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MicroStrategy Analytics Review: "Fine for reporting, not for ad hoc analytics"
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Eli Chan profile photo
February 26, 2014

MicroStrategy Analytics Review: "Fine for reporting, not for ad hoc analytics"

Score 3 out of 101
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

Software Version
Analytics Enterprise

Overall Satisfaction

I led a strategy & analytics team at Dell that provided data-driven and actionable recommendations to senior executives. We needed an agile environment for rapid ad hoc analytics on large data sets that combined data from the warehouse with other data sets (market data, 3rd party lists, data from enterprise systems not yet flowing into the warehouse, prior analytics, etc.). MicroStrategy was selected by IT to address these business needs. Unfortunately, MicroStrategy tured out to not be the right tool for the job due to a combination of capability gaps and the constraints imposed by our own IT governance processes.
  • Great for reporting that has stabilized (not changing much over time)
  • Drill-down/through is great for facilitating an interactive discussion with business leaders
  • Report-sharing helps keep the data on the back-end, reducing the emailing of large Excel files
  • Our team of business analysts needed a nimble tool for ad hoc analytics. MicroStrategy required greater technical knowledge than our typical user possessed and the process of creating a new view was extremely cumbersome and time-consuming.
  • We regularly needed to combine data from our warehouse with other data sources. While MicroStrategy has this capability, the level of technical knowledge required was beyond that of a typical business analyst and took too long. Part of the challenge was that our IT department imposed tight governance on the introduction of new data into the warehouse (which is common), so the minimum SLA on this process was 4 hours. This is simply not acceptable when a senior executive needs analysis for a decision right away. While I cannot fault MicroStrategy for our company's IT governance policy, they should add the capability to combine data from the warehouse with data outside the warehouse without requiring that it be added to the warehouse.
  • While MicroStrategy has some light-weight and reasonably priced user licenses, the capabilities we needed for ad hoc analysis required a far more expensive user license.
  • We abandoned the tool as it was not meeting our needs.
We didn't select MicroStrategy, our IT department did. The team has since moved to Tableau, which is better suited to their needs.
It didn't meet the team's needs.
It really depends on the use case. If the need is simply to standardize reporting, MicroStrategy might meet or even exceed expectations However, if the need is to guide executive decision-making with agile ad hoc analytics, there are other tools that are much better suited to the task.