes of product development life-cycle.

          What needs improvement?

          • Visual Insight is still not mature & does not have as much flexibility as its competitors. It is very unstable while doing development or using. Also, it does not have features such as associative filtering that Qlik has. Also, you do not have many options when formatting graphs. There is still a large gap between document vs VI features.
          • Concurrent usage of Architect while retaining consistency.

          For how long have I used the solution?

          I have used it for seven years.

          What do I think about the stability of the solution?

          Schema development stability issues.

          Browser compatibility.

          What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

          I have not encountered any scalability issues.

          How are customer service and technical support?

          Technical support can be improved.

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

          I did not previously use a different solution.

          How was the initial setup?

          Installation & configuration is straightforward.

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

          Licensing is a bit complex.

          Identify the user base & then analyze usage from the end-user & developer point of view. Keep track of unused licenses instead of adding new ones every time.

          Which other solutions did I evaluate?

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

          What other advice do I have?

          Make sure you are implementing this as an enterprise system & always check compatibility with other integrating systems.

          Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
          ITCS user
          MicroStrategy Developer at a computer software company with 501-1,000 employees
          Vendor
          Intelligent Cubes give the illusion of real-time response from reports. I'd like for them to be shareable with other reporting tools.

          Valuable Features

          Intelligent Cubes: not all database environments are optimized for reporting, nor do all BI lanes have access to a proper data warehouse. Often the BI tools are directly used against operational tables from the source. Intelligent Cubes provide the ability to pre-cache the results for non-real-time reporting to give the illusion of real-time response from reports (especially dashboards).

          Improvements to My Organization

          It provides a single point of reporting from many data sources.

          Room for Improvement

          List of improvements that this product lacks:

          • The ability to export and make the Intelligent Cubes shareable with other reporting tools.
          • Expand on the capabilities of the Visual Insight dashboard creation wizard to include more complex document templates to make it more appealing for business users who need greater sophistication but less development time nor reliance to BI developers.

          Use of Solution

          I have used it for 1.5 years at my current company, and for 15.5 years in my entire career.

          Stability Issues

          In the long history of this product, version 7.2.3 is the most stable. Next to that, it is 9.4.1.

          Scalability Issues

          I have not encountered any scalability issues.

          Customer Service and Technical Support

          Unfortunately, over the past five years, fewer capable first-level technical support technicians have been able to answer my questions. The quality of technical support expertise has degraded and there is more reliance on the MicroStrategy community users to help each other than from the vendor.

          Initial Setup

          Setup is overall fairly easy. However, changes in the metadata/statistics tables from one version to the next can benefit from better documentation to give clients a heads up.

          Pricing, Setup Cost and Licensing

          Like any enterprise implementation, clients should first take time to analyze the needs of their organization, the level of expertise of their user base and how reports are to be delivered to the end users. Before doing any future upgrades, they should do a sizing exercise by gauging how much server resource is used historically and the projected use over the next 12 months. In particular, many companies underestimate the size and total number of Intelligent Cubes that need to be preprocessed each day.

          Other Advice

          What I’ve mentioned elsewhere: Planning and sizing is a must, as well as thoroughly understanding the user base and their reporting delivery needs.

          Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
          ITCS user
          Senior Manager at a consultancy with 1,001-5,000 employees
          Consultant
          The multi-user development environment allows several power users to be changing the metadata.

          What is most valuable?

          • Multi-user development environment: allows several power users to be changing the metadata, which accelerates development. Oracle BI doesn't allow this, for instance.
          • Stability
          • High-performance queries
          • Flexibility
          • Internal analytical functions
          • Ease of integration with other systems
          • Ease of dashboard design

          How has it helped my organization?

          • Quick time to market of analytical solutions
          • In-depth, user-friendly business analysis

          What needs improvement?

          Simplify dashboard design; it is very powerful, but sometimes it might be like using a cannon to kill a mosquito, depending on the situation. Perhaps it is simpler in the newer version.

          From my experience, the Dahsboard design from Microstrategy v9i was
          very powerful and flexible. It was a "pixel perfect" design, but comparing
          with other reporting platforms like Tableau and Qlik and OBIEE it is more
          complex. I believe it is very good, but it needs some technical expertise
          (Power User) to be fully autonomous.

          For how long have I used the solution?

          I have used it for nine months.

          What do I think about the stability of the solution?

          I encountered minor stability issues.

          What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

          I have not encountered any scalability issues.

          How are customer service and technical support?

          Technical support is quick and efficient.

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

          This depends on the client's needs and existing IT systems.

          How was the initial setup?

          Initial setup is straightforward.

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

          It is expensive, but there is a good quality-price relationship.

          Which other solutions did I evaluate?

          Before choosing this product, we also evaluated QlikView and Tableau.

          What other advice do I have?

          Consider it in terms of flexibility to manage and develop user-friendly and powerful interfaces for end users.

          Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: I'm a partner, not a customer. I'm a System Integrator.
          it_user511212
          Senior BI Developer at a tech services company with 1,001-5,000 employees
          Consultant
          I like MSTR architect resembles data modelling for attribute relations/hierarchies; MSTR web has numerous options for end users.

          What is most valuable?

          MicroStrategy has a lot of features. If the developers and end-users know how to use it in depth, it is one awesome BI tool.

          MicroStrategy Architect is kind of a data modelling tool available in the MicroStrategy Desktop. It is used to maintain the relationships among the attributes. It is a really useful tool, especially when you have to modify the relationships/hierarchies; you do not need to go to the database to do the changes. Instead, you can use this architect to define them.

          MSTR generates SQL automatically for every object you pull on to the report. It has many options available in the VLDB properties where you can optimize the SQL.

          Web is an amazing tool for end users. You can customize the reports, create new ad-hoc reports, modify the existing static reports and apply sorting, filtering, pivoting, etc. Admins can define the access levels to the users based on their right to view/modify the sensitive data. Access levels can be defined at many levels; at project level, folder level, report level to the developers, standard users, project owners/directors.

          How has it helped my organization?

          The security filters concept was very useful for our requirements. It was like we had to use same database tables (backend) and report structure (frontend) for different countries but each country should not see the others’ data. In this case, we can apply security filters in the web environment to the user groups specific to the country.

          Data blending is also a good feature. With this, you can insert objects from more than one dataset in a single grid or graph in the dashboard. This allows users to create their own custom dashboards from multiple datasets.

          What needs improvement?

          The visual insight tool can be improved further. When I tried with Tableau, it has a wide variety of graphs to generate quick and easy.

          The graphical interpretations developed from the reports are not directly usable for dynamic analysis and formatting takes longer. the graphs do not indicate trends on their own. Whereas in Tableau, developing dashboards from the scratch is easy and super fast and dashboards look great without formatting.

          But I heard MSTR version 10 has come up with many features; yet to try.

          For how long have I used the solution?

          I have used it for five years.

          What do I think about the stability of the solution?

          I have not encountered any stability issues so far.

          What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

          I have not encountered any scalability issues so far.

          How are customer service and technical support?

          I am not really a great fan of tech support, because my project’s issues didn't get solved or the response was not quick.

          However, there is a discussion forum on the MicroStrategy Community site. You can post any technical/tool-based questions and you will get a fast response. It also has a knowledge base, which has many posts/tech notes written to provide solutions to the different kinds of problems. This community is really awesome, with many blogs/articles on MSTR.

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

          MicroStrategy was the first tool I worked on in five years. But I would probably switch to Tableau if I needed to work on visual insights and utilize a variety of graphs.

          How was the initial setup?

          Initial setup was quite straightforward and easier to me.

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

          The price is too high. They could at least increase the software evaluation period.

          Which other solutions did I evaluate?

          We didn't evaluate any other tools; the requirements we received from customers instructed us to work with MSTR.

          What other advice do I have?

          MSTR is a great tool for reporting. Especially for big organisations, it is very stable. Training is a must for the developers who want to play with the options available in and out of the tool.

          Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
          it_user516102
          Manager - BI and Analytics with 501-1,000 employees
          Vendor
          It is easy to develop dashboards for both web and mobile. They are not improving the prompt interface.

          Valuable Features:

          • Rapid development: Once you have data, it is pretty fast to develop dashboards that are available in both web and mobile environments. It is quite easy to develop in days.
          • Enterprise readiness

          Improvements to My Organization:

          • Management's ability to slice and dice data quickly with ease

          Room for Improvement:

          Any product/feature request takes years to get, if at all. This really pulls the rating down overall.

          For example, the MSTR prompt interface sucks, where users can enter details to get data. However, they do not seem to be too worried about modifying it. Selector preferences cannot be stored per user. Prompts can be saved per user but that interface sucks.

          Also, multiple currencies are handled poorly even after introducing two or more datasets in a document.

          Use of Solution:

          I have used it for more than two years.

          Stability Issues:

          I have not encountered any stability issues. We have four servers with DR capability.

          Scalability Issues:

          I have not encountered any scalability issues.

          Implementation Team:

          We got MSTR Services to set it up.

          Cost and Licensing Advice:

          With V10, they made life easier for licensing; bargain and do not take the quote as serious.

          Other Solutions Considered:

          Before choosing this product, I evaluated MicroStrategy, Cognos 8/9, Tableau’s very early versions and QlikView.

          Other Advice:

          It is good enterprise-level software. Consider Tableau and Qlik before making your decision. Evaluate your user readiness. For example, to use Tableau, the users should be more on the power users side. MicroStrategy is better if management is not tech savvy.

          Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
          ITCS user
          Managing Partner and Sr. MicroStrategy Enterprise Solution SME at a tech company
          Vendor
          It has striven to simplify, yet has not compromised on robustness.

          What is most valuable?

          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.

          How has it helped 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.

          What needs 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.)

          For how long have I used the solution?

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

          What do I think about the stability of the solution?

          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.

          What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

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

          How are 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.

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

          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.

          How was the 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.

          What's my experience with 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.

          Which other solutions did I evaluate?

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

          What other advice do I have?

          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.
          ITCS user
          Manager at a marketing services firm with 1,001-5,000 employees
          Vendor
          I can create a filter, add it to any metric, and use it in any report. Reports can be used as filters within other reports.

          What is most valuable?

          Hands-down: Object-oriented metadata architecture.

          Why? Allows the re-use of objects throughout the platform, resulting in fast development, need for smaller staff, and faster ROI.

          Example: Create a filter for Latest Month.

          You can add that filter to any metric, use that filter in any report, add that metric into any other metric (such as Latest Month Highest Performers). Any metric can be added to any report. Reports can even be used as filters within other reports.

          It can be used in any platform MicroStrategy offers: Developer, Web, Office, Mobile, Dashboards, Data Discovery… This is the same for metrics, reports, dashboards, etc. Build it once, use it anywhere (no need to create duplicate objects for Web and for Mobile, for instance).

          If a change is needed in an object, the change is permutated throughout the system. For instance, if the definition of the Sales metric changes, you change the Sales metric and wherever the metric is used, the change is expressed.

          This feature saves a lot of time in development and support because you don’t need to keep re-creating objects (and in re-creating them, introduce possible errors). A very small team can support many more users than any other platform, saving the organization money in the long run. In my opinion and experience, this gives MicroStrategy the edge over any other BI system.

          How has it helped my organization?

          Truly provides a single version of the truth. Once you create a metric or report that is correct, it is always correct, no matter where it is deployed. When a company I used to work for first rolled out MicroStrategy, there was a lot of suspicion by the existing DBAs and the traditional SQL report developers about the system’s results. If a report would show incorrect results one month, there was a lot of finger-pointing at MicroStrategy and ‘AHA!’s. In every case, the MicroStrategy team was able to prove that the error was due to incorrect data in the database.

          Over time, the MicroStrategy system grew to be the ‘system of record’ and used to validate data loads for other systems.

          What needs improvement?

          Documentation and training: Though the basics of the platform are well documented and the in-house training offerings are the best software training classes I have ever attended, MicroStrategy falls a little short when it comes to some of the lesser-known/used features. For most, this will not cause a problem. But if your situation calls for the need to work with System Manager (a workflow application), for example, you'll be stuck searching thru Google and YouTube looking for information.

          For how long have I used the solution?

          I have used it since version 5 (1998); 18 years off and on.

          What do I think about the stability of the solution?

          I occasionally encountered stability issues. If the metadata becomes extremely large, I have seen instances in which there are internal inconsistency errors. By this, I mean that it’s not that the system suddenly returns incorrect data but rather the internal definition of an object (could be any object: metric, filter, fact, report, hierarchy, etc.) becomes ‘corrupt’. MicroStrategy provides an easy-to-use tool, ScanMD, that finds and fixes these issues should they occur.

          The inconsistency is due to the way the MicroStrategy metadata is structured. It is a relational database with many tables. These tables have foreign keys to the other metadata tables. For example, an Object table and a Where Used table. Sometimes the deletion of an object or an update in an object might not be cleanly expressed throughout the metadata database and the relational integrity is broken for that object, throwing an error message when the object is used.

          What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

          I have not encountered any scalability issues.

          How are customer service and technical support?

          Like any technical support group, it depends on which individual you are working with. Some have been stellar. Others make you wonder if they’ve ever really worked with the software beyond basic training. Overall, they are better than most I’ve dealt with.

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

          I did not previously use a different solution.

