Conclusions. Final evaluation of Microstrategy 9.

During the past two months we have been validating the functionality that the suite provides Microstrategy 9 (most of them included, as we saw in the free version Reporting Suite ). To do this, we define a simple project set in the sales analysis, with which we could develop and exploit the BI system and to validate and examine each and every one of the features of the product in detail (and expand our knowledge on the various techniques associated with the Business Intelligence).


Example of using Microstrategy Dashboard

We have tried to do more teaching the test, including real examples and expanding all aspects of Business Intelligence related theory to get in position. Here you have links to different blog entries:

Comes to the conclusions and make a compilation of everything seen so far.To do this, we will make a summary of the most important features, and a table where we describe what we think are the strengths and weaknesses of Microstrategy.

Box functionality

Reporting

The most prominent features in regard to reporting are:

  • Use crosstab or table where you can cross format and customize all the components (rows, columns, titles, subtotals), at all levels. Renaming indicators in the reports. You can create custom styles (apart from the standard).
  • Using thresholds format or symbols to highlight certain values ​​in ranges (to configure alerts, departures or compliance notice provisions).
  • Advanced Management: management at all levels, using both attributes as indicators (individually or combined).
  • Filters indicator reports.Selection of N values: they can perform filtering of the indicators, and limitation of N values ​​(N first, last N, N values ​​between 10 and 15, etc).
  • Page: paging attribute creation to allow analysis of information in very large data sets.
  • Definition of fully customized subtotals (we can create our own).Multiple aggregation types: total, maximum, minimum, median, mode. Selecting the starting position in the report.
  • Hierarchical display of results. Breakdown automatic data display levels.
  • Insertion of load between indicators. Percentage of the total and Transformations: Additional indicators reports demonstrating calculation of other indicators or attributes, or reflect percentage information (at the row or column or attribute level).
  • Different export formats of the reports: excel, html, csv, pdf.
  • Execution of integrated reports in Office: the Office component can open and run reports from Word, Excel or Powerpoint.
  • Navigation.Mobility of components: dimensional navigation through the data according to user hierarchies. Customizable navigation maps (to allow only browse certain attributes) or to prohibit navigation.
  • Viewing filters: filters that are applied to the display of the report once calculated. Limits reporting level: defined in the creation of a report.
  • Using cache: performance results stored in memory to improve performance. Cache update schedule. Expirations.
  • Custom Groups and Consolidations: creation of groups of attributes or values ​​attribute groups indicators to reflect structures on the fly or not defined in the data model.Creating Datamarts to export subsets of data for further analysis (such as data mining) or to create departmental data marts.
  • Generation of reports from SQL statements.
  • Defining advanced filters: static, dynamic. Advanced filter definition. Filters for selecting objects (for example, to select at run time indicators or attributes will be included in the report.) Security filters: filters to limit access to attribute values ​​to specific users.
  • Multitude of available chart types: area, line, bar, cake or pie, scatter, polar, radial bubble.Advanced graphics and Summary, Histogram Indicator, Embudo, Pareto, box plots, Gant, etc.
  • Reports results as a filter for other reports. Links from attributes to the implementation of other reports.
  • Amplitude characteristics of analysis in the development of indicators with different types of mathematical, statistical, numerical, etc.

Olap Navigation

With regard to navigation Olap, we highlight the following:

  • Platform relational OLAP (ROLAP).
  • Olap Client: navigation multidimensional, groups (Custom Groups and Consolidations), paging, subtotals, advanced management, hierarchical display, thresholds, and indicators display filters, calculated columns, dynamic aggregation (all integrated on the reporting system as seen above).
  • Derived elements: attribute groups created on the fly.It would be a complement to the custom groups and consolidations.
  • Intelligent Cubes: MOLAP cubes are built by reports where selected attributes, metrics and filters. The store built cubesdata in a different place and are attacked by the reports without re-query the database.
  • MDX connection to attack other systems (SAP, Hyperion, Microsoft) through the MDX language.
  • Dynamic Sourcing: advanced feature that allows the automatic creation of intelligent hubs by the Integrity Server on the data that are used most frequently (requires additional configuration on the system.)

Example Board on Public Data Analysis

Command & Plank Documentos.Cuadros.Report Services.

