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MicroStrategy Analytics: "Ground level perspective of MicroStrategy"
https://www.trustradius.com/business-intelligence-biMicroStrategy AnalyticsUnspecified7.5206101
Paul Campbell profile photo
Updated April 08, 2015

MicroStrategy Analytics: "Ground level perspective of MicroStrategy"

Score 9 out of 101
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

Software Version
Analytics Enterprise
Modules Used
Object Manager, Developer, Integrity Manager, Command Manager

Overall Satisfaction with MicroStrategy Analytics

We use MicroStrategy Analytics in many departments, the span of support goes from Business users to IT support. This tool is intended to be the "one stop shop" for all reporting needs. We are able to connect many different data sources which tend to be common in large companies. The current implementation met our needs in the past and we are adapting to use it better and more efficiently for future needs. I believe when configured correctly, this product can meet all requirements for our department and all other departments.
  • Extremely fast and reliable sql generation, report and document development.
  • Flexibility and integration with nearly all data sources.
  • Self reliant product, many out of the box products that allow easy maintenance, development, and monitoring.
  • Cost of product is more reasonable than many other in its class.
  • Reports and documents produced can be pixel perfect and allow for extremely custom dashboards and scorecards.
  • There are many tools and products in the whole Analytics suite, I find this cumbersome and would like to see all these tools brought together
  • There is no version control built into the product. Versioning seems outdated and the principle way of handling versions is outdated and I think should be remodeled.
  • To a new user, learning the entirety of all MicroStrategy products is difficult and can take a long time to adapt to.
I have only used SSRS 2012 and MicroStrategy 9.4.1 as reporting tools. SSRS is not as fully featured as MicroStrategy and does not have the same level of quality in the delivery of expert reports. MicroStrategy meets many more needs out of the box and allows for many more options than SSRS. Microstrategy is in a higher class of Business Intelligence tools than SSRS. Also MicroStrategy rivals SAP and Cognos however price points of MicroStrategy is far more reasonable than others in class.
I would always choose to renew MicroStrategy as long as they lead the market in features, functionality and price. The support of MicroStrategy is timely and professional, I frequently get answers to my questions within 24 hours and normally have solutions within 48 hours. Training available for MicroStrategy completely covers everything required to be able to expertly use MicroStrategy and understand data warehousing.
Our customers are mainly internal to the business having a user base in the hundreds. The types of users who are active with MicroStrategy range from business analysts to software developers.
The multi-source feature, data marts, and multiple data source capabilities of MicroStrategy is mind blowing. Merging completely different database datasets, and geographically different servers becomes non-problem. Our users can create their own datasets on the fly, and by way of Data Blending, incorporate our product data with their own curiosity. MicroStrategy can source to all worth-while data types known in the technology arena.
The ability to work concurrently on the schema of any MicroStrategy project is near impossible. When one person is working on the schema, the schema is locked and no other can participate in the design. The application objects (reports, metrics, freeform sql, filter, etc) has a much better ability for collaboration as all the structure has been created already in the schema.
The end product, the reports and documents can be distributed almost effortlessly. The ability to share created reports and documents is also very simple to manage and very powerful.
The variety of widgets, DHTML graphs, flash, and pixel perfect PDF formatting, document object filtering and drilling is perfectly executed. Data visualizations can be easily stored as cubes for use in fast data slicing. The built in ESRI mapping component is extremely helpful in both prototyping and production use. Being able to view the data in many formats, including recommended formats makes it very simple to get an idea off the ground.
MicroStrategy Analytics is very well suited for small and large companies and for varying degrees of budgets. The price model is fair for the type of features and functionality out of the box. There will have to be someone dedicated to MicroStrategy and the lifecycle of the business data model. It is not a light weight product on the back end, but can be very lightweight to the end users. No-SQL allows the domain experts, people who understand the business and not technology, to analyze and dig at questions without being burdened by asking database experts for advanced SQL generation. I give this product a 9 out of 10 because it is not fully HIPAA compliant and the means to make it HIPAA compliant means we must cripple some basic functionality.