          How was the initial setup?

          Set up can be complex, though not as complex as SAP, for example. The most important thing, the very most critical thing, is that the data model is correct. Attributes need to be clearly understood and their relationships to each other and the various facts needs to be carefully defined BEFORE you begin. An ER diagram, be it in Visio or a tool like ERwin, is invaluable and in my personal opinion a must have. Going back to redefine attribute relationships and table structures can be very difficult. Do not think you can ‘figure it out as we build’. You’ll need a person who is an experienced data modeler on the team.

          Software installation and hardware configuration is fairly straight forward.

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

          MicroStrategy can be very expensive compared to other platforms – at first blush. The cost of purchasing the software and licenses has frequently been identified in numerous surveys as the factor most often cited for not going the MicroStrategy. The initial buy-in can be expensive; however, the platform is so much cheaper to run over the long haul than most other enterprise systems. A very small dedicated team of developers and quick development times (after initial setup) result in a much-lower yearly platform cost than other systems.

          From a licensing viewpoint, there are basically two ways to go: per CPU or per user.
          Per CPU: If you will have more than a few hundred users on your system or foresee a very dynamic user base where the number of system users can grow rapidly then shrink then grow again – use per CPU. You can have virtually unlimited users.

          Per user: If you have a well-defined user base that you anticipate to stay roughly the same or grow slowly over time this may be your best option. Also, if you anticipate a very high workload (many thousands of reports run per day), this option allows you to add hardware without incurring licensing costs.

          FYI It is easier to renegotiate your licensing with MicroStrategy if you go from per user to per CPU than to go the other way around.

          Which other solutions did I evaluate?

          I do not know if/what other products were evaluated prior to MicroStrategy.

          What other advice do I have?

          • Do not attempt to ‘learn as you go’. It is a powerful platform and thus complex to understand. Attend MicroStrategy training classes. MicroStrategy offers on-line and in-house options, but take the classes at a MicroStrategy-sponsored training center; you need to be fully immersed. Those who’ve attempted ‘learn as we build’ are never satisfied.
          • Your team needs to have at least one person who is an experienced data modeler and that person needs to take MicroStrategy Architect training and should become MicroStrategy certified in that.
          • Your team should have a medium proficiency in SQL. They don’t need to be SQL wizards but they should have a solid base.
          • Your initial developers will need to be dedicated MicroStrategy resources. Do not expect them to be supporting and developing a variety of other software/platform initiatives.
          • Have a very good working relationship with your DBA staff. Communication is key.
          • Document, document, document. Documentation is not for you and your staff – it’s for the poor developers that come in afterwards. Have an ER diagram available for all your source databases. Have flow diagrams showing data loads, schedules, events, outputs. Maintain your system server diagrams (including ODBC connections, etc.). Besides helping new staff with on-boarding, it will help analyze impacts of system changes and is a virtual requirement when doing upgrades.
          • In your project plan, expect to utilize at least 25% of the timeline in building the data model (if one does not already exist).
          Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
          it_user514302
          Sr. MicroStrategy Consultant at a healthcare company with 1,001-5,000 employees
          Vendor
          Metadata helps in scalability and organizing objects. It also helps enhance dashboard and report performance.

          What is most valuable?

          MicroStrategy's biggest advantage is its metadata. It is the building block of the tool, which holds the foundation of the business. Not many of its competitors have this feature in their tools. Metadata will help in scalability, organizing objects and also help enhance their dashboard and report performance.

          The learning curve is comparatively small and, finally, they really improved their visualizations in Visual Insights.

          How has it helped my organization?

          Data Visualization helps the company's C-level people to make decisions regarding their business, both small scale and large scale.

          What needs improvement?

          They could improve the Enterprise Manager and Operations Manager components. Enterprise Manager is another component that comes MicroStrategy that acts another project inside it. Though it is a great feature, it needs lot of polishing of the objects such as attributes, metrics and others. They could also improve the pre-built reports that they provide with the component.

          For how long have I used the solution?

          I have used it since 2010.

          What do I think about the stability of the solution?

          As long as the initial setup is done properly, there is nothing to worry in the long run. Users have to make sure they keep the product updated with patches.

          What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

          I have not encountered any scalability issues; one of the best things about the product is its scalability.

          How are customer service and technical support?

          Technical support is 3/5. Elite group customers get the best technical support vs regular customers, whose tickets get delayed.

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

          I did not previously use a different solution; this was my first business intelligence tool.

          How was the initial setup?

          Initial setup used to be very time consuming and complex (because of so many components) but over the years, they have trimmed it down to minutes.

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

          It’s a great tool and expensive, as well. That’s why small businesses will find it difficult to afford.

          Which other solutions did I evaluate?

          Before choosing this product, we evaluated SAP Business Objects, Tableau, IBM Cognos, and QlikView.

          What other advice do I have?

          You need a strong and well-experienced team to successfully implement and use the tool at its best.

          Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
          it_user514278
          Program Manager at a tech company with 10,001+ employees
          Real User
          Report bursting offers fast ways to access info. It still lacks the analytics capability of other tools .

          What is most valuable?

          Caching and report bursting, as it offers the phenomenal ways to access the info at a blazing speed.

          How has it helped my organization?

          With this, we have been able to provide consistent reporting with ease, after the efforts put in the initial schema setup.

          What needs improvement?

          Visual Insight, as I see, has improved a lot but it still lacks the analytics capability of other tools such as Tableau.

          For how long have I used the solution?

          I have used it for seven years.

          What do I think about the stability of the solution?

          I have not largely encountered any stability issues, but upgrades at times have been little shaky.

          What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

          I have not encountered any scalability issues.

          How are customer service and technical support?

          Technical support is decently good.

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

          I previously used SAP BO, but it was moving here and there between companies and becoming a bit too much to handle.

          How was the initial setup?

          We use the Cloud edition, so N/A.

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

          Pricing is bit less transparent and high.

          What other advice do I have?

          It takes a while to set up properly to reap the benefits fully, so don’t rush up.

          Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
          it_user512919
          Microstrategy Developer at a financial services firm with 1,001-5,000 employees
          Vendor
          Customization options are available at the coding and visual levels.

          What is most valuable?

          • Business users can create their reports once architected
          • Available on all devices
          • Customization options available at coding and visual levels

          How has it helped my organization?

          Enterprise-wise solutioning helps us to troubleshoot more effectively.

          What needs improvement?

          Creating a dashboard is a very tedious and manual process.

          For how long have I used the solution?

          I have used it for six years.

          What do I think about the stability of the solution?

          I have not encountered any stability issues; it is very stable.

          What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

          I have not encountered any scalability issues.

          How are customer service and technical support?

          Technical support is 6/10.

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

          I did not previously use a different solution.

          How was the initial setup?

          Initial setup was straightforward.

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

          It is somewhat expensive.

          Which other solutions did I evaluate?

          Before choosing this product, we evaluated SAP BusinessObjects and IBM Cognos.

          What other advice do I have?

          Depending on the data volume, choosing the most suitable database will be key. Setting up the MicroStrategysystem for optimum performance will drive how helpful the output will be.

          Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
          it_user512088
          MicroStrategy Product Manager at a transportation company with 1,001-5,000 employees
          Vendor
          Being able to deliver dashboards to IPhone and iPad users is an asset.

          What is most valuable?

          • Mobility
          • Ease of use
          • Multi-sourcing ability

          Many of my users have iPhones and iPads, and being able to deliver mobile dashboards to them is a great asset for them. The coming years will prove that traditional desktop reporting and even working will be a thing of the past. All industries are moving towards mobile reporting and away from physical reporting (paper). Being able to deploy mobile reports on our user’s iPhones puts the necessary data they need at their fingertips. And actually, in 2017, I plan on pushing some Apple Watch reports.

          How has it helped my organization?

          I have created some transaction services reports that allow the field to comment on issues that the c-level might have questions on. This in turn creates a very open and productive environment.

          What needs improvement?

          https://www.itcentralstation.c...It would be great if MicroStrategy could incorporate into the Reporting Services dashboards the adaptive response that a Visual Insight dashboard has; being able to auto-adjust to the peripheral. When you create a Visual Insight dashboard, it would auto-adjust according to what the user is using to see the report; be that iPad, iPhone, or laptop.

          The drawback to a Visual Insight dashboard is that it doesn’t come with as many reporting options as a Reporting Services dashboard. The drawback to a Reporting Services dashboard is, if you have users that span multiple ways they see the data – laptop, tablet, or phone – you have to create a specific dashboard for each.

          For how long have I used the solution?

          I have used it for 12 years.

          What do I think about the stability of the solution?

          I have not encountered any stability issues.

          What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

          I have not encountered any scalability issues.

          How are customer service and technical support?

          The level of technical support depends; if it’s an easy question, then they will quickly answer the question. I find the majority of my help via the knowledge base.

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

          Up until a year ago, I used ProDiver. We switched because our company merged with another and they were using MicroStrategy.

          How was the initial setup?

          We are a Windows environment, so set up was very easy.

          Which other solutions did I evaluate?

          Before choosing this product, We didn’t evaluate other options.

          What other advice do I have?

          MicroStrategy depends heavily on your data, so don’t purchase it if your company doesn’t plan to make investments to warehouse its data.

          Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
          ITCS user
          BI Expert at a healthcare company with 501-1,000 employees
          Vendor
          The Visual Insight component provides simple integration with D3 data visualization​. VI export does not work as expected.

          What is most valuable?

          From an end-user perspective, the VI (Visual Insight) component is valuable, as it provides self-exploration to users, along with data wrangling and simple integration with D3 data visualization and numerous data source exploration. Also, mobile BI deployment is easy and valuable.

          In earlier versions, MSTR always required some technical person to set up the schema and the report/documents/dashboards for the end user. There were very few capabilities/features the end user could start doing on their own. With newer MSTR versions, there are easy ways for even end users to start importing data, wrangle data, if needed, and visualize using VI. And VI has additional features I have mentioned, which are like icing on the cake.

          How has it helped my organization?

          This product certainly has helped in various ways in all my past client implementations, be it simple on-schedule, automatic report delivery or self-service data exploration using Visual Insight.

          What needs improvement?

          MSTR is already well structured when it comes to overall product architecture. Starting with version 10.x, MSTR has improved significantly in the self-service space in comparison to BI tools in the market. However, the Visual Insight tool can be further improved, especially in the areas of presentation and export features:

          • They need to add more default visualizations, which are already available in RSD; for instance, histogram is a basic one that must exist in VI.
          • Currently, export from VI is not working as expected. (Most visuals get converted to bar chart when exporting.)
          • Though presentation mode is available, it would be nice to have an option for a more storytelling-like feature for better presentation of MSTR dashboards (similar to what is available in other BI tools).
          • Pure design mode for VI: This would help troubleshoot abrupt errors VI sometimes throws as a result of underlying data/dataset changes.

          These are some of key areas I feel need to be improved; however, there are many more suggestion on the community’s idea exchange.

          For how long have I used the solution?

          I have been using MSTR and related solutions for over eight years now.

          What do I think about the stability of the solution?

          I have not encountered any stability issues.

          What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

          MSTR is one of most scalable BI tools around at the moment.

          How are customer service and technical support?

          Depending on the type of customer you are (by that, I mean on-premise or cloud), tech support is usually knowledgeable and does escalate issues to a more-experienced expert when required. Response time on issues is average and sometimes, you need to be on top of it to get things moving or escalate to your MSTR account rep.

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

          I have used different solutions at different client assignments and, as part of the BI practice group in my past experience, also provided a recommendation for MSTR in comparison to other BI tools, depending on the client infrastructure or use cases.

          How was the initial setup?

          Initial setup complexity depends:

          • If you are going on-premise with MSTR, then - depending on your knowledge on setting up the tool - some might call the setup complex. However, in my view, it’s straightforward, with tons of support and knowledge available.
          • If you choose to go cloud with MSTR, its even simpler, as MSTR technical support takes care of all the setup for you.

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

          MSTR can be costly and difficult to digest to begin with, but is certainly one of most structured and scalable solutions out there available in market. I think companies should look at the tool from the scalability and stability perspectives, along with weighing it against the most important use cases and to not just go by how easy it is to create or visualize data. Most tools only present a pretty picture of the tool by showing how easy it is for users to visualize data on their own and hiding the data preparation realities.

          Which other solutions did I evaluate?

          I have evaluated multiple tools in the past such as Tableau, SAP BusinesObjects, SSRS, Crystal Reports, QlikView, SAS VA, Looker, etc. Each evaluation you perform depends on the use case you are focusing upon, and most of these leading tools have evolved recently. Therefore, analysis performed by me at that point could be obsolete by now. However, as far as overall architecture level, MSTR still holds the leading spot in the market.

          What other advice do I have?

          Most companies just starting to look around should try the MSTR cloud AWS offering, as that would take away most implementation hurdles or need for technical experts for setting up the environment, along with low cost of ownership compared to the on-premise offering. Also, focus on your use cases and the vision you have about taking reporting and decisions on data to that next level, which is scalable and strong as your business grows.

          Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
          it_user511203
          Engineering Senior at a financial services firm with 1,001-5,000 employees
          Vendor
          Creating objects and reports is easy. The product reduces the burden on developers.

          What is most valuable?

