Tag Archives: MicroStrategy

Michael Saylor Keynote – MicroStrategy World Barcelona – July 2014

Click on image to watch keynote video

Click on image to watch keynote video

MicroStrategy Simplifies Product Packaging to Enhance Total Customer Experience

New MicroStrategy Pricing

Converges on Four Products; Offers Free Upgrades to Premium Capabilities for Existing Clients

BARCELONA, Spain, July 8, 2014 – MicroStrategy® Incorporated (Nasdaq: MSTR), a leading worldwide provider of enterprise software platforms, today announced a new packaging structure aimed at delivering the best end-to-end customer and partner experience, making it easier than ever to acquire, deploy, and succeed with MicroStrategy. MicroStrategy also announced that it is extending free upgrades for existing clients to the premium capabilities included in the new product packaging, offering greater value to clients and new users.

The packaging changes will empower new and existing MicroStrategy clients to realize the full potential of their analytical applications using the most comprehensive analytics and mobile platforms in the industry. This information, and more, can be found at: www.microstrategy.com/experience.

“Our new packaging makes it simple for organizations to choose MicroStrategy for the totality of their business analytics and mobile application needs,” said Paul Zolfaghari, President, MicroStrategy Incorporated. “We believe it instantly enhances our value to existing customers and is emblematic of our heightened focus on delivering a positive customer experience. The new packaging allows better preparation and planning for new deployments, providing more value over the broad range of solutions we offer.”

Under the new packaging structure, MicroStrategy’s full feature set, previously split into 21 discrete offerings, has been reduced to four simple packages that empower developers, analysts, power users, and consumers to take advantage of the comprehensive MicroStrategy platform with simplified value-based pricing.

“From a customer perspective this is a welcome change,” said Andrew Young, BI Director, at Bob Evans Farms, a MicroStrategy client. “Budgeting and planning new applications will be far easier, especially breaking down platform investments to our business customers. With the simplified offering and pricing structure we can paint a more complete picture and focus on the business value.”

MicroStrategy added that the new packaging allows clients to more affordably deploy the full breadth of MicroStrategy capabilities (including data federation, write-back, closed-loop analysis, and automated report distribution, among others) to more users across the enterprise, giving end users full authoring capabilities as needed and integration with Microsoft® Office® applications. System architects gain efficiencies with the full ability to manage upgrades, migrations, and data loads, as well as free server administration and monitoring features. Within the four product offerings, clients will have all styles of analytics (self-service, dashboards, advanced analytics) across any interface (web, mobile, pdf, email report distribution) at Big Data scale—on an automated platform.

“To maximize the value of a customer relationship requires that companies simplify the pricing to ensure the purchasing process of technology is easy and transparent,” said Mark Smith, CEO and Chief Research Officer at Ventana Research. “The new MicroStrategy packaging and pricing enable the best possible customer experience, while shortening the time to gain full value from technology for organizations.”

The new packaging focuses on user roles within an enterprise:

  • MicroStrategy Server™ benefits all user roles. It includes a fully-featured server infrastructure designed to connect to multiple data sources, supports all major analytic styles from report distribution to information-driven apps to self-service data discovery, and scales to hundreds of thousands of users. It also includes administration and monitoring tools needed by organizations to effectively and efficiently manage their deployments.
  • MicroStrategy Web™ empowers business users to consume, author, and design analytics through an intuitive web-based interface. Business analysts can use MicroStrategy Web to take advantage of the all-inclusive set of self-service analytic capabilities.
  • MicroStrategy Mobile™, the award-winning, industry-leading interface for Apple iOS and Android devices, is an easy, fast, affordable way to mobilize analytics and information-driven applications to an increasingly mobile and 24 x 7 workforce.
  • MicroStrategy Architect™ provides developers with an extensive set of development, deployment and migration tools needed to efficiently manage the application development lifecycle.

The Company also noted that these four offerings complement the free MicroStrategy Analytics Desktop™ it made available last year. MicroStrategy Analytics Desktop is a free self-service business analytics tool designed to enable any individual user to gain deep insight into the user’s data by effortlessly creating powerful, insightful visualizations and dashboards.

MicroStrategy Report Optimization: Computational Distance

Computational Distance

Source: MicroStrategy University, Deploying MicroStrategy High Performance BI, V9.3.1, MicroStrategy, Inc. September, 2013.

Computational Distance

Any BI system consist of a series of processes and tools that take raw data at the very bottom-at the transaction level in a database-and by using various technologies transform that data into the finished answer that the user needs. At every step along the way, some kind of processing is done in the following components-the database, network, BI application, or the browser.

