MicroStrategy Analytics: "MicroStrategy - Why, When & Where ??"
1) One of the major aspect of reporting is access control.
For example the Business Intelligence team interacts with lot of business like Finance, Product, Marketing etc. Each and every of these businesses consists of their corresponding employee hierarchy starting from executives in the top of the pyramid to the developer who is at the bottom of the pyramid. But everyone in the hierarchy shouldn't have access to view or modify the report. Here's why access control is required. Also if the company is part of an IPO they would like to restrict a lot of key metrics from the employees who are at the bottom of the pyramid.
MicroStrategy provides great access control facilities so that we can control sharing capabilities. We can define security roles and assign members to each and every security role. Now we can configure each and every security role to have specific privileges which is really helpful. So we restrict not only permissions for viewing a report but also different tool access capabilities.
2) Subscription Option - Email Delivery Subscription, File Refresh Subscription & Attachment Option in Excel
I have seen that a lot of executives demand to view a ready made report (to view key metrics instantly) sent to their email so that they can access it by desktop as well as a cell phone. This can be achieved from MicroStrategy. We can deliver dashboards (documents) in a specific time via emails. Delivery options can be easily manipulated. It is also possible to deliver it in pdf or Excel via email by setting up a separate file subscription for granular view and embedding a link for the drive where the file is stored. It also contains compression capabilities, password protected files, and delimiter options. You can send a file only to specific users and send a preview to all users with options for email subscription.There are also time based unsubscribe options available.
3)Data Sharing Can be done in PDF, Excel
It is possible to quickly export data into Excel from Visual Insight Grid or Documents. Until the recent version of MicroStrategy 9.4.1 for PDF everything was Flash based. But starting with MicroStrategy 10 everything is pretty much based on HTML 5.
4)Native Excel Drivers for Old School People
I have seen a lot of executives (non tech savvy people) still prefer to see the data in a grid in Excel as they are not fan of visualization. They just care about the numbers being correct at the end of the day without any fancy graphical representation. MicroStrategy provides an option to have native Excel Drivers directly interacting with a live document. Once we install this add-on Excel will show you a MicroStrategy add-in in menu bar based on what you can connect to MicroStrategy projects. This can be really helpful sometimes for a quick data preview.
5)Visual Insight helps to quickly plot dashboards
A lot of tech savvy new users now a days like to use a visualization tool to observe different trends in data. For the last two decades people have been using Microsoft Excel for drawing charts and pivot tables. But MicroStrategy’s Visual insight takes the whole thing to another level. It is very user friendly and gives lot of options for quick manipulations of data. You can visually observe the data in a different format. It gives the option of derived metrics and derived attribute (MicroStrategy 10). Complex formulas can directly be applied on the metrics to add derived metrics. There are filter options. There are date sliders (mainly used for trend lines) and options to select a specific part of whole data set. Also functions like OLAP, data mining and statistics makes manipulations very easy.
6)Intelligent Cubes can be scheduled to refresh the data
There is the concept of an Intelligent Cube which can be built on top of architect facts and dimensions. For refreshing data on a daily basis we can input schedules which can update data or delete and insert data in intelligent cubes at a specific time or multiple times in a day. Reports are supposed to be built of top of these cubes.
7)Direct Control to Hadoop via Hive & Free Form SQL Query to Hadoop
There is way to direct query big data (in free form ) via Hive from Hadoop. The new version of MicroStrategy prime has also introduced native drivers a way through which big chunks of data can be taken in memory for faster retrieval of data.