          • In-memory cubes (aka Intelligent Cubes)
          • Intelligence Server capabilities (SQL/analytical/etc. engines)
          • Web
          • Developer

          Creating objects/reports in MicroStrategy is quite easy and is one of the main reasons for its success. The product also allows non-technical folks to create reports/dashboards with relative ease, which would explain its high adoption rate.

          How has it helped my organization?

          With MicroStrategy, organizations can allow their end-users to create their own ad-hoc reports/dashboards/visualizations, which greatly reduces their dependence on a dedicated development team. While a development team is still necessary for designing the schema and long-term solutions, this product reduces the burden on developers by empowering end-users to be self-sufficient.

          What needs improvement?

          The administration tools (primarily System Manager, Enterprise Manager and Operations Manager) need a major overhaul. These tools are generally used by MicroStrategy administrators to monitor the usage and bottlenecks in the system.

          Enterprise Manager is one tool which is provided out-of-the-box by MSTR. It's basically a pre-built MSTR project with reports/dashboards to monitor usage at the user, project and system levels. This is primarily useful to see which objects are used most frequently and which reports need to be modified for improved response times, etc. Setting up Enterprise Manager can be cumbersome and it's a buggy product. A ground-up redesign of the EM project would be ideal. It is still a very powerful tool for its current design.

          System Manager is also buggy (various workflows don't work as expected, documentation is lacking, etc.).

          Operations Manager was a tool that MSTR released a couple of versions ago, but it was riddled with issues (a lot of errors during setup mainly). I believe OM has been scrapped in newer releases, if I'm not mistaken.

          For how long have I used the solution?

          I have used it for 6+ years.

          What do I think about the stability of the solution?

          While the core feature (Intelligence Server) does encounter stability issues on rare occasions, it's still a very stable product.

          What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

          I have not encountered any scalability issues. MicroStrategy has been quite friendly when it comes to scalability.

          How are customer service and technical support?

          I would rate technical support 8/10. I used to work in tech support at MSTR. It is a very well-run department; very efficient, lots of smart and hardworking people (from technical and non-technical backgrounds). The support engineers aren't always given all the tools necessary to do their jobs and sometimes; they're working with certain black-box components, which makes troubleshooting very difficult. This in turn can increase the case/issue resolution times. But these are only a small percentage of all cases. All things considered, it's a terrific department/team to work with as an employee and customer.

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

          We have always used MicroStrategy.

          How was the initial setup?

          The initial setup is straightforward but can get complex as the requirements change. The product is quite flexible when it comes to accommodating special requirements.

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

          Before purchasing licenses, be absolutely sure about the number of users that will be using the product. This will be useful when deciding to go with a named-user license (better for a small user base) or a CPU-based license (better for a large-er user base).

          Which other solutions did I evaluate?

          I wasn't involved in evaluating the various options. I joined when the decision was made to go with MicroStrategy.

          What other advice do I have?

          Make use of their manuals and user community. There's a vast amount of knowledge out there in their community.

          Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
          it_user511446
          Consultant at a retailer with 1,001-5,000 employees
          Real User
          Without knowing anything about joins, SQLs, and tables, users create their own reports and dashboards.

          What is most valuable?

          Scalability and the ability to process large amount of data are the product’s most valuable features. The ability for a user to create a report without knowing anything about joins, SQLs, tables, etc. is to me the best feature of MicroStrategy.

          How has it helped my organization?

          The product enables our business to create thousands of reports without knowing anything about the backend. MicroStrategy has been an enterprise reporting tool at our organization for a very long time. From the very beginning, the ability of the tool to provide a drag and drop interface to end users to create reports using the enterprise data warehouse effortlessly helps them in taking strategic decisions in their day-to-day operation.

          What needs improvement?

          The initial schema development takes some time. Without a robust schema, the tool will not function properly. The schema is the main engine which creates SQL effortlessly, but designing and maintaining the schema will take some time. The relationship between different attributes has to be maintained properly, as one incorrect relationship has the potential of affecting 100s of reports using that attribute. The schema can’t be maintained by end users and IT intervention is required.

          There are two main development tools – Developer and Web. The two platforms are not in sync. Some options are not present in developer and some are present in web. The ones that are present in both are not located under same menus.

          Dashboard development takes a long time.

          The self-service BI part of the tool, Visual Insights, which is designed to provide the business the ability to create interactive dashboard using visualization, is not very great. Though Visual Insights has improved a lot in version 10.x, it still has a long way to go and is no way near competitors such as Tableau.

          For how long have I used the solution?

          I have used it for eight years.

          What do I think about the stability of the solution?

          With every version, they will introduce some new tools/feature and it’ll take them a few versions or hotfixes to stabilize that new feature. There are different modes of running dashboards – presentation, Flash, interactive – and not all features work in all of the different modes.

          What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

          The tool is scalable. Adding users or reports doesn’t have to be a headache, as long the hardware is robust enough to handle the additional reporting load.

          How are customer service and technical support?

          There is a community site where developers can ask questions and get answers from other developers and experts, as well as MicroStrategy tech support. The community also has a pretty decent knowledge base in the form of tech notes, which provide information about known defects, issues and workarounds.

          We have a support contract and regularly work with tech support on issue resolution, etc. I would give them 5/10, simply because, at times, the reps aren’t experienced enough and need a little hand-holding, which you wouldn’t expect considering they are the vendor and should know more or should be on par with the person asking the questions. Issue resolution also take a lot of time.

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

          We’ve always worked with MicroStrategy.

          How was the initial setup?

          Initial set up is a bit complex, as I’ve mentioned. Everything is based on the relationship defined in the schema. If someone messes that up, the reports will start giving incorrect output.

          Also, to ensure scalability, the hardware needs to be robust, but I guess that is true for any tool.

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

          It is an expensive tool. Licenses are user based or CPU based. Depending on the size of the organization, you might want to go with CPU based rather than user based, as that might be cheaper.

          Which other solutions did I evaluate?

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

          What other advice do I have?

          It’s a good product for organizations planning to deploy an enterprise-wide reporting solution that will be built on top of a RDBMS. It is very robust and can handle large amounts of data fairly well. If the goal is to have a tool that can provide self-service BI and let end users create attractive dashboards without having to worry about object sharing, reusability, schema design, and IT involvement, then there are better & cheaper tools in the market.

          Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
          ITCS user
          Business Intelligence Consultant at a retailer with 1,001-5,000 employees
          Vendor
          Presents dashboards with more enhanced visualizations compared to other tools.

          What is most valuable?

          Dashboard development.

          How has it helped my organization?

          Presents dashboards with more enhanced visualizations compared to other tools.

          What needs improvement?

          Business User friendly - which has been enhanced in Version 10.

          For how long have I used the solution?

          4 years

          What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

          Yes, the 2 million row limit.

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

          No

          How was the initial setup?

          Straightforward and simple, but takes long to install.

          What is most valuable?

          Dashboard development.

          How has it helped my organization?

          Presents dashboards with more enhanced visualizations compared to other tools.

          What needs improvement?

          Business User friendly - which has been enhanced in Version 10.

          For how long have I used the solution?

          4 years

          What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

          Yes, the 2 million row limit.

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

          No

          How was the initial setup?

          Straightforward and simple, but takes long to install.

          Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
          it_user507996
          MicroStrategy BI Consultant at a financial services firm with 10,001+ employees
          Vendor
          It respects Dimensional Data Modelling basics and provides features and options that make sense accordingly.

          What is most valuable?

          I think the tool respects the Dimensional Data Modelling basics and provides features and options that make sense accordingly, while also continuously trying to add exciting and user-friendly features, and being successful.

          How has it helped my organization?

          In all of the projects for various clients I have worked for, MicroStrategy has improved their functions, as it automates publishing for reports, addresses security, replaces multiple legacy systems with one central system, reduces the maintenance, provides better analytical power to users by letting them slice, dice and drill into the data. The tool provides one of the best pixel-perfect dashboards in the industry, appealing and pleasing to eyes.

          What needs improvement?

          Data blending needs more improvement; it should let us use all of the general options seamlessly.

          For how long have I used the solution?

          I have used it for nine years.

          What do I think about the stability of the solution?

          Stability depends on the particular environment we are in; such issues can be resolved by getting help from MicroStrategy Support.

          What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

          As with stability, scalability depends on the particular environment we are in; such issues can be resolved by getting help from MicroStrategy Support.

          How are customer service and technical support?

          For MicroStrategy support, I give 8 out of 10.

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

          I used SAP BusinessObjects before, but MicroStrategy is more robust and has very professional support.

          How was the initial setup?

          Initial setup is very straightforward. They also provide cloud services for smaller clients who don't have their own infrastructure or don’t want to spend a lot on building infrastructure.

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

          Honestly, I don't know much about pricing of other products, so I cannot compare, but I heard that MicroStrategy is expensive compared to its competitors. But, a company has to go over what they need and what they get through MicroStrategy and decide if it’s worth paying a little more for quality.

          Which other solutions did I evaluate?

          Before choosing this product, I did not evaluate other options that much; just based on my previous experience.

          What other advice do I have?

          It's a great product and you can get the most out of it by following the data modelling principles and BI standards. So, plan from the beginning to have an ideal model, even though it takes more time or needs new work.

          Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
          it_user26829
          Business Intelligence Manager at a aerospace/defense firm with 1,001-5,000 employees
          Vendor
          Mobile dashboards show people the data they need at a glance and on the go.

          What is most valuable?

          Mobile dashboards give people the data they need at a glance and on the go.

          How has it helped my organization?

          EVPs are able to run their entire business from an iPad; they can answer questions, see issues, etc. at their fingertips.

          What needs improvement?

          - Purchasing process: MicroStrategy is a very litigious organization. When we want to enter certain agreements, it's not uncommon for the request to go back and forth within legal for weeks. Some of this is our organization as well, though.
          - Support: The support line used to be top notch, but now it seems as though the people manning that line are not very knowledgeable and can very rarely actually answer the question or solve the problem.

          For how long have I used the solution?

          I have used it for 15 years.

          What do I think about the stability of the solution?

          I have not encountered any stability issues.

          What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

          I have not encountered any scalability issues.

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

          We previously used a different solution. We switched because MicroStrategy was more robust.

          How was the initial setup?

          It is a rather complex setup, with many moving pieces and very configurable, so by default you must figure out how you want to configure it.

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

          Be patient; get a good understanding of what you need.

          Which other solutions did I evaluate?

          Before choosing this product, we also evaluated Oracle OBIEE and SAP BO.

          What other advice do I have?

          Hire a professional to help implement the program not just the installation.

          Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
          Jakub HOLASEK
          Data Visalization Architect at MSD
          Real User
          Top 5
          You can copy panel stacks inside RS documents and attach images directly to a dashboard. The developer should be completely redesigned.

          What is most valuable?

          Recovering session finally works for all report types. Also, fundamental issues with ODBC causing involuntary restarts has been resolved. It has a couple of very useful end-user and developer features, such as copying panel stacks inside RS documents and the ability to attach images directly to a dashboard. They are pretty useful.

          How has it helped my organization?

          End users are able to work more on their own, so it lowers the cost of BI department.

          What needs improvement?

          The developer is a long-ago obsolete tool. Its interface and functions should be completely redesigned. The fact is not only is the user interface far obsolete (for more than 10 years), it is also quite often repeating tasks like dragging because it handles the actions incorrectly (like moving objects from report objects are to a grid). Also, it does not work properly when the resolution is too high, and the integration architect tool is far from being bug free.

          They are working on a new tool with codename Workstation so we will see.

          For how long have I used the solution?

          I have used it for three months.

          What do I think about the stability of the solution?

          We encounter fewer stability issues now (version 10.3 hf2); before that, there were pretty serious issues.

          What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

          I have not encountered any scalability issues.

          How are customer service and technical support?

          Technical support is getting better; there has certainly been progress over the past year, but it still could be so much better.

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

          We switched because MicroStrategy is the most-advanced and feature-rich tool.

          How was the initial setup?

          Each release (even a minor one) is unique, so initial setup is definitely complex; each installation has its own specifics.

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

          Negotiate at least a 30-40% discount.

          Which other solutions did I evaluate?

          We also evaluated SAP BusinessObjects and Tableau.

          What other advice do I have?

          Get a person who has some skill and has already done several installations.

          Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
          ITCS user
          Business Intelligence Engineer at a leisure / travel company with 10,001+ employees
          Consultant
          The ease of mobile BI development and deployment is good.

          Valuable Features:

          - SQL Engine -Ease of mobile BI development and deployment -Scaleability  - Security (encryption) with compression - Idea for enterprise wide BI delivery

          Room for Improvement:

          It needs better EM logging. EM is MicroStrategy enterprise manager which logs usage and stats. It has becomes very difficult over last couple of years to use this feature to have a BI environment rolled out to users.

          Customer Service:

          MicroStrategy customer support including premium support is pretty bad in handling product level question or defects..which leads to lots of dissatisfaction for a customer

          Valuable Features:

          - SQL Engine

          -Ease of mobile BI development and deployment

          -Scaleability 

          - Security (encryption) with compression

          - Idea for enterprise wide BI delivery

          Room for Improvement:

          It needs better EM logging. EM is MicroStrategy enterprise manager which logs usage and stats. It has becomes very difficult over last couple of years to use this feature to have a BI environment rolled out to users.