The concept of “computational distance” refers to the length in terms of systems, transformations, and other processes that the data must undergo from its lowest level, all the way to being rendered on a browser as shown in the image above.

The longer the computational distance is for a given report, the longer it will take to execute and render. The preceding image shows a hypothetical example of a report that runs in 40 seconds. Each processing step on that report, such as aggregation, formatting, and rendering, adds to the report’s computational distance, increasing the report overall execution time.

Reducing the Computational Distance of a Report

Computation distance offers a useful framework from a performance optimization perspective because it tells us that to improve the performance of a report or dashboard, you must focus on reducing its overall computational distance. The following image shows different techniques such as caching, cubes, and aggregation that can be used to optimize performance for the 40 second hypothetical report.

In the next blog post, we will next look at two key computational distance reduction techniques offered in the MicroStrategy platform-caching and Intelligent Cubes.

Reducing the Computational Distance

MicroStrategy Report Optimization: Components of Performance

Readers:

Today, I am adding the second post in my MicroStrategy Report Optimization series. This will be a multi-part series (I will leave it open-ended so I can continue to add to it).

Today, we will look at the components that comprise performance.

Best Regards,

Michael

Source: MicroStrategy University, Deploying MicroStrategy High Performance BI, V9.3.1, MicroStrategy, Inc. September, 2013.

Components of Performance

There are five key layers or components that a typical BI query must go through. They are:

  • Caching Options
  • Data Transfer
  • System Architecture and Configuration
  • Client rendering or Data Presentation
  • Data Warehouse Access

The components above are not listed in any specific order of access during the execution of a query. The image below illustrates the five components.

The Components of High Performance

Caching and Intelligent Cubes

MicroStrategy’s memory technology is engineered to meet the increased demand for higher BI performance, which is driven by the rapid expansion of both data volumes and the number of BI users in organizations across industries. MicroStrategy accelerates performance by pre-calculating computations and placing the results into its memory acceleration engine to dramatically improve real-time query performance.

Data Transfer

Data transfer over one or more networks are a very important component of a BI implementation. A slow or poorly tuned network performance in any of those transfers will translate into poor performance from a report or a dashboard execution perspective.

System Architecture and Configuration

Successful BI applications accelerate user adoption and enhance productivity, resulting in demand for more users, data, and reports. MicroStrategy provides the ability to adapt quickly to constant changes and evolve along with business requirements. MicroStrategy Intelligence Server hs been proven in real-world scenarios to deliver the highest performance at scale with the fewest servers and minimum IT overhead.

Data Presentation

Dashboards provide graphical, executive views into KPIs, enabling quick business insights. MicroStrategy enables higher performing dashboards, averaging 30-45% faster execution and interactivity. Using new compression methods, MicroStrategy dashboards have a smaller footprint than ever before – up to to 55% smaller – resulting in faster delivery using less network bandwidth. Dashboards deliver ever more analysis and data for end-users.

Data Warehouse Access

High performance BI starts with optimizing SQL queries to retrieve results from the database as quickly as possible. BI performance is dependent largely on the time that the queries take to execute in the database. An average reporting request usually takes 40 seconds to complete, out of which 34 seconds, or 85% of the query time, is spent executing in the database.

Therefore, it is critical to optimize report queries to reduce database execution time.

MicroStrategy Report Optimization: Introduction

Readers:

I have received an e-mail from a reader that wanted me to discuss how to optimize MicroStrategy Reports.

I think this is an excellent topic and will today start a new blog topic called MicroStrategy Report Optimization. This will be a multi-part series (I will leave it open-ended so I can continue to add to it).

Before we start the series, it is important to understand report execution flow in MicroStrategy. That is what I will start with today.

Best Regards,

Michael

Source: MicroStrategy University, Deploying MicroStrategy High Performance BI, V9.3.1, MicroStrategy, Inc. September, 2013.

Report Execution Flow

To better understand how some of the components affect the report performance in a MicroStrategy environment, it is important to become familiar with the report execution flow.

The following image depicts the different steps involved in the report execution process.

Report Execution Flow

The following steps and components are involved in the report execution flow.

Report Execution Flow Steps

 

Tips & Tricks #11: The URL path is not visible in the report properties dialog box in MicroStrategy Web

The Issue

Each report and document has a URL path that could be used to directly execute the object when pasted in the browser address bar. The URL path can be found in the properties section when a user right-clicks on the object.

The expected view of that window is as follows:

The view observed by some users without the link feature:

The Cause

The required feature is not enabled in the MicroStrategy Web Admin page.

