Are you looking for an analytics tool that is simple enough to get up and running fast and has the capability to keep up with your company as its Business Intelligence requirements mature? If so, you will want to check out the new offerings by MicroStrategy.
Industry Leading Analytics – Enterprise Capable
MicroStrategy has long been known for its large scale enterprise reporting and analytics solutions. They have also been the leaders in offering analytics on the mobile platform.
MicroStrategy’s best-in-class capabilities have traditionally been expensive to purchase and require expert technical assistance to implement and maintain. Large organizations are able to realize economies of scale but small and medium sized companies may find it difficult to justify an initial large investment in software, resources, and infrastructure.
To overcome an initial software investment, MicroStrategy does offer a free enterprise version of its analytics suite for up to 10 users, called Analytics Suite. This 10-user license provides the opportunity to try-before-you-buy before rolling out to the larger enterprise. This product can be hosted on-premise or on MicroStrategy’s cloud.
Companies still have to develop internal resources to handle security, data architecture, metadata, and reporting requirements.
Competition from the Edges
In recent years companies like MicroStrategy, Cognos, SAP, and Oracle have lost ground to smaller, more agile, startups like Tableau and Qlikview. The newer companies have made it faster (and easier) to get up and running with appealing visualizations.
These smaller companies are now trying to make their products scalable with respect to handling complex security, data architecture, and metadata requirements that are part of all mid- to large-sized implementations.
MicroStrategy has responded to the competition by offering two smaller-scale solutions that can be implemented in a matter of weeks: Analytics Desktop and Analytics Express.
As its name implies, Analytics Desktop is installed on an individual’s computer. This product can attach to a variety of relational, columnar, and map reduce databases. It can also attach to Excel worksheets and SalesForce data. Analytics Desktop is designed for individual data discovery, possesses some advanced analytics capabilities, and can publish personal interactive dashboards. Data sharing is limited to distribution via PDF, Spreadsheet export, image files, and distributable flash files. Best of all, Analytics Desktop is free and offers free online training.
Analytics Express has all of the features of Desktop except that it is hosted completely in MicroStrategy’s cloud environment. There are no internal MicroStrategy hardware requirements. A secure VPN connection between MicroStrategy’s cloud and your company’s firewall can be configured to protect your data. The cloud-based analytics solution can import data from your organization’s back-end databases and refresh the data on a regularly scheduled basis. Importing the data provides the benefit of much improved analytics performance and data availability.
It’s a Mobile World
Additional visualization options are available plus the ability to deploy solutions tailored for the iPad. Access to Drop Box and Google Drive are also available.
Security features include user authentication, single-sign-on, user and user group management, row-level security, dashboard level security, and user-based data filtering.
Dashboards can be embedded in other web pages or on intranet sites. Visualizations can also be scheduled for email distribution.
Deploy Before You Buy
Organizational risk is minimized because MicroStrategy offers a free one-year trial of Analytics Express. With all architecture hosted in the cloud, your organization won’t have to belly up any hardware or technical resources to support this product either.
Agile and Scalable
Both the Desktop and Express editions benefited from an improved web-based user interface designed to make the creation of dashboards easier. MicroStrategy also leveraged its extensive portfolio of Enterprise-Level features by making them available in the hosted solution. This ensures that MicroStrategy can meet the ever-evolving Business Intelligence and Analytics needs of your organization.