          Customer Service:

          MicroStrategy customer support including premium support is pretty bad in handling product level question or defects..which leads to lots of dissatisfaction for a customer

          Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
          it_user374076
          UI Architect and Senior Operations Manager at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
          Consultant
          It allows you to export a single report in a dashboard.

          Valuable Features:

          1. Synchronized drilling
          2. Custom display forms for selectors
          3. Export a single report in a dashboard
          4. Dynamic metric alias
          5. Filter panel

          Improvements to My Organization:

          I think it shall be very helpful if the future versions allow much more customization following a simpler procedure

          Room for Improvement:

          I think it would be very helpful if the future versions allow much more customization and simplify this procedure.

          Deployment Issues:

          The customisation was difficult.

          Stability Issues:

          There was no issue with the stability.

          Scalability Issues:

          There was no issue with the scalability.

          Other Advice:

          My advice would be that it's a great product especially for reporting but you should also keep in mind that in the end it is still a product and it can't replicate all that can be achieved through a code or a full fledged database.

          Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
          ITCS user
          Senior Software Developer at a tech services company with 1,001-5,000 employees
          Consultant
          ​It helps to provide answers quickly for critical business questions.

          Valuable Features:

          Map Charts Security Give best features in iPad mobility Stable tool for big organization

          Improvements to My Organization:

          It helps to provide answers quickly for critical business questions. It has reduced our time spent on data entry and manipulation and can identify areas for cost cutting.

          Room for Improvement:

          The setup is quite complex and requires extra configurations.

          Use of Solution:

          We've used it for two years.

          Customer Service:

          It's good.

          Initial Setup:

          It has a complex set-up. It requires configuration of its Intelligence Server and Metadata.

          Implementation Team:

          I have implemented it for different clients.

          Other Advice:

          If you are having small business set-up then you have to go for QlikView, else MicroStrategy is more…

          Valuable Features:

          • Map Charts
          • Security
          • Give best features in iPad mobility
          • Stable tool for big organization

          Improvements to My Organization:

          It helps to provide answers quickly for critical business questions. It has reduced our time spent on data entry and manipulation and can identify areas for cost cutting.

          Room for Improvement:

          The setup is quite complex and requires extra configurations.

          Use of Solution:

          We've used it for two years.

          Customer Service:

          It's good.

          Initial Setup:

          It has a complex set-up. It requires configuration of its Intelligence Server and Metadata.

          Implementation Team:

          I have implemented it for different clients.

          Other Advice:

          If you are having small business set-up then you have to go for QlikView, else MicroStrategy is more stable for big organizations.

          Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
          ITCS user
          Manager HRO Application Development at a tech vendor with 10,001+ employees
          Vendor
          Top 5
          Among other benefits, it performs complex calculations (SLAs, KPI rules) centralized in a single place where formulas can be corrected. However, it doesn't have an ETL tool.

          Valuable Features:

          Architecture

          =========

          In a nutshell, Microstrategy (or MSTR for short) architecture is composed of three layers

          1 - Web/Mobile interface that connects to any given Intelligent Server (middleware)

          2- Middleware (Intelligent Server) that

          a. connects to data layer (many connectors included in the default license)

          b. executes created SQL/MDX queries, OLAP functions

          c. Generates pre-loaded MOLAP cubes (aka Intelligent Cubes) to speed up results (if defined)

          3 - Data Access: Access to your DataWarehouse (no need to be dimensional model, but recommended) using any of the several included connectors


          Attributes and Facts definition

          ======================

          Using Microstrategy Architect you basically define:

          a. Attributes and attribute forms (which corresponds to the Dimensions in the Dimensional Model)

          b. Facts (which corresponds to Facts)

          c. System Hierarchy or relationship of Attributes to Facts. Here it is where you also define your Star or Snowflake model for your attributes. Also (and this is a really cool feature) same Fact can be located at different aggregation levels either because you have it in the datasource (e.g an agg view) or because you ask a given FACT in MSTR to extend the value to another level. This is interesting to enhance performance using tables with pre-processed aggregated data, instead of letting MSTR calculate aggregations "on the fly"

          d. User Hierarchy: or drill-in paths to see the information in your reports / Documents


          Report and Dashboard Generation

          =========================

          Then you can start creating :

          - Measures: Formulas (e.g KPIs) that uses Facts or other measures

          - Reports which are data sets of attributes and Measures (here you can also use other type of objects like filters, consolidations, custom groups,etc...). You can see and export these datasets in a variety of formats (Excel, PDF, etc...) However the top use case for this report is as datasource for Documents/Dashboards

          - Dynamic Documents and documents: You include "n" number of reports as your datasource and then represent using the widgets (Tabs, Tables, Heat Maps, ESRI Maps, ...) These are ultimately the Dashboards or final reports that end user will see and - here it comes the most valuable feature of MSTR from my point of view- either from Web or from mobile device - So you can quickly compose a mobile dashboard in few clicks if (and only if) you have created the right data model (e.g a solid DWH schema). At this point it is worth to mention that MSTR allows you to iteratively enhance the model and reports/dashboards (so no big-bang deployment needed)

          - You can also create predictive analysis (datamining) using some of the techniques and gadgets provided as well as interactively play with data and come to conclusions using MSTR Visual Insight (kind of an 'slice and dice data' tool). Outputs from those analysis may be dashboards/documents.


          Scheduler

          ========

          Reports and Documents can be run on demand or can be scheduled to be generated and sent to target audience. Scheduler is also responsible of the Intelligent cubes refreshing (MOLAP recreation at a regular basis)


          Microstrategy licensing model allows:

          ===========================

          a. Access to all tools available (recent change, one year ago more or less) - before you had to license certain tools, now you have access to all tools in either on-premise installation or Cloud. Interesting Tools

          b. In the on-premise installation model, licenses per user and therefore have high scalable BI solutions: In this licensing model you can deploy your architecture (Web Front-end and Middleware or Intelligent Sever) in as many servers you want.

          Improvements to My Organization:

          Before we used Microstrategy at Xerox Services (HR services) we used to analyze data using Spreadsheets, to calculate and report on service SLAs and KPIs.

          No need to mention how using MSTR has enhanced the process since then but a couple of the key benefits are:

          - Data access not affecting transactional systems (data sources)

          - Complex calculations (SLAs, KPI rules) right there on time when needed and always right or always wrong but centralized in a single place where formulas can be corrected if needed

          Room for Improvement:

          Probably this is not MSTR's fault but BI tool in general: sometimes trying to follow MSTR rules to get some formulas and data using MSTR techniques is harder (and less performant) than just prepare yet another DWH view collecting needed data (with needed inner or left outer joins and aggregations) and just model that new view in MSTR.

          Also MSTR, as all these BI tools, generate automatic SQL code from the model defined in the architecture tool so sometimes you are getting weird results but are easily trackable (MSTR reports in all SQL generated code) to be fixed.

          No ETL comes with the tool, either you have your own solution (MSTR SSIS, Informatica) to model your DWH or you connect MSTR to the datasource / transactional (which is not good)

          Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
          ITCS user
          Business Intelligence Consultant at a tech consulting company with 51-200 employees
          Consultant
          Includes many well-designed features, but from time to time my web server stops and I have to restart the web server.

          Valuable Features

          I think that MicroStrategy has a lot of well-designed features, and that if users know how to use them or are willing to learn, it maybe a very valuable tools for them. I can recall that most users love to use the MicroStrategy Visual Insight tool that allows users to see in-real time graphs that users design on-site, using the attributes and metrics that they are familiar with.

          Another good example, is the intelligence cube and incremental refresh reports that allow developers to update or create a report with a great quantity of information and store it on memory. This only takes a few seconds to show users the full results instead of always querying the data warehouse for the same results over and over. In addition, developers can schedule an incremental refresh of data on days, weeks, months, or whatever filter they desire, without the user feeling such work being done.

          Update: MicroStrategy Mobile application is considered to be one of the best, for almost 4 or 5 years. I have used multiple times and I have to say, it is a great tool. Easy to configure and easy to adapt the reports to Mobile users, specially if they have an Iphone, since in the 9.4 version it was well prepared for Iphone users. Aside from that, Documents can be made to take pixel % in account, so you can make a report in the Developer, that suits both mobile and web users in a unique report.

          Improvements to My Organization

          Using the intelligence cube, I’ve managed to increase the performance of the main load of my documents, giving users the full data access in less than five seconds, instead of spending 30 seconds or a minute waiting for the results.

          Update: Using the mobile application, it gave insurer agents more flexibility and a great success in their daily roles, since they could insert new information directly from MicroStrategy Mobile (using Transaction Services) and the colleagues at the company could respond within minutes or hours, saving the problem that is the trip.

          Room for Improvement

          I think that there are some bugs regarding the design, and some features are a little hidden from the developer. Developers need to do a lot of research and consult a lot of manuals just to find that the solution for their problem was in a check-box within the configurations of the tool or project.

          Update: Never tried the MicroStrategy 10, only installed it, so the improvement may already been answered in a lot of features.

          Use of Solution

          Update: I’ve used this solution for about 1 - 1,5 years, but not constantly.

          Deployment Issues

          The installation was well explained in the manuals, and the deployment of hotfixes and patches are as easy as a normal computer program installation.

          Update: MicroStrategy version 10 (and beta) is similar to version 9.4 in installation and configuration.

          Stability Issues

          The only issue that I can think of, is that from time to time my web server stops and I have to restart the web server. I do not know why this happens, but we’ve created a process that every minute there are checks the status of the web server, and restarts it if necessary. It may be a problem with the tool or a problem with the infrastructure at the client's company.

          Update: Turns out, the client infrastructure may be blocking the Web Server from running all the time. Comparing the installation done in a Virtual Machine and another one in another client, they haven't got any type of web server related problems and the first one has, which makes me think its a infrastructure configuration that from time to time, blocks the service.

          Scalability Issues

          No issues encountered.

          Customer Service and Technical Support

          I've never used it, but I only have good things to say about the users of the MicroStrategy Community. They always give good ideas, a lot of workarounds and 90% of the time, they respond within the day with a lot of links to technical notes and others posts among others.

          Initial Setup

          Update: Initial setup was really straightforward, in my opinion.

          ROI

          I've done the installation, configuration and designed the entire project (Logical Architecture, Reporting/Dashboarding, Mobile application, among others)

          Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
          ITCS user
          Business Intelligence Analyst at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
          Consultant
          It helped us create dynamic reports using data from a large database, but sometimes the creation of the registries during setup was not configured correctly making the developer tool stop working

          Valuable Features:

          The best thing I saw was the excellent mobile integration. The interface is very clean and beautiful. The configuration of devices is extremely fast, you just need to click the link that is sent to you with all the configuration.

          Another great feature of MicroStrategy is the SDK, with which you can introduce new charts and customize the whole web environment. You can customize almost everything in MicroStrategy. Finally, the MicroStrategy Community is very active, you can have answers faster than the support sometimes.

          Improvements to My Organization:

          We provided dynamic reports, using data from a large database. The ability to use in-memory calculations in association with the calculations performed in the queries, made possible to run heavy queries faster, because the the heaviest calculations were performed by the analytical engine. So the query passed less time at the RDBMS.

          In another situation, we were supposed to configure MicroStrategy Mobile on many devices. To do this, we made a list of the users, told them to download and install the app, and then we sent them the link to configure the application. In a few minutes, almost every device was configured and running.

          Room for Improvement:

          The main thing that the company must improve is the support for their clients.

          In Brazil I have seen many issues not being resolved for a long time, which makes the clients become impacient and disappointed.

          Use of Solution:

          I´ve been working with different versions of MicroStrategy since 2011, for different customers such as government agencies, banks and insurance companies.

          Deployment Issues:

          A common issue during deployment in Windows was that, the registries were not being well configured, then the developer (Desktop) tool stopped running. To fix this issue you need to reinstall the tool.

          There are also problems after installing MicroStrategy Web at IIS, and you need to go to the registries and change a specific path to the JNI Bridge.

          Stability Issues:

          No issues encountered.

          Scalability Issues:

          No issues encountered, and when we needed to upgrade a machine, we just had to change the memory configuration to use the new memory that was available.


          Customer Service:

          In some cases MicroStrategy took too long to respond the opened cases, what made the clients very upset and disappointed.

          I believe the customer service needs to improve. It can be better.

          Initial Setup:

          The manuals of the tool are very complete, if you follow that, you are not going to have many problems.

          Cost and Licensing Advice:

          MicroStrategy need to create cheaper solutions, as nowadays it's too expensive, and sometimes you pay for something that you are not going to really use.

          Other Advice:

          v10 of MicroStrategy is helping a lot of users by giving them the possibility to add new charts using JavaScript libraries like D3, in a very simple way using Visual Insight.

          HTML5 is supported everywhere, so using it will be a game changer.

          You must practice! The amount of configurations and possibilities are huge, so, go through the manuals, go through the online courses, participate in the community. There are a lot of things to learn.

          Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
          ITCS user
          Project Manager at a manufacturing company with 1,001-5,000 employees
          Vendor
          You can design your own dashboard in a professional way, but it needs data dictionary import.