The Fix

  1. Navigate to the MicroStrategy Web Admin page.
  2. Select ‘Security’ on the left-hand side.
  3. Under ‘URL’, enable the feature – “Session information is included on the URL”.

 

Workaround 

If the session information setting should remain off for security reasons, use the Show Link feature as shown below.

 

Reference

MicroStrategy Knowledgebase Technical Note 39787, Updated July 22, 2013.

MicroStrategy Hires Marcus Starke as Chief Marketing Officer

TYSONS CORNER, Va., April 22, 2014 /PRNewswire/ –

Marcus-StarkeMicroStrategy ® Incorporated, a leading worldwide provider of enterprise software platforms, recently announced that Marcus Starke has been hired as the company’s new Chief Marketing Officer.  Starke comes to MicroStrategy with more than 25 years of marketing and general business experience, including senior leadership roles with some of the world’s best-known software and media companies. Prior to joining MicroStrategy, Starke served as SAP’s Senior Vice President of Worldwide Marketing & Communications Regions, where he oversaw all marketing strategy and execution and was a member of SAP’s global leadership team. Immediately preceding his five-year tenure at SAP, Starke was President and CEO (EMEA) of Wunderman, a division of the WPP Group.

“We are extremely pleased to have a recognized marketing innovator like Marcus join us at a very exciting time for the company,” said Michael Saylor, CEO, MicroStrategy Incorporated. “Marcus brings global marketing expertise, not only from his time with SAP but also from leading marketing communications agencies.  Marcus is a thought-leader who’s passionate about innovation, and his track record as a disruptive force in strategy, marketing and communications couldn’t be better suited to our plans to transform the market with our offerings.  His hire represents the latest in a series of concrete steps that MicroStrategy has taken to enhance the customer experience and capture market share in the global market place.””Telling the story of such an important global technology and innovation leader — boasting thousands of successful customers, including hundreds of major global brands — is a terrific opportunity,” said Starke. “This is a pivotal time for MicroStrategy as it leads the market with the world’s number #1 mobile BI platform, the leading cloud BI solution and what I believe is the most comprehensive analytics platform. There’s also a powerful opportunity ahead in its new mobile identity and loyalty platforms. I am very excited about the opportunity to help customers significantly accelerate business innovation, simplify their businesses, and dramatically enhance the experience of their customers through the amazing technologies MicroStrategy has developed.”

Earlier in his career, Starke served as the Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of Publicis Frankfurt.  He also managed his own consulting and marketing agency. A strong advocate of “social business,” in navigating the social media/social community landscape, Starke pens a widely-read blog and is a passionate proponent of customer engagement through world-class marketing and communications.

About MicroStrategy Incorporated Founded in 1989, MicroStrategy is a leading worldwide provider of enterprise software platforms.  The Company’s mission is to provide the most flexible, powerful, scalable and user-friendly platforms for analytics, mobile, identity and loyalty, offered either on premises or in the cloud.

The MicroStrategy Analytics Platform™ enables leading organizations to analyze vast amounts of data and distribute actionable business insight throughout the enterprise.  Our analytics platform delivers reports and dashboards, and enables users to conduct ad hoc analysis and share their insights anywhere, anytime.  MicroStrategy Mobile™ lets organizations rapidly build information-rich applications that combine multimedia, transactions, analytics, and custom workflows.  The MicroStrategy Identity Platform™ (branded as MicroStrategy Usher™) provides organizations the ability to develop a secure mobile app for identity and credentials. The MicroStrategy Loyalty Platform™ (branded as MicroStrategy Alert) is a next-generation, mobile customer loyalty and engagement solution.  To learn more about MicroStrategy, visit www.microstrategy.com and follow them on Facebook ( http://www.facebook.com/microstrategy ) and Twitter ( http://www.twitter.com/microstrategy ).

MicroStrategy, MicroStrategy Analytics Platform, MicroStrategy Mobile, MicroStrategy Identity Platform, MicroStrategy Loyalty Platform, and MicroStrategy Usher are either trademarks or registered trademarks of MicroStrategy Incorporated in the United States and certain other countries.  Other product and company names mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

Bryan’s BI Blog: MicroStrategy vs Tableau

Readers:

Bryan BrandowBryan Brandow, has posted his second new post on his new blog, Bryan’s BI Blog and it is a doozy. Bryan does an in-depth comparison of MicroStrategy vs. Tableau.

Here is a link to the MicroStrategy vs. Tableau post.