With regard to the Boards and Control Panels, we can consider the following things:

  • Designing documents: reports of such document to prepare submissions pdf type (with sections, headers, footers, groups) or for the construction of forms. They are integrated reporting, graphics, text, images. Multiple format options. Oriented to the print or export to other formats.
  • Design board: documents to build boards, scorecards and dashboards. Can create high quality documents by combining reports and charts, plus controls (switches, buttons, check boxes, etc).
  • Data set: board-type documents as a data source using one or more reports, determining what set of data that can be used on board components.From a single data source, we can build multiple submissions of the same information in grids or graphics (even with filters specific for each display) to display the information in different forms or groupings.
  • Widgets use Flash, HTML. Widgets allow us to use flash components high colorful visual presentation.Use HTML to customize the board itself (perhaps to publish the results on a corporate intranet).
  • Other elements: linking objects (control or selected elements of a table can determine the elements to display other controls). Multiple display formats (html, pdf, flash) and export (excel besides the above).

DataMining.

  • Import / export of models of analysis expected in the form of industry standard PMML.
  • Integration with reporting, allowing to develop and analyze the results of the models in standard reports.
  • M Viewerodels predictable integrated graphics which to build, refine and validate the data mining analysis.
  • Permitted types of analysis: linear regression, Exponential, Logistic Regression, Grouping (Clustering), Decision Tree, Series and Association.

Data Mining in Microstrategy - Decision Tree

Distribution of income.

  • Distribution of results through system files, printers or via e-mail system.
  • Multiple formats for information distribution: pdf, excel, html, csv, text.
  • Automatic distribution processes programmed in the Integrity Server.Subscriptions managed by the administrator or users themselves.

Web Access / Other

  • Customizable portal integrated with Integrity Server and Microsoft IIS, from which you can design and make reports or documents the execution of these.
  • Service Management from the Desktop console.

Table of Advantages / Disadvantages

Advantages or strengths and highlights of Microstrategy 9, could list the following:

Scope

Description

Installation
Installing and configuring the system very simple and intuitive.

Settings
Everything is centralized in a couple of tools (Desktop / Architect), from which all tasks are performed.The Architect is a graphical tool very easy to use, from which we implemented the DW logical model from the physical tables. From the Desktop setup the other objects on the metadata (all from the same tool), such as indicators, filters, selections, custom groups, templates, reports, documents, etc.

Documentation
Pdf extensive documentation for all components (translated into Castilian the Basic and Advanced Reporting and creating documents.)

Examples
Sample Projects (Tutorial) and thematic projects (Analytic Modules) that allow us a deeper knowledge of the product, seeing real examples of all components.

Architecture
SOA through Intelligent Server.The whole execution is centralized reports and queries, and updating processes disadvantaged and distribution of results.Consistent and integrated product. Querys generator optimized. Supports partitioning.

Reporting
Advanced reporting tool, which leaves open to almost anything. Multiple graphic formats available with highly customizable. Unified user interface.

Olap

Navigation dimensional integrated reporting. Advanced features such as the use of Intelligent Cubes, enabling navigation in memory. Connecting to other systems through MDX.

SDK
Creating an application via Narrowcast Server. Integration of Microstrategy functionality in other applications through the SDK.

Dashboards and scorecards
Document generation and panels with multiple features for colorful presentations, in which several reports are integrated graphics.Export to Html or Flash for publication. Using data sources (reports) as sources that can be viewed in multiple ways with separate controls, each with its view filter.

Income Distribution
Distribution automation comprehensive results, via email, printers or files in different formats (Excel, PDF, Html, Flash, csv).

Datamining
Integration with specific data mining tools through the PMML standard.Data mining is fully integrated with the reporting. Datamarts use to create subsets of data on BD.

Web
Web Access for the design and implementation of reports / documents with full functionality.

Connectivity
Client for BlackBerrys, iPhone (Beta). Integration with websites via SDK.

Licenses
Reporting Suite: full functionality for free (with license limitation, products and the use of 1 CPU). Step 9 extending MicroStrategy licenses and functionality with additional costs .

The drawbacks or weaknesses of Microstrategy 9, could emphasize the following:

Scope

Description

Technical Complexity
Complexity: There are elements that have a high complexity (dimensionality attributes, document design, data mining).Surely many advanced features not used in an enterprise environment media.

Reporting
Limitations in the format (although you can compensate in part for using the documents.)

Control Panels / Boards
Complexity in the design documents.Not the most successful product in the Suite. Different results depending on the type of visual presentation (very labioroso get the desired format). There are types of graphics, for example, are not supported in flash.

Data Mining
There is a specific tool for Data Mining. Limited number of techniques.

Licenses
Proprietary product. High costs at the time we left the Reporting Suite.

If you have worked with Microstrategy, maybe you can think of something else that can be included or corrected. Your comments would be wrong not to complete the assessment.