MicroStrategy - Great for some, overkill for most.
Updated December 04, 2014

MicroStrategy - Great for some, overkill for most.

Lara Rasner | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 2 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Software Version

9.0 - 9.2

Overall Satisfaction with MicroStrategy Analytics

  • MicroStrategy is a very powerful BI tool that, with the right training, can open the world of analysis to consumers, allowing your data to assist the masses with important business decisions, by offering a layer of abstraction between your data and users.
  • MicroStrategy does a good job with any type of security model you need to implement. Security can be regulated on a large scale down to the object level. Sending reports to multiple people and being able to limit the data to each of those people based on group security is a phenomenal aspect.
  • The flexibility of dashboards, reports and grids within MicroStrategy desktop was remarkable and allowed for a highly customized BI interface.
  • Administration and implementation of MicroStrategy exposed fatal flaws in their software as a whole. I expected much, much higher quality software for the licensing/pricing demanded from MicroStrategy.
  • Although their tech support staff were always friendly, it took multiple (and I mean multiple) attempts to solve issues, some of which were never resolved. Many of which were drawn out for weeks with support staff asking me to perform troubleshooting steps that I'd outlined I'd already performed in the ticket comments when posted. Just very ineffective support as a whole.
  • Their error code base is not well documented. I can't count how many times I found an error being thrown and could not find reference of what that error meant, or was caused by. I found many people complaining about the same error in their community discussion boards, with no responses from anyone at MicroStrategy offering assistance.
MicroStrategy, for the use by our company, was WAY overkill for their needs, both in functionality and price. It can be a great tool, but their licensing scheme is frustratingly painful and expensive for the quality of software they provide. If your company does not want to pay a DBA or DB Developer to write optimized T-SQL or queries, then by all means MicroStrategy may be your answer. For the price, you could pay an employee who knows your data and writes much more optimized T-SQL, and utilize the great features of MSFT Excel to slice and dice your data - this would work for 90% or more of the companies who want a great data warehouse. As far as the current implementation of the data warehouse, so much investment and time went into rolling out MicroStrategy that, unless there was a major data structure change, it does not make sense to recreate all the reports in Excel.
It would really depend on the size, scale and needs of your data warehouse BI tool. I would say a good rule of thumb if you have a minimum of 50 users that are going to be constantly creating/slicing/dicing your data, this may be the tool for you. If fewer, then I would suggest investing in a great data warehouse developer and Excel classes for your consumers. Also know that, even though it touts itself as a fast, self-service BI system, unless you have a skilled SQL Developer or DBA, it will be slow as molasses as it creates the tSQL for the queries itself, in a very poorly designed manner.