Best Regards,

Michael

 

Data Blending: Why are Some Metric Values Blank in Documents Using Multiple Datasets in MicroStrategy Analytics Enterprise 9.4.1 (Part 8)

MicroStrategy Analytics Enterprise

Introduction

Starting with MicroStrategy Analytics Enterprise 9.4.1, Report Services documents can contain grids with objects coming from more than one dataset.

Multiple Datasets in a Single Grid/Graph/Widget Object in MicroStrategy Web 9.4 [2]

Users now have the ability to add attributes and/or metrics from multiple datasets to a single grid, graph, or widget. For example, if Dataset #1 contains Category and Revenue and Dataset #2 contains Category and Profit, a grid can be created which contains Category, Revenue, and Profit.

Part 8 - 1

Administrators can control the use of multiple datasets in a single grid, graph, or widget through the Analytical Engine VLDB properties window at the project level.

  1. Right mouse click (RMC) on the project name.
  2. Select Project Configuration.
  3. Click on Project Definition.
  4. Select ‘Advanced’.
  5. Click “Configure” under the Analytical engine VLDB.

Part 8 - 2

NOTE:

The default value is set to: “Objects in document grids must come from the grid’s source dataset only”.

Users can set the set the source of the grid to a particular dataset or choose no dataset (in which case, the MicroStrategy engine will determine the best suited dataset). [1]

The MicroStrategy Analytical Engine displays no data for metrics in ambiguous cases or when there is a conflict. Ambiguous cases can arise in cases where multiple datasets contain the same objects.  Examples based on the MicroStrategy Tutorial project have been provided to explain this information.

Note: When the MicroStrategy Analytical Engine cannot resolve the correct datatset as explained in the cases below, the data displayed for these will correspond to the value chosen for the missing object display under Project Configuration > Report definition > Null values > Missing Object Display. The default value for this blank.

Case1:

Multiple datasets have the same metric. Only one dataset does not contain this metric and this dataset is set as the source of the grid.

This case is explained with an example based on the MicroStrategy Tutorial project.

1. Create the following objects:

a. Dataset DS1 with the attribute ‘Year’ and metric ‘Profit’.

b. Dataset DS2 with the attribute ‘Year’ and metrics ‘Profit’, ‘Revenue’.

c. Dataset DS3 with the attribute ‘Quarter’ and metric ‘Cost’.

2.  Create a document based on the above datasets and create a grid object on the document with the following objects: ‘Year’, ‘Quarter’, ‘Profit’. Set the source of this grid to be the dataset ‘DS3′.

3. In the executed document, no data is displayed for the metric ‘Profit’ as shown below.

Part 8 - 3

In the above example, the metric ‘Profit’ does not exist in the source dataset ‘DS3′ and exists in more than dataset which are in the document i.e., it exists in both ‘DS1′ and ‘DS2′. Since the engine cannot just randomly pick one of the two available datasets, it chooses not to display any data for this metric. If users do not want such blank columns to be displayed, set the source dataset so that such ambiguity does not arise.

Case 2:

The same metric exists multiple times on the grid. For example, users can have a smart compound metric and a component metric of this compound smart metric on the grid in the document. The smart metric and the component metric are from different datasets.

This case is also explained with an example based on the MicroStrategy Tutorial project.

1. Create the following objects:

a. Dataset DS1 with attribute ‘Year’ and metric ‘Profit’.

b. Dataset DS2 with attribute ‘Year’ and metrics ‘Revenue’, ‘Profit’, ‘Profit Margin’ (this is a compound smart metric calculated from metrics Revenue and Profit).

2. Create a document based on the above datasets and create a grid object on the document with the following objects: ‘Year’, ‘Revenue’, ‘Profit’ and ‘Profit Margin’. The source of this grid object is set to DS1.

3. In the executed document, no data is displayed for the metric ‘Profit Margin’, as shown below.

Part 8 - 4

In the above example, since the source of the dataset is set to ‘DS1′, the ‘Profit’ metric is sourced from this dataset and the metric ‘Revenue’ is sourced from the dataset ‘DS2′ (as this is the ONLY datatset with this metric). However, for the metric ‘Profit Margin’, the component metric ‘Profit’ exists on dataset ‘DS1′, so this becomes a conflict metric and is not displayed. If the source of the grid is changed to ‘DS2′, the data is displayed correctly as shown below.

Part 8 - 5

References:

[1] MicroStrategy Knowledgebase, Why are some metric values blank in documents using multiple datasets in MicroStrategy Analytics Enterprise 9.4.1, TN Key: 44517, 12/16/2013, https://resource.microstrategy.com/support/mainsearch.aspx.