          Valuable Features:

          The features I loved is the easy way the software allows you to design your own dashboard and the professional way it displays it. One would think that I was a graphic designer every time I create a dashboard (which I am not). The import of excel files into Microstrategy and the ease of data manipulation is outstanding. Good job Microstategy!

          Improvements to My Organization:

          The results are not in yet as it is too early to tell.

          Room for Improvement:

          Data dictionary import would be great.

          Valuable Features:

          The features I loved is the easy way the software allows you to design your own dashboard and the professional way it displays it. One would think that I was a graphic designer every time I create a dashboard (which I am not).

          The import of excel files into Microstrategy and the ease of data manipulation is outstanding.

          Good job Microstategy!

          Improvements to My Organization:

          The results are not in yet as it is too early to tell.

          Room for Improvement:

          Data dictionary import would be great.

          Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
          ITCS user
          Senior business Intelligence consultant at Asociación SevillaUP
          Consultant
          Feature rich, complete, one-stop solution for BI. Needs training and coffee.

          What is most valuable?

          HTML content in dashboards

          MicroStrategy can read data from a wide variety of different DBMS and web services, producing optimized SQL code for each of them. It's a one stop solution for BI: after 10 years using it I still haven't found a report or graph that can't be done with the suite.

          How has it helped my organization?

          streamlining processes, cleansing data

          We use it for any kind of reporting and analysis. It helped manage the institution, reduce costs and provide better service to the patients (which are our customers...)

          What needs improvement?

          HTML5 visuals, modern infographics

          The web is full of very interesting data, and the number of web services providing datasets is increasing. I would like to see Support for OAuth 1.0 and 2.0 to be able to attach external data sources. I'd like to have Support for JSON data. I hope HTML5 and JavaScript will be used extensively in next versions, to substitute the Flash based components.

          For how long have I used the solution?

          Since 2003

          What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

          The software is feature rich and clearly not easy to start with. I believe the installation and the setup of the data model is the most difficult part; once this is done, the rest of the deployment is very easy. Clients run on Windows, on Android and on iOS seamlessly, there is a web based interface that can be used from most browsers.

          What do I think about the stability of the solution?

          No. I have been using the software both on Windows and on headless Linux, and had no stability issues fo far. Memory availability is very important, as in any other data intensive software.

          What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

          We don't have Petabytes scale databases. Our information systems are in the Gigabytes order of magnitude. We were able to handle our data volume with ease. Number of concurrent users is in the hundreds, no problems so far.

          How are customer service and technical support?

          Customer Service:

          We solve most of the issues with the knowledge base or the discussion forums. To date we had no interaction with the customer service apart from some help we needed for upgrading from version 7 to version 9.

          Technical Support:

          The knowledge base is extensive and covers 90% of the problems we may face. For the rest, we manage to find alternatives thanks to networking, blogs, forums, etc.

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

          We are still using multi vendors solutions. There are historical datawarehouses that need to be maintained (Oracle BI, Actuate, Microsoft BI), but all new development is done with MicroStrategy. Reason for that is mainly practical and economical. We prefer paying licenses to one signle vendor whenever posible. We are also testing the new free Desktop version for a reduced number of users.

          How was the initial setup?

          The setup is complex. After the installation you need to configure several aspect of the suite: metadata, connections, Project settings and start developing objects. I suggest buying a book or reading the manual thoroughly. There is a very good book on Amazon "Business Intelligence with MicroStrategy" that covers every aspect of the setup and initial phases of the Project (http://amzn.to/1by3HAO).

          What about the implementation team?

          We implement everything in house due to the sensitivity of data.

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

          I'd rather not disclose it.

          Which other solutions did I evaluate?

          We evaluated Oracle, QlickView, Tableau, Microsoft BI

          What other advice do I have?

          Training training training. Especially in the beginning phase, a wrong choice can be very costly.

          Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
          ITCS user
          Project Associate at a tech vendor with 1,001-5,000 employees
          Vendor
          It has helped a lot of business users gain insight into their business but the developer friendliness needs to be improved a bit.

          What is most valuable?

          Robust architecture Scalable reports and scorecards Integration with other products

          How has it helped my organization?

          It has helped a lot of business users gain insight into how their business is doing.

          What needs improvement?

          The developer tool-kit is bit like that of late 90's and the developer friendliness needs to be improved a bit.

          For how long have I used the solution?

          I've used it for over four years.

          What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

          No major issues.

          What do I think about the stability of the solution?

          None as of now.

          What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

          No issues encountered.

          How are customer service and technical support?

          Customer Service: Good. The support site is very helpful.…

          What is most valuable?

          • Robust architecture
          • Scalable reports and scorecards
          • Integration with other products

          How has it helped my organization?

          It has helped a lot of business users gain insight into how their business is doing.

          What needs improvement?

          The developer tool-kit is bit like that of late 90's and the developer friendliness needs to be improved a bit.

          For how long have I used the solution?

          I've used it for over four years.

          What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

          No major issues.

          What do I think about the stability of the solution?

          None as of now.

          What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

          No issues encountered.

          How are customer service and technical support?

          Customer Service:

          Good. The support site is very helpful.

          Technical Support:

          Very good. The tech support team responds very quickly.

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

          No solution was used previously.

          How was the initial setup?

          The setup is well documented and is easy to do.

          What about the implementation team?

          We used an in-house team.

          What was our ROI?

          As the licensing cost is, relatively, not high, it provides great ROI.

          What other advice do I have?

          A must have Gartner leader BI tool. Tableau and MSTR can complement each other but I would put my money on Microstrategy..

          Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
          ITCS user
          Director of BI / Solution Architect at a tech vendor with 51-200 employees
          Real User
          There are many niche players that may excel, but if you need to push the boundaries MicroStrategy is a leader.

          What is most valuable?

          Valuable features include advanced SQL Engine, Reusable Metadata, Data Exploration/Viz, Production Grade Report/Dashboard Automation, Mobile, Integration with rich SDK/API, and In Memory BI high performance.

          How has it helped my organization?

          Made self-service BI/Data Exploration possible for the end-user.

          What needs improvement?

          Simplified development tools.

          Removing Flash from web interfaces

          For how long have I used the solution?

          I have been using this solution for 18 years.

          What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

          No, very easy to install and manage environment.

          What do I think about the stability of the solution?

          No issues with stability.

          What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

          No, highly scalable on all sizes of data and platforms.

          How are customer service and technical support?

          Customer Service:

          4 out of 5 – they have great tech support but are sometimes challenging to work with on contracts and pricing.

          Technical Support:

          5 out of 5 – they go above and beyond to resolve or enhance their product.

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

          I have worked with many other solutions but keep choosing MicroStrategy whenever the requirements are complex. There are many niche players that may excel in certain specific areas but if you need to push the boundaries and have a complete BI solution that is not focused in a niche such as data visualization then MicroStrategy is a leader that should be considered.

          How was the initial setup?

          You need to understand the platform but once you have this understanding the installation is very straightforward.

          What about the implementation team?

          Internal/Off-shore vendor (Infocepts – 5 out of 5 off-shore vendor founded by ex-MicroStrategy employees).

          What was our ROI?

          It is providing both internal and external reporting for the business that was not previously possible. The first external reporting solution was delivered in less than 1 month of development.

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

          $150k for a single CPU of web/iserver capacity. Currently all development/administration is supported by a single off-shore developer at a rate of $35/hr. The new pricing model has allowed for simplified web user pricing allowing all web functionality to be available to all users.

          Which other solutions did I evaluate?

          We evaluated Tableau, QlikView, Cognos, BO, SSRS?MS Power BI, OBIEE, TIBCO.

          What other advice do I have?

          If your BI requirements are complex and require significant integration into internal applications this can be achieved using MicroStrategy and the SDK but the appropriate skilled resources will be required throughout the implementation. Do not expect to be successful just throwing a java developer at the SDK work who has no previous experience with the MicroStrategy SDK.

          Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
          ITCS user
          MicroStrategy Expert with 15 years exp. at Strategy BI Consulting
          Vendor
          A full BI solution for any size/industry organization.

          What is most valuable?

          Centralized Object oriented Meta Data

          How has it helped my organization?

          All business data available to analyse in acceptable time and form with no extra efforts.

          What needs improvement?

          Visualisation will improved in the next version.

          For how long have I used the solution?

          15 Years

          What do I think about the stability of the solution?

          No

          What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

          No

          How are customer service and technical support?

          Customer Service: Good Technical Support: Good enough

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

          MS OLAP and SAP BW.

          What was our ROI?

          High

          Which other solutions did I evaluate?

          OBIEE, MS OLAP, Cognos, Tableau, QlikView

          What is most valuable?

          Centralized

          Object oriented

          Meta Data

          How has it helped my organization?

          All business data available to analyse in acceptable time and form with no extra efforts.

          What needs improvement?

          Visualisation will improved in the next version.

          For how long have I used the solution?

          15 Years

          What do I think about the stability of the solution?

          No

          What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

          No

          How are customer service and technical support?

          Customer Service:

          Good

          Technical Support:

          Good enough

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

          MS OLAP and SAP BW.

          What was our ROI?

          High

          Which other solutions did I evaluate?

          OBIEE, MS OLAP, Cognos, Tableau, QlikView

          Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
          it_user174993
          MicroStrategy Consultant at Interstate Batteries
          Vendor
          Transaction Services is a good feature which I'm looking forward to seeing improve.

          What is most valuable?

          Web Dashboards, Mobile, Transaction Services, and Visual Insights.

          How has it helped my organization?

          I am a consultant so my list is big. Therefore, I will pick the most recent one which on my current assignment is directly proportional to the operational costs for a business. At Interstate Batteries using RFID Technology we have a couple of web dashboards that displays inventory in the field, lists all the shops and their respective out of stock counts, shops that need to be serviced, and shops that have old batteries. Participating distributors(people who own the business of selling batteries) have sold their unwanted trucks(reducing operational costs), increased the amount of batteries sold for every stop made), reducing hot shots(delivering out of stock batteries) and increased sales at an average of 50% .

          What needs improvement?

          Transaction Services is a new field which allows users to have interaction with the databases. I am pretty sure MicroStrategy has improvements lined up in this section.

          For how long have I used the solution?

          6 years

          What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

          No issues encountered.

          What do I think about the stability of the solution?

          No issues encountered.

          What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

          No issues encountered.

          How are customer service and technical support?

          Customer Service:

          8 out of 10.

          Technical Support:

          9 out of 10.

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

          MicroStrategy is my first BI tool.

          How was the initial setup?

          It is straightforward to implement.

          Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
          ITCS user
          Consultant at a financial services firm with 501-1,000 employees
          Consultant
          Microstrategy “Data Science to Business Value”
          When a customer wants to implement BI, there are lots of options available in the market to choose from. The decision depends on various parameters such as scale of implementation, costing and performance. They can either go with the open source options, or they can plan towards a paid BI tool. The decision can also be driven based on strategic factors of the company. I personally don’t believe in tool agnostic approach, I feel every customer has his own BI needs and has some specific requirements. No tool in this world can meet each one of these requirements, but in my experience MicroStrategy provides a complete product, which meets most of the customer requirements. This would be my first product review on a Business intelligence tool “MicroStrategy” MicroStrategy is a…

          When a customer wants to implement BI, there are lots of options available in the market to choose from. The decision depends on various parameters such as scale of implementation, costing and performance. They can either go with the open source options, or they can plan towards a paid BI tool. The decision can also be driven based on strategic factors of the company. I personally don’t believe in tool agnostic approach, I feel every customer has his own BI needs and has some specific requirements. No tool in this world can meet each one of these requirements, but in my experience MicroStrategy provides a complete product, which meets most of the customer requirements. This would be my first product review on a Business intelligence tool “MicroStrategy”

          MicroStrategy is a solution provider for enterprise software platform on business intelligence.When we talk about MicroStrategy the first thought that comes into my mind is the core focus of the company, which is to deliver Business intelligence solutions, unlike other companies, which have their focus on different horizons. This, according to me, is the core strength of MicroStrategy as a company. Mike Saylor (CEO) gave similar insights in the MicroStrategy World conference. According to him the biggest advantage of MicroStrategy as a company is that they are the largest independently owned BI platform. There are lot of companies in the market who acquire small firms to improve their technology and product,but MicroStrategy is not one of them. The fact that MicroStrategy has resisted the temptation to build a technology portfolio through acquisitions has become their core strength. They always believed in their core framework and everything was developed by their own team. According to the BI Survey 12, conducted by German-based Business Application Research Center (BARC), MicroStrategy has received the highest ranking in numerous KPIs (Key Performance Indicator) such as total Performance, user Recommendation, mobile, query performance, data volumes and big data.With the release of 9.4.1 they have integrated various current technologies with PRIME to support ultra fast processing of data.

          MicroStrategy has a deep market penetration and is regularly used for industry level solutions in different domains such as Retail, Healthcare, Banking, Manufacturing, Social Media etc. There are lots of key advantages of using MicroStrategy which I will elaborate verbosely.

