MicroStrategy Analytics Platform
MicroStrategy, founded in 1989, is one of the best known vendors in the business intelligence market worldwide. In 2003, it became the first vendor to release a fully integrated product that provides formatted reports, dashboards and interactive analysis in a single solution using the same infrastructure. With its library of statistical and advanced data mining functions, the vendor offers comprehensive analytic capabilities for a wide variety of use cases.
MicroStrategy has one of the best architectures on the market. The analytics and mobility suite is built as a front end which connects to a variety of data sources using its own semantic layer to create a common and governed business logic layer.
The vendor has invested much over the years in supporting new data sources, such as from the web or cloud data, as well as offering native support for Hadoop systems. MicroStrategy PRIME (Parallel Relational In-Memory Engine) is designed to provide high performance to very large numbers of users on very large data sets. PRIME has been the core in-memory engine of the MicroStrategy Analytics Platform since version 10.
In general, MicroStrategy has always taken market trends seriously. It was among the first vendors to present solutions for mobile devices. The vendor provides a development framework to build individual mobile applications. Offline capabilities and data entry for operational use cases are supported as well.
To fulfill requirements in the area of self-service BI and data discovery, MicroStrategy offers a standalone self-service BI client called MicroStrategy Desktop. Web-based data discovery is available with the MicroStrategy Web product, which also integrates with MicroStrategy Desktop to support offline and “governed” self-service. MicroStrategy offers capabilities for visual and explorative data analysis, sophisticated functions for data preparation and functions for guided advanced analytics.
MicroStrategy has been rebuilt into a more visually appealing product in recent years. The vendor is working on redesigning its UIs and switching the product to HTML5.
User & Use Cases
MicroStrategy Analytics Platform’s usage scenarios show the product’s versatility. The suite offers a good feature set for various scenarios such as standard reporting, ad hoc query, dashboards and data analysis. Survey respondents seem to use these four capabilities heavily. Furthermore, 18 percent of employees at customer organizations use the suite, slightly above The BI Survey average of 17 percent.
63 percent of MicroStrategy customers say they plan to use the product for advanced analysis. In this area, the vendor has an extensive statistical library, which can be used for statistical calculations. In its data discovery modules for business users, the vendor recently began providing some predefined statistical calculations as well.
MicroStrategy’s usage rate for model/enrich tasks is slightly higher than last year, showing that customers are slowly adopting these data discovery capabilities.
Company size and user numbers show that MicroStrategy is mostly used in larger scenarios and large enterprises. The suite is capable of handling high volumes of data and user numbers. Indeed, customers often cite these factors as major reasons for buying the software in the first place.
Current vs. planned use
N = 167
5 products most often evaluated in competition with MicroStrategy
N = 155
Percentage of employees using MicroStrategy
N = 165
Number of users using MicroStrategy
N = 165
Tasks carried out with MicroStrategy by business users
N = 158
Company size (number of employees)
N = 166