[2] MicroStrategy Knowledgebase, Multiple datasets in a single grid/graph/widget object in MicroStrategy Web 9.4, TN Key: 44944, 09/30/2013, https://resource.microstrategy.com/support/mainsearch.aspx.

NOTE: You may need to register to view MicroStrategy’s Knowledgebase.

How Data Blending Affects the Analytical Engine’s Behavior in MicroStrategy (Part 7)

MicroStrategy Analytics PlatformWith the release of MicroStrategy Analytics Enterprise 9.4.1, the Analytical Engine logic has been enhanced with respect to joining data from multiple datasets in a Report Services Document. One of the features that is available with this release is the ability to use objects (e.g., attributes, metrics) from multiple datasets in a single grid in a document.

If an attribute on a grid has elements that can be obtained from multiple datasets used in the document, the elements displayed will be from the global lookup table. Additionally, if one or more of the datasets containing the attribute has missing attribute form data or has different attribute form from the other datasets, the Analytical Engine will follow the rules noted below to compose the final output:

Rule 1:

If there is attribute form with null value, the Analytical Engine will use the non-null form value from other datasets instead of the null form.

Rule 2:

If several datasets have different attribute form information for the attribute element, the Analytical Engine will use the attribute form from the biggest dataset.

Rule 3:

If several datasets have different attribute form information for the attribute element, and those datasets have same number of rows, the Analytical Engine will use the first dataset in the document for the attribute form value (according to the dataset adding sequence).

NOTE: Users should note that the rules are applied for each individual attribute element in the result at the row level rather than at the dataset level.

Example 1:

Users may consider the following datasets – C01 is a dataset with Customer City, Customer and Order:

Part 7 - 1a

 

C02 is a dataset with Customer, Order and a profit metric. Users may note that the Customer attribute is missing the DESC form in the second dataset:

Part 7 - 2a

If a Report Services Document is built with both these datasets, and the attributes are placed on a grid, the following results may be seen. As noted in Rule 1, the Analytical Engine will display the non-Null values from C01 for the Customer attribute elements:

Part 7 - 3a

Example 2:

Now users may consider a different dataset as C02 – similar to the initial dataset, but here the Customer name (DESC) form contains values instead of NULLs. This time the values for the attributes are not consistent – see that Customer ID ‘1’ has different values for the DESC form for different Orders (1 & 6).

Customer Name Customer ID Order Profit
Customer D 1 1 100
Customer B 2 2 200
Customer C 3 3 300
Xia D 4 4 400
Kris Du 5 5 500
Customer A 1 6 610
Customer E 2 7 720
Customer F 6 8 860
Customer G 7 9 970
Customer H 8 10 1080

If a report is built for this dataset users will observe that the first attribute element value in the dataset is used as as the DESC form for the Orders 1 & 6 even if the value is different in subsequent rows (this is the same as previous Analytical Engine behavior). Part 7 - 5

When these datasets are used in the grid in a Report Services Document, the Analytical Engine will choose the attribute element values from dataset C02 to display in the attribute element values from. This is because of Rule 2 explained above.

Part 7 - 6a

Example 3:

Consider the following dataset:

Customer Name Customer ID Order Profit
Customer D 1 1 100
Customer E 2 7 720
Xia D 4 4 400
Kris Du 5 5 500
Customer G 7 9 970

A report built off this dataset appears as follows:

Part 7 - 8a

After replacing the dataset ‘C02‘ from the previous example with the new dataset, the following results are seen. As noted in Rule 3, because both C01 an C02 have the same number of rows, the elements displayed for the Customer attribute will be filled from from the first dataset to be added to the document – in this case C01. However for the first row in the results, where there is no corresponding customer in the dataset C01, Rule 1 will be applied and instead of a NULL value, the non-null Customer Name field ‘Customer G’ is picked from C02. (Rules are applied at the individual element level).

Part 7 - 9a

Next: Why are some metric values blank in documents using multiple datasets in MicroStrategy Analytics Enterprise 9.4.1

———————————————————————————-

References:

[1] MicroStrategy Knowledgebase, Engine behavior for grids on a Report Services Document or dashboard with multiple datasets where some attribute forms are missing or have different values the datasets in MicroStrategy Analytics Enterprise 9.4.1 and newer releases, TN Key: 45463, 03/13/2014, https://resource.microstrategy.com/support/mainsearch.aspx.

NOTE: You may need to register to view MicroStrategy’s Knowledgebase.

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