          • Core functionality and Ease for Development- Having worked on different reporting platforms, I feel that most of the functionality is directly available out of the box in MicroStrategy. MicroStrategy platform supports distributed development so many developers can work on the project at a given time. Most of objects are reusable and there definition can be reused across other business areas. It also has extensive control on formatting of reports / dashboard. It supports as many number of databases and next generation database along with multi sourcing. The security architecture of MicroStrategy makes designing and implementation very powerful. You can have row level, object level, application level, and all different forms of security. Any developer with a fair amount of development experience in MicroStrategy would be able to list down product features and limitations. Although limitations of the tool are not much but there are functionalities which can be handled using SDK.
          • Visual Data discovery-For any BI tool, the ease-of-use is very important along with the sophisticated analytics which can be presented using the best visualization framework. As the size of data is increasing day by day, this is not going to decrease in the near future as well. It has become very important for a BI to analyze these enormous data volumes in a best representable format. Data visualization is driving demand in the business intelligence (BI) market because it's intuitive and accessible to business users who aren't schooled in query languages or statistical analysis. MicroStrategy has a strong stand in these areas due to large number of visualizations in their library. This separates MicroStrategy, as a tool, for visual exploration from other competitors. Features like flash widgets and interactive flash PDF export make it very versatile tool. The advance dashboards visualizations make the dashboard appealing and are best way to represent data in a more intuitive format.
          • Impromptu BI- There are customers in the market who look for Impromptu BI as a solution for their BI needs. MicroStrategy provides a solution called as visual insights which meets this purpose and is best suited for such cases. MicroStrategy Visual Insight empowers you to discover insights from your data using compelling visualizations. Users can use any of the out of the box Visualizations or they can create their own custom Visualizations using SDK. Once the base cube is developed it hardly takes 10-20 minutes to create visualizations for the analysis and this is what most business users want these days. They are the people who understand their data and want to play around with the data. Other than visual insights there are solutions developed using Object prompt where user has an option to select what they want to view in a report. This makes MicroStrategy stand out in front of other competitors.
          • Mentoring and support offering-For any business intelligence tool the level and depth of customer support is becoming increasingly critical as BI becomes more integrated into organizations’ operations. Better product support results in higher application success rates and helps to ensure customers get full value from their Investments. MicroStrategy on that note has one of the best customer support offering in the industry. This helps you to report your issues and business cases enhancements to MicroStrategy which can be taken into consideration for the subsequent release/hotfix/patch depending on your business impact. The support offering also helps in providing solutions to MicroStrategy developers and Administrators for the issues they face during the development. Striving to maximize the business benefits of a MicroStrategy one should prioritize customer support strategy. Apart from the excellent customer offering MicroStrategy hosts customer trainings events at different Geographic locations as it is important to keep decision makers across the company educated on the tool. End user training and mentoring is very important for success of any BI tool. MicroStrategy also hosts their annual user conference called as “MicroStrategy world” which consists of lot of sessions; it is also a good opportunity for individuals looking for more networking opportunities in MicroStrategy.
          • Performance and stability- MicroStrategy provides unmatched Performance and Stability on a Consolidated BI Platform
          • Social media and big data- MicroStrategy is one of the first vendors to certify integration with Amazon Redshift. MicroStrategy constantly demonstrates leadership and innovation in both major dimensions of Big Data analytics. They are one of the leading innovators in big data space. When we talk about BI, social media analytics cannot be neglected. Many market research firms rely on data from social media like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to get some insights. MicroStrategy’s social intelligence platform includes a number of applications that help enterprises harness the power of social networks for marketing and e-commerce.
          • MicroStrategy Mobile- Michael Saylor who is the founder of MicroStrategy has also written a book called “The Mobile Wave: How Mobile Intelligence Will Change Everything” and I believe that its Saylor’S vision on the Mobile technology that has made MicroStrategy to grow on the Mobile Side. The Mobile App Platform transforms business intelligence reporting from paper or the desktop, to the mobile device. Workers are no longer chained to their desk, or reliant on paper-based documents that are obsolete by the time they reach their target audience. Mobile applications provide functionality that is unmatched by paper or a web browser. MicroStrategy has created some really amazing apps for IOS and Android users. They also have a program called Mobile Quick strike for 10 days where they would come up with a fully functional app. It gives customers the confidence in the overall strength of the tool. MicroStrategy’s mobile intelligence platform helps companies and organizations build, deploy, and maintain mobile apps across a range of solutions by embedding intelligence, transactions, and multimedia into apps.
          • Integration and certification with other platforms- MicroStrategy tool is certified with various reporting databases and platforms which makes it easily usable across the organizations. MicroStrategy team adds new certification and support with every release of the product.

          Although every tool has some limitations, MicroStrategy is no exception. I will list down a few:-

          • Sometimes it can be hard to quantify the ROI (return on investment) on software as the returns come indirectly through the better informed workers and decision makers across the company. The tool can be of limited use for some companies. MicroStrategy system still cannot be afforded by most of the companies. When they plan to buy this product they have various purchase options wherein the cost would be around some hundred dollars per user if they plan to go for a user based license or it can go as high as a million dollars for a CPU based license depending on the performance they want from their system. Although, in the past few years MicroStrategy has started modifying their services towards medium and small sized industries, but the fact is that many of such firms do not consider them to be highly essential as its hard to quantify the ROI.This stands true for other paid tools as well and that is the reason open source tools are getting some market share these days
          • Having worked as a developer on MicroStrategy I see Impact Analysis as a pain point area in MicroStrategy. MicroStrategy is an object oriented tool and in this world of business, change is something which is inevitable, so in case there is a request for change and you need to find the impact of the object in MSTR, it does a recursive search and doesn’t give the list of objects in one view which makes very difficult for any developer to know the overall impact of the object inside a big project implementation. Unlike other BI tools which list down all the objects dependent on a particular object in a single view which can be exported into excel for tracking the change and validation of test cases.
          • Version control is not a strong point for MicroStrategy and I feel there is a scope of improvement in this area.
          • Development in MicroStrategy is done mostly using desktop though they have included lot of features with their latest release in web but I feel full support of web based development is important and would improve with the future release.
          • A pain point for some organizations these days is to find a good MicroStrategy resource. Getting a Cognos/BO/OBIEE expert from the IT market is comparatively easier than finding a good MicroStrategy resource.

          These are some advantages and disadvantages of the tool.Compared to the advantages the disadvantages are some minor improvements which i feel would be taken care in future releases. I haven’t listed granular details as I wanted to keep this review at a high level for product understanding. There are lots of features which one can explore. When you do the contemplate MicroStrategy is a great product over all. To conclude you should never forget "Owning a supercomputer gives you a special feeling but the question is, Are you really using it for what it is intended to?”

          Hope this review helps customers who are preparing their BI strategy. In case you need more insights, or you are planning for a BI implementation and have some questions do write to me on my Email. I would be more than happy to help.

          Disclosure: The company I work for is partner with Microstrategy

          Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
          it_user5598
          Senior Director, BI Architecture at a comms service provider with 1,001-5,000 employees
          Vendor
          The product supports a broad range of analysis styles, but it struggles with schemas other than star or snowflake.

          What is most valuable?

          It’s very scalable, the most scalable BI platform that I know of. By that I mean data scalability as well as being able to support a large number of users. The product is mature and stable. It supports a broad range of analysis styles and presentation formats.

          How has it helped my organization?

          We have deployed multiple BI solutions using Microstrategy, ranging from standard reports to dashboards to ad hoc analytics.

          What needs improvement?

          Microstrategy works best against a star or snowflake schema. While in principle it can work with a more normalized data model, it struggles with schemas other than star or snowflake.

          For how long have I used the solution?

          Over 3 years. It had been installed before I started with the company.

          What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

          Nothing major

          What do I think about the stability of the solution?

          Nothing major

          What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

          The tool itself scales well, however in our experience the scalability of the entire solution is 90%+ a function of the underlying database.

          How are customer service and technical support?

          Customer Service: GoodTechnical Support: Good

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

          We used Cognos before. The main reason for switching is that at the time when we made a decision to switch, Cognos was unable to handle the data volumes that we required. Latest versions of Cognos have improved in this respect.

          How was the initial setup?

          I can’t comment on this because initial setup had been conducted before I joined the company.

          What about the implementation team?

          We used a mix of MicroStrategy Professional Services and in-house staff. Their consultants were superb.

          What was our ROI?

          We don’t measure ROI.

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

          It depends on how you count costs and what you include.

          Which other solutions did I evaluate?

          The other option was to stay with Cognos.

          What other advice do I have?

          Make sure your database design follows dimensional modeling principles. Avoid API-level customizations, they may break when upgrading product versions.
          Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
          it_user125418
          Owner/Principal at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
          Consultant
          Data access could be improved but I find the totality of the product to be the best in the business

          What is most valuable?

          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.

          How has it helped 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.

          What needs 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.

          For how long have I used the 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.

          What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

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

          What do I think about the stability of the solution?

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

          What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

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

          How are customer service and technical support?

          Customer Service: Unknown.Technical Support: Unknown.

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

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

          How was the 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.

          Which other solutions did I evaluate?

          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.

          What other advice do I have?

          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.
          ITCS user
          Industry Analyst at a tech services company with 1,001-5,000 employees
          Consultant
          One stop solution for a complete BI suite

          What is most valuable?

          Dashboard, Visual Insights, Mobile BI

          How has it helped my organization?

          More interactive in terms of visualization. Gets rid of old transactional reports and Grid reports.

          What needs improvement?

          Long way to go to explore complete suite.

          For how long have I used the solution?

          4 years

          What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

          No

          How are customer service and technical support?

          Customer Service: 4 out of 5Technical Support: 2 out of 5

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

          None

          What was our ROI?

          200%

          What is most valuable?

          Dashboard, Visual Insights, Mobile BI

          How has it helped my organization?

          More interactive in terms of visualization. Gets rid of old transactional reports and Grid reports.

          What needs improvement?

          Long way to go to explore complete suite.

          For how long have I used the solution?

          4 years

          What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

          No

          How are customer service and technical support?

          Customer Service: 4 out of 5Technical Support: 2 out of 5

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

          None

          What was our ROI?

          200%
          Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
          ITCS user
          Consultant at a financial services firm with 501-1,000 employees
          Consultant
          MicroStrategy Mobile BI- “Smart Analytics using Smartphone’s”The day
          MicroStrategy Mobile BI- “Smart Analytics using Smartphone’s” The day is not too far when everyone on this planet will stand connected. With another five billion people set to become a part of mobile users community, the digital revolution promises to redefine and improve lifestyle in terms of productivity, health, education and myriad other avenues of the physical world. The introduction of this small, compact but empowering device has undoubtedly filled in the digital divide across the globe. Mobile computers are spreading faster than any other consumer technology in history. Mobile telecom has been witnessing a decade of depreciation in prices of devices as well as calling rates, making wireless services affordable for masses. In the year 2007, the average price of a phone was $120 and…

          MicroStrategy Mobile BI- “Smart Analytics using Smartphone’s”

          The day is not too far when everyone on this planet will stand connected. With another five billion people set to become a part of mobile users community, the digital revolution promises to redefine and improve lifestyle in terms of productivity, health, education and myriad other avenues of the physical world. The introduction of this small, compact but empowering device has undoubtedly filled in the digital divide across the globe. Mobile computers are spreading faster than any other consumer technology in history. Mobile telecom has been witnessing a decade of depreciation in prices of devices as well as calling rates, making wireless services affordable for masses.

          In the year 2007, the average price of a phone was $120 and is continually falling; analysts predicted that the consumer market for mobile phones has reached its saturation as everyone who could afford one had one. Revenues from mobile handset sales have been doubled since 2007. Today, one can own a smart phone with all the high-end features for as low as $60. More and more people are getting their hands on the latest phones available in the market. The major implication of mobile phones whether it be a feature phone, smart phone or tablets lies in its connectivity. More than eighty percent of the world population remains underserved that present’s immense potential for mobile telecom to provide the much-needed connectivity. An array of value added services to trigger another technological revolution in developing countries. Just as consumers in the developing world skipped from traditional landlines to cell phones, they are soon going to skip large PC screens to land on tablet, Smartphone’s and the feature rich phones capable of running internet given the fact that most of the people in developing countries have their first web experience through a mobile. A whole new era of convergence towards devices is being witnessed as PC makers and electronics makers turn to manufacturing mobile devices. This would take care of their dwindling revenues and add another promising stream of revenue to their portfolio of businesses. Microsoft acquired Nokia, Intel has come out with a new series of smart phones called Xolo, similarly Intex and Lenovo have launched mobile devices, yet another instance is HCL 'Me' tablets by HCL. Among electronic manufacturers Panasonic and Videocon are some companies considering mobile device segment very aggressively.