MicroStrategy Implementation

Implementation

10
Implementation is not easy, but also not difficult. With enough training on how to create a schema, and with the proper data warehouse schema the implementation can be very quick. If there are a lot of unknowns in the beginning phase of modeling, that can greatly extend the overall time taken for a fully implemented project.

Implementation Details / Implementation Partner

  • Implemented in-house

Implementation Phases

Yes - The phases for implementation were based on Microstrategy best practices. Our Data warehouse was already present, the install phase of the IServer and Web server were simple. The Design of the project schema was by far the hardest part of the entire operation. While the schema was being created, there were many changes needed on the data warehouse, however changes on the data warehouse were not feasible at the time. The only other option was to use the logical views Microstrategy to access the data at the required levels. After the schema was created, the creation of metrics, filters and groups were done by understanding the business model. The last phase was to build the reports and documents that meet the customer need. Often times a customer request on a report does not exist in the data warehouse and we would have to adjust the tables in the data warehouse. These changes are not very difficult once the structure is in place which works well into an Agile environment.

Implementation Issues

  • As far as implementation of the infrastructure, there were not many.
  • The most difficult part of implementation was collecting all required information to accurately depict the data model.

MicroStrategy Training

Training Types Used

  • Online training
  • Self-taught

Online Training

10
The MicroStrategy training is incredible, they have great online teachers. I was fortunate to be learning MicroStrategy while also implementing a project from scratch. This helped to solidify a lot of the concepts and be able to ask questions about real world problems in addition to class room exercises.

Ease of MicroStrategy Analytics Training

This product is not easy to learn without training. I would not recommend a self taught approach. The classes are a bit expensive, however the time saved is worth it.

MicroStrategy Support

Support

10
If the staff does not know they answer they either find it out at some point, or put in a feature request. I have never been left hanging or been given an answer that is unsatisfactory to the solution. Even if there was no current solution, I was still told the logical reason and why.

MicroStrategy Analytics Customer Support Pros and Cons

ProsCons
Quick Resolution
Good followup
Knowledgeable team
Kept well informed
No escalation required
Immediate help available
Support understands my problem
Quick Initial Response
None

Premium Support

Yes - Because we receive an excellent support for a product which we have very little in house experience.

Bug Resolution

Yes - I have never had a bug resolved from MicroStrategy. MicroStrategy has a nice way of showing which of the bugs logged by a customer has been resolved in a patch. However none of my bugs have ever been addressed.

Exceptional Examples of MicroStrategy Analytics Support

I received exceptional support when we had to change our entire data model and there were many concerns and questions I had with an upgrade path. The case was flagged by me as level 1 (highest) and I was contacted within minutes and given the solution within the hour.

Using MicroStrategy

Usability

7
It is difficult to learn, but once you figure it out through training, it becomes simpler and the reasons for it's complexity becomes apparent.

Usability Pros and Cons

ProsCons
Like to use
Technical support not required
Feel confident using
Difficult to use
Not well integrated
Inconsistent
Slow to learn
Cumbersome
Lots to learn

Easy Tasks

  • Creating metrics and filters
  • Creating a mobile application
  • Creating dashboards
  • Use Visual Insights

Difficult Tasks

  • Understanding the core of the IServer
  • The differences between MicroStrategy Web and MicroStrategy Developer. Some features exists in one and not the other.

Mobile Interface Availability and Impressions

Yes - it works very well. Normally what is built to work on the web can work on the mobile platform.

MicroStrategy Reliability

Scalability

10
This software is extremely scaleable, one can add more core servers which performs as a load balancing. The configurations available to manage usage patterns and daily activity are as high a caliber as any other enterprise level software. This product can be installed on both a windows and unix platform allow for integration on a budget.

Reliability and Availability

10
I've never had an issue with MicroStrategy not being available due to MicroStrategy application malfunction. It is very robust and only failures I've seen were due to user error or the platform the machine running the service failed some how.

Performance

10
Being able to customize the performance based on the business need is extremely powerful. Proper configuration and understanding of the usage pattern is key, if the technical ability of the architect is not at top level, then the product will not be configured correctly which will lead to poor performance.