          The business opportunities in the Smartphone arena are endless. From the makers of the Smartphone to wireless service providers to tiny application developers, all are in a relentless pursuit to squeeze every cent out of this technological gold rush. Wireless carriers make money at a greater scale. Globally 900 of them make 1.3 trillion dollar in revenue each year; about four times the revenue of major technological providers such as Apple, Google, Microsoft and Intel combined. Micromax, India’s only indigenous Smartphone maker has successfully established a

          reputation for itself in its home country and is now trying to take on the international market by signing Hollywood starlet Hugh Jackman, as its brand ambassador. Application developers have a smaller proportion of share. Mobile advertising brings about$9 billion as of now. But here is where the opportunities lie. Over sixty percent of people access Facebook from their phones and tablets. WhatsApp, a US made messaging app has 300 million users worldwide, out of which 20 million users are in India. WeChat, a messaging app by Chinese company Tencent has over 200 million users. This is where there is a latent need for ‘Business Intelligence’ providers. All these apps are not just restricted to smart phones and tablets, a huge chunk of feature phone users are being seen as an explored market. For instance apps like FB, Nimbuzz are developing Java versions to serve this set of customers who would slowly mature on a technology adoption curve and shortly become Smartphone users. Mobile phones are not just voice any more, they can deliver over and above one's imagination. Gesture control, robotics, connected homes, navigation, task management, virtual wallet and what not. Mobiles have not just impacted lives personally but much more professionally. Workplaces have not remained intact of this mobile revolution.

          MicroStrategy, a leading BI tool is relentlessly betting on mobile Business Intelligence Apps. Saylor who is the founder of MicroStrategy has also written a book called “The Mobile Wave: How Mobile Intelligence Will Change everything” and I believe that it’s Saylor’s vision on the Mobile technology that has made MicroStrategy to grow on the Mobile Side. The Mobile App Platform transforms business intelligence reporting from paper or the desktop, to the mobile device. Workers are no longer chained to their desk or reliant on paper-based documents that are obsolete by the time they reach their target audience. This is a leading innovation, imagine your organization printing dozens of stock ledger reports every day and maintaining those paper copies. This caused a lot of wastage of resources; not even that imagine you as a CEO of a company who is scrolling through those pages every day. A complete transformation in people’s lives by what I call the 3E’s; Everyone, Everything, Everywhere. There is a big moat for BI companies in Mobile Advertising. Market penetration has significantly increased with the Mobile era. As an example of mobile Internet growth, you could see that increasing number of people use their mobile and tablets rather than their personal computer to connect to the Internet. Mobile business intelligence application can take huge benefit from this considering a lot of companies earn their revenue through advertisements. These companies become the ideal customers for Mobile BI as they would be interested to see such analysis. In this way Mobile is helping them with new opportunities to reach out engage and connect to more people; in highly relevant contexts and environments. However, there is a big problem visavis opportunity in mobile advertising. Facebook, which now has 60 percent of its login from mobile and tablet devices, is limited to small screen for its ad revenue. Hence, in order to boost their income many small app development companies will be in a dire need of more targeted marketing. Mobile analytics companies, such as MicroStrategy, can have a unique selling proposition here by creating a lot of values for application developers

          Mobile applications provide functionality that is unmatched by paper or a web browser. Smartphone’s and tablets allow Internet and its digital affordances to flow into every hand, everywhere, in every circumstance. MicroStrategy has created some really amazing apps for IOS and Android users. They also have a program called ‘Mobile Quick strike’ for 10 days where they would come up with a fully functional app. It gives customers confidence in the overall strength of the tool. MicroStrategy’s mobile intelligence platform helps companies and organizations build, deploy, and maintain mobile apps across a range of solutions by embedding intelligence, transactions, and multimedia into apps. Having worked on different reporting platforms, I feel that MicroStrategy holds a distinct advantage by making most of the out of box functionality directly available to its users in a lucid development framework. MicroStrategy Mobile platform supports distributed development for many developers to work on a project at a given time. Most of the objects are reusable and their definition can be reused across different business areas. For any BI tool, the ease of use is very important along with the sophisticated analytics which can be presented using the best visualization framework. It has become very important for a BI tool to analyze these enormous data volumes in the best representable format. Data visualization is driving demand in the business intelligence (BI) market because it's intuitive and accessible to business users who aren't schooled in query languages or statistical analysis. MicroStrategy Mobile has a strong stand in these areas due to a large number of visualizations in their library. This separates MicroStrategy Mobile, as a tool, for visual exploration from other competitors.

          MicroStrategy Mobile can be a big game changer in all the Market areas. For instance imagine yourself shopping in Walmart, when you do the transaction an E-commerce software would capture the data which would then be processed using some ETL tool to create sophisticated analysis for Business Users. You might end up filling some consumer experience survey which would then be manually fed into some application for capturing consumer trends information. With the birth of this Mobile Intelligence imagine how all of this can be transformed using a single solution MicroStrategy BI. A transaction report replacing the E-commerce software in retail sector for every point of sale, an automated report to take surveys in iPad. This is a more engaging and interactive consumer experience and provides increased speed of delivery of actionable business information. This example can very well be related for an everyday customer and can be termed as everyday BI.

          For organizations like Banks that have data security as their prime focus. Everyone wants to have access to the data they need at all times, from any location, in order to make real-time decisions. While this is appealing it poses security and other troubles for tools to provide the level of access. MicroStrategy mobile App development framework gives you power to develop and deploy “In House” Organization specific apps. This is a big step towards data control and security as only employees would be able to see the critical data. For sectors like healthcare imagine a doctor taking advantage of this cutting edge technology on their iPad to study the current disease and medicine trends. His decision makes a big impact on the patient’s life.

          Now the interesting question why this Mobile BI is a very hot topic and why do you think MicroStrategy Mobile BI standout? The answer is simple, till now ease of use for end user was always the priority for BI tools and the reason smart phones and tablets are becoming so popular is because even a 4 year old kid could operate them. Hence the bottom line is the interface should be unique and simple which MicroStrategy Mobile pretty much achieved and is the reason for their success in this particular area.

          Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
          it_user6525
          Engineer at a insurance company with 51-200 employees
          Vendor
          High ROI, dynamic and user friendly
          For how long have you used this product? - 5.5 yrs Which features of this product are most valuable to you? - Dynamic and user friendly What areas of this product have room for improvement? - Easy Performance tuning is required on MSTR Desktop. Did you encounter any issues with deployment, stability or scalability? - No Did you previously use a different solution and if so, why did you switch? - In MSTR itself we have alternative for different solution Before choosing this product, did you evaluate other options? If so, which ones? - Yes I have done comparison with Cognos and SSRS reporting tool. How would you rate the level of customer service and technical support? - 6 out of 10 Was the initial setup straightforward or complex? In what ways? - Straight but…

          For how long have you used this product?
          - 5.5 yrs

          Which features of this product are most valuable to you?
          - Dynamic and user friendly

          What areas of this product have room for improvement?
          - Easy Performance tuning is required on MSTR Desktop.

          Did you encounter any issues with deployment, stability or scalability?
          - No

          Did you previously use a different solution and if so, why did you switch?
          - In MSTR itself we have alternative for different solution

          Before choosing this product, did you evaluate other options? If so, which ones?
          - Yes I have done comparison with Cognos and SSRS reporting tool.

          How would you rate the level of customer service and technical support?
          - 6 out of 10

          Was the initial setup straightforward or complex? In what ways?
          - Straight but only have to install all depending software’s.

          Did you implement through a vendor team or an in-house one? If through a vendor team, how would you rate their level of expertise?
          - In-house

          What is your ROI on this product?
          - High

          What was your original setup cost for this product and what is your day-to-day cost of using this product?
          - License base so no day to day cost

          What advice would you give to others looking into implementing this product?
          - Really good product which have its in built powerful feature like performance, attractive

          Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
          ITCS user
          BI Expert at a consultancy with 51-200 employees
          Consultant
          Incredibly powerful but it's not for everybody
          MicroStrategy is incredibly powerful for BI, but it isn't for everybody. The analytics engine behind MicroStrategy is top notch, removing a lot of the complexity that a user may experience on the front end and moving it to the middle layer. Unfortunately, in doing this, managing the middle layer is somewhat complex with a ton of options. I'd highly recommend MicroStrategy Enterprise for companies with significant volumes of data, but smaller companies with only one or two analysts or very little data backend should look at MicroStrategy Cloud/Web or products that aren't as powerful/advanced. To summarize: end users love the front end but the ease of use comes at the expense of being a little more investment in the middle "metadata" layer.
          MicroStrategy is incredibly powerful for BI, but it isn't for everybody. The analytics engine behind MicroStrategy is top notch, removing a lot of the complexity that a user may experience on the front end and moving it to the middle layer. Unfortunately, in doing this, managing the middle layer is somewhat complex with a ton of options. I'd highly recommend MicroStrategy Enterprise for companies with significant volumes of data, but smaller companies with only one or two analysts or very little data backend should look at MicroStrategy Cloud/Web or products that aren't as powerful/advanced. To summarize: end users love the front end but the ease of use comes at the expense of being a little more investment in the middle "metadata" layer.
          Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
          ITCS user
          Head of Data Analytics at a financial services firm with 5,001-10,000 employees
          Vendor
          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.
          it_user72702
          Business Analyst at a manufacturing company with 501-1,000 employees
          Vendor
          The initiall setup was very complex but the formatting tools and the subscriptions are valuable

          What is most valuable?

          2 most favorite features are the easy formatting tools and the subscriptions.

          How has it helped my organization?

          Key Sales and Operations figures receive periodic tailor made data pertaining their responsibilities and interests.

          What needs improvement?

          The relationship between attributes needs to be clearer and the ability to edit contact lists and subscriptions.

          What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

          Deployment or more to the point adaptability to the different markets and local branches was a bit shaky. It still doesn't suit perfectly every branch.

          How are customer service and technical support?

          Customer Service: No use for it up till now. Assimilation team is very capable and helpful.Technical Support: No use for it up till now.…

          What is most valuable?

          2 most favorite features are the easy formatting tools and the subscriptions.

          How has it helped my organization?

          Key Sales and Operations figures receive periodic tailor made data pertaining their responsibilities and interests.

          What needs improvement?

          The relationship between attributes needs to be clearer and the ability to edit contact lists and subscriptions.

          What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

          Deployment or more to the point adaptability to the different markets and local branches was a bit shaky. It still doesn't suit perfectly every branch.

          How are customer service and technical support?

          Customer Service: No use for it up till now. Assimilation team is very capable and helpful.Technical Support: No use for it up till now. Assimilation team is very capable and helpful.

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

          No BI tool existed in the company beforehand

          How was the initial setup?

          Very complex. The tool was designed for a companywide solution yet erp systems differ between branches and some definitions such as product categories and distribution channels are different. We are still experiencing definition gaps which cause some confusion.

          What about the implementation team?

          The system was mainly implemented through an inhouse team.

          What other advice do I have?

          Mainly to make sure that the data your looking to get in the end can actually be obtained and arranged easily using this tool.
          Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
          it_user6855
          CEO with 51-200 employees
          Vendor
          One step ahead of much of the competition, and delivers a highly configurable and quite uniquely functional BI environment
          Verdict: MicroStrategy is one step ahead of much of the competition, and delivers a highly configurable and quite uniquely functional BI environment. Should be on any BI shortlist. MicroStrategy pretty well does everything when it comes to BI and analytics. Data visualization and exploration compares well with best of breed, scorecards and dashboards are feature rich and easy to use, the reporting capability is extensive and, somewhat uniquely for a BI platform, MicroStrategy supports the implementation of data mining models. This does not however mean that MicroStrategy supports the building of such models, because in the main it doesn’t. More on this in a moment. The MicroStrategy Business Intelligence Platform is described as enterprise class, and indeed it is. It contains too many…

          Verdict: MicroStrategy is one step ahead of much of the competition, and delivers a highly configurable and quite uniquely functional BI environment. Should be on any BI shortlist.

          MicroStrategy pretty well does everything when it comes to BI and analytics. Data visualization and exploration compares well with best of breed, scorecards and dashboards are feature rich and easy to use, the reporting capability is extensive and, somewhat uniquely for a BI platform, MicroStrategy supports the implementation of data mining models. This does not however mean that MicroStrategy supports the building of such models, because in the main it doesn’t. More on this in a moment.

          The MicroStrategy Business Intelligence Platform is described as enterprise class, and indeed it is. It contains too many components to provide details here, but the whole architecture is shown in the diagram below.


          The range of supported data sources is exhaustive and includes big data. Numerous management, development and reporting tools provide an extremely flexible environment, and delivery is via web browsers, desktop, mobile devices and through other applications such as Microsoft Office.

          Scalability is guaranteed through the MicroStrategy Intelligence Server which supports asymmetric clustering, shared caching and many other features. Security is also sophisticated and robust.

          Now back to support for predictive analytics and data mining. MicroStrategy has to be congratulated on its support for PMML (Predictive Model Markup Language), an industry standard for representing predictive models. It means these can be incorporated into reports, visualizations and dashboards so that scoring mechanisms can be seen. The models have to be built using PMML compliant tools, of which there are many. But this is an extra, and much needed dimension to BI and will assume more importance as data mining and predictive analytics become more widely used.

          MicroStrategy offers various packages for different needs and size of organization, and it also has some useful free trials. It is very hard to fault MicroStrategy; they have been around a long time, but always seem to keep one step ahead of much of the competition – worth a look.

          Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
          it_user7437
          Director of Data Analytics at a transportation company with 10,001+ employees
          Vendor
          Mobile BI & Cloud based option
          People are moving to MicroStraegy because they've heavily invested in mobile BI. The younger generation wants to do things with tablets, smartphones. Industries want to do things on floor shop and not carry around a laptop. Cloud base- they moved into a cloud platform. It's a strong cloud based option. It's a volume BI- typically sits on top of a DW.

          People are moving to MicroStraegy because they've heavily invested in mobile BI. The younger generation wants to do things with tablets, smartphones. Industries want to do things on floor shop and not carry around a laptop.
          Cloud base- they moved into a cloud platform. It's a strong cloud based option.
          It's a volume BI- typically sits on top of a DW.

          Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
          it_user3900
          Manager of Development at a tech services company with 1,001-5,000 employees
          Consultant
          Even if the costs are high, the benefits are huge.
          I would agree with the fact that MicroStrategy brings along with it increased costs but would clearly like to quote that it brings along it with it huge benefits that probably other reporting tools dont offer. The tools architecture has been framed in such a way that the design and development are easy thus reducing the maintenance efforts. Companies do think twice before implementing MicroStrategy because of the costs involved. Not only its about the implementation but also technical support which is around $10,000 per year. Also when there is a project coming in any company analyses if its possible to achieve it with other reporting tools with lesser implementation, administration, support and maintenance costs but they do not analyse if in the long run any other additional features…

          I would agree with the fact that MicroStrategy brings along with it increased costs but would clearly like to quote that it brings along it with it huge benefits that probably other reporting tools dont offer. The tools architecture has been framed in such a way that the design and development are easy thus reducing the maintenance efforts.

          Companies do think twice before implementing MicroStrategy because of the costs involved. Not only its about the implementation but also technical support which is around $10,000 per year. Also when there is a project coming in any company analyses if its possible to achieve it with other reporting tools with lesser implementation, administration, support and maintenance costs but they do not analyse if in the long run any other additional features would be required which would be beneficial for the users. After a year of implementation when the users come in with new requests then they start to understand that their current tool does not offer the required and start to evaluate other tools and plan to migrate it. I think this might not be the case if their COE team had done an extensive analysis initially on the capabilities of the tool. This tool bring along with it some special capabilities like mobile, social and cloud.

          MicroStrategy has established itself in all industries like communication and media, education, energy and utilities, financial services, food and beverage, health care and life sciences, manufacturing, retail and travel. Today, 14 of the top 20 global financial institutions rely on solutions powered by MicroStrategy. It has also showcased a number of successful Mobile BI Implementations. One is Whole Foods Market. This purveyor of natural and organic foods has over 300 stores and annual revenues of over $10 billion. The grocer is part way through a project to put mobile analytics into the hands of every store team leader using smartphones. Store team leaders have access to dozens of key performance indicators about their store. Given the limited screen size of a phone, whole foods decided not to implement charts. Instead, tabular data is shown, with a simple traffic light system used to highlight good, mediocre, and poor performance. Each store team leader can configure their own version of the app to show the performance of a few other stores alongside their own. So store managers often pick the closest store to them geographically, or a store of similar size, or leading stores in other regions.

          With Cloud Personal, any analytics can be shared with other people through mail. MicroStrategy has recently unveiled an interesting demonstrator of the power that can be gained from harvesting social data.With Wisdom, users can understand the demographic profile of people who like specific entities – be they people, places or products. For example, it’s easy to discern the demographic profile of people who like a certain politician, a particular brand of beer, or a TV show.

          Users can experience and enjoy MicroStrategy products – primarily Visual Insight – in minutes with no risk or investment. The visualizations and dashboards created can also be viewed using MicroStrategy’s native mobile BI applications for iOS devices.

          Thus even if the costs are high the benefits are huge.

          Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
          it_user6462
          Architect at a retailer with 501-1,000 employees
          Vendor
          Deployment and stability has been fairly good but scalability of the product is quite challenging
          For how long have you used this product? - 9 yrs Which features of this product are most valuable to you? - Mobile and in general, use of this Software by End Users. Can you give an example of how this product has improved the way your organization functions? - Users are getting their answers quickly and acting on their business KPI's What areas of this product have room for improvement? - Distributing Reports Did you encounter any issues with deployment, stability or scalability? - Few Challenges but deployment and stability has been fairly good but scalability of the product is quite challenging. Did you previously use a different solution and if so, why did you switch? - Business Objects. Switched to MicroStrategy for ease of use and Mobility Support. Before…

          For how long have you used this product?
          - 9 yrs

          Which features of this product are most valuable to you?
          - Mobile and in general, use of this Software by End Users.

          Can you give an example of how this product has improved the way your organization functions?
          - Users are getting their answers quickly and acting on their business KPI's

          What areas of this product have room for improvement?
          - Distributing Reports

          Did you encounter any issues with deployment, stability or scalability?
          - Few Challenges but deployment and stability has been fairly good but scalability of the product is quite challenging.

          Did you previously use a different solution and if so, why did you switch?
          - Business Objects. Switched to MicroStrategy for ease of use and Mobility Support.

          Before choosing this product, did you evaluate other options? If so, which ones?
          - Yes. Tableau

          How would you rate the level of customer service and technical support?
          - Good

          Was the initial setup straightforward or complex? In what ways?
          - Being in this technology for more years I'm impressed with the straightforward setup approach of their recent releases.

          Did you implement through a vendor team or an in-house one? If through a vendor team, how would you rate their level of expertise?
          - In House.

          What is your ROI on this product?
          - Close to $4 Million, I believe.

          What advice would you give to others looking into implementing this product?
          - Great Product but requires attention on their individual needs.

          Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
          it_user6330
          Product Manager at a retailer with 10,001+ employees
          Vendor
          MicroStrategy vs. Tableau
          After a recent presentation, several attendees asked me about the applications of Visual Insights and Tableau. Many companies are investing in both tools and are trying to figure out the right tool for specific applications. Tableau has found its sweet-spot as an agile discovery tool that analysts use to create and share insights. It is also the tool of choice for rapid prototyping of dashboards. Tableau is very flexible with its data import. Tableau's data blending capability is very intuitive. This capability is useful when you have data spread across several different sources that has not gone through ETL processes. This is a problem analysts deal with routinely. They are unable to wait for the data warehouse team to develop ETL processes to provide the physical models they…

          After a recent presentation, several attendees asked me about the applications of Visual Insights and Tableau. Many companies are investing in both tools and are trying to figure out the right tool for specific applications.

          Tableau has found its sweet-spot as an agile discovery tool that analysts use to create and share insights. It is also the tool of choice for rapid prototyping of dashboards.

          • Tableau is very flexible with its data import. Tableau's data blending capability is very intuitive. This capability is useful when you have data spread across several different sources that has not gone through ETL processes. This is a problem analysts deal with routinely. They are unable to wait for the data warehouse team to develop ETL processes to provide the physical models they need to build an analysis.
          • The Tableau interface is Excel-like and has a low barrier to entry for analysts that are used to working in Excel.
          • Building a dashboard by mashing up visualizations in a Tableau worksheet is extremely simple. Users are able to build good presentation-quality dashboards in a very short amount time.
          • Tableau's annotations capabilities and its time and geographical intelligence are key differentiators.
          • Tableau has overcome limitations in data sharing with the introduction of a Data Server in Tableau 7.0. The Data server allows Data sources and extracts to be shared securely and opens up interesting new possibilities.

          If your application can take advantage of the above characteristics, consider Tableau.

          Visual insights (VI) is MicroStrategy's data discovery tool. VI has many differentiating features which make it attractive:

          • VI is free if you already license Report Services.
          • VI supports visualization and dashboard creation over the Web.
          • Your existing MicroStrategy reports may have content that can be used as datasets for visual exploration. Converting a report to an analysis is a one click action.
          • Within a MicroStrategy project, applications can be built relating multiple visual insights analyses. A visual insights analysis may also support ad-hoc drilling workflows that access the data warehouse.
          • VI is Flash based and it is possible to export analyses and view them offline.
          • VI is built on top of a shared infrastructure and is fully integrated with distribution services, olap services, report services and other key features of the MicroStrategy platform such as its security and administration features.

          Consider VI for the following applications:

          • As an exploration interface for existing MicroStrategy reports.
          • As a Web-based tool for providing self-service visualization creation capabilities to business users. Provide a layer of certified OLAP services cubes and report builders that are created by a developer community as a backbone for building these visualizations.
          • For applications that need scheduled delivery to email/file/print.
          • For applications that have complex security requirements.
          Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
          it_user4635
          Consultant at a insurance company with 501-1,000 employees
          Vendor
          Most valuable features include Visual insight, MicroStrategy Mobile & Office integration
          On a scale from 1-5 (1=worst, 5=best), how would you rate this product overall compared to similar products? - Overall - 4.5 but we will have to look into the particular functionalities to do a fair comparison For how long have you used this product? - 3. 5+ years Which features of this product are most valuable to you? - Visual insight, MicroStrategy Mobile, Report Services (documents and dashboards), Office integration,SDK, R intégration (data mining), Cubes and caches Can you give an example of how this product has improved the way your organization functions? - As a BI consultant I've seen many times organizations turning to data driven business with actionable BI and analytics which have helped them to take better decisions at different levels of the structure. Most of…

          On a scale from 1-5 (1=worst, 5=best), how would you rate this product overall compared to similar products?
          - Overall - 4.5 but we will have to look into the particular functionalities to do a fair comparison

          For how long have you used this product?
          - 3. 5+ years

          Which features of this product are most valuable to you?
          - Visual insight, MicroStrategy Mobile, Report Services (documents and dashboards), Office integration,SDK, R intégration (data mining), Cubes and caches

          Can you give an example of how this product has improved the way your organization functions?
          - As a BI consultant I've seen many times organizations turning to data driven business with actionable BI and analytics which have helped them to take better decisions at different levels of the structure.
          Most of them have found this tool more appropriate for the time of requirements they have.

          Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
          ITCS user
          Business Intelligence Engineer at a leisure / travel company with 10,001+ employees
          Consultant
          February 2012 Magic Quadrant report - Biggest MicroStrategy Misconception
          That's one of the biggest misconceptions for any potential MicroStrategy implementation. Business now a days stack it against tableau,spotfire, SSIS,QlikView and other 'newer' tools (previously they used to compare against Cognos, BO,Actuate,SAS BI )..and all in all no one comes closer to return-on-investment when compared to MicroStrategy. Yes, initial setup cost and resource cost may be higher than most but you will get most of what you will spend. And in most organizations MicroStrategy is rolled as an shared platform which ultimately reduces 'actual cost' for any new project using MicroStrategy as solution. In other words, which BI platform will give you cube,mobile,clustering,scalability,object re-usability , detailed SDK with one of most power SQL engine ?

          That's one of the biggest misconceptions for any potential MicroStrategy implementation.
          Business now a days stack it against tableau,spotfire, SSIS,QlikView and other 'newer' tools (previously they used to compare against Cognos, BO,Actuate,SAS BI )..and all in all no one comes closer to return-on-investment when compared to MicroStrategy.

          Yes, initial setup cost and resource cost may be higher than most but you will get most of what you will spend. And in most organizations MicroStrategy is rolled as an shared platform which ultimately reduces 'actual cost' for any new project using MicroStrategy as solution.
          In other words, which BI platform will give you cube,mobile,clustering,scalability,object re-usability , detailed SDK with one of most power SQL engine ?

          Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
          it_user5211
          BI Expert at a financial services firm with 501-1,000 employees
          Vendor
          Low TCO and flexible. But licensing model is complicated.

          Valuable Features:

          I think the total cost of ownership is lower than other products, it is flexible and enterprise class.

          Room for Improvement:

          The licenses model is complicated. New features are slow to get to market (in comparison to other niche tools).

          Valuable Features:

          I think the total cost of ownership is lower than other products, it is flexible and enterprise class.

          Room for Improvement:

          The licenses model is complicated. New features are slow to get to market (in comparison to other niche tools).
          Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
          ITCS user
          Business Development Staff at a outsourcing company with 51-200 employees
          Vendor
          I would agree with Gartner

          Valuable Features:

          Our BI consultants single out MicroStrategy BI. The solution proofs to be efficient and full of capabilities: large volume data is easy to process, capability to tweak the attributes for complex reports and dashboards. One more plus is its widgets that enable to realize user-friendly interface.

          Room for Improvement:

          For really complicated and huge projects, one should take into account great number of relations between metadata entities. New analytic capabilities presuppose R language background. And yes, it will cost you. But both money and pleasure to work with.
          Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
          Ariel Lindenfeld
          Director of Content at IT Central Station
          Community Manager
          Gartner says MicroStrategy can be costly. What do you think?
          In its BI Magic Quadrant report, Gartner says that although MicroStrategy administration costs per user are average, customers report above average costs for licensing and implementation. Additionally, customers say that the main limitation to widespread deployment is the cost of MicroStrategy software. What do you think? Is the cost of implementing and licensing MicroStrategy limiting its widespread deployment? Do you find that using MicroStrategy brings along with it increased costs? If you are a user or are evaluating MicroStrategy, add your comment below or write your own review. Share your opinion with our community!

          In its BI Magic Quadrant report, Gartner says that although MicroStrategy administration costs per user are average, customers report above average costs for licensing and implementation. Additionally, customers say that the main limitation to widespread deployment is the cost of MicroStrategy software.

          What do you think? Is the cost of implementing and licensing MicroStrategy limiting its widespread deployment? Do you find that using MicroStrategy brings along with it increased costs?

          If you are a user or are evaluating MicroStrategy, add your comment below or write your own review. Share your opinion with our community!

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