• October 22, 2013

MicroStrategy Releases Analytics Platform

MicroStrategy, a provider of enterprise software platforms, today unveiled its new MicroStrategy Analytics Platform, a comprehensive family of analytics solutions.

The MicroStrategy Analytics Platform includes the following three distinct products:

  • MicroStrategy Analytics Enterprise (Enterprise-grade business intelligence);
  • MicroStrategy Analytics Desktop (Free self-service visual analytics tool); and
  • MicroStrategy Analytics Express (Free Cloud-based self-service visual analytics).

Together these products support a full spectrum of business needs, running at individual, team, departmental, or enterprise-scale; delivered as a desktop application, on the Web or mobile devices; supporting high-performance analytics on gigabytes, terabytes, or petabytes of data; and deployed on-premises or in the MicroStrategy Cloud.

The three MicroStrategy Analytics Platform products also share a common user experience.

MicroStrategy Analytics Enterprise delivers a combination of the following:

  • Self-service visual data discovery, delivered with enhanced speed and power. MicroStrategy's new data blending capabilities enable users to combine data from multiple sources on the fly. Users can grab data from sales system to check out the latest trend, blend in sales rep compensation from a spreadsheet to figure out which rep produces the most revenue per dollar of expense, or blend in data from the U.S. Census Bureau to see how customer demographics are affecting sales.
  • Enterprise business intelligence with next-generation Dashboards 2.0 that deliver embedded multimedia content, personalized data, and guided business workflows and transactions to bridge analysis and action. Real-time data updates offer immediate operational feedback.
  • Improved big data support, with new data connectors. MicroStrategy already provides access to a full range of data sources, including spreadsheets, relational and columnar databases and appliances, SaaS-based application data, and big data sources. This release incorporates new data connectors for Hadoop distributions and adds access to NoSQL data sources, including MongoDB, Intel Distribution for Apache Hadoop, HortonWorks Data Platform 1.3, and Pivotal HAWQ.
  • Advanced analytical capabilities, including more than 300 native functions plus tight integration with the R open-source analytical tool for access to more than 5,000 more. In this release, MicroStrategy adds out-of the-box map analytics so users can visualize their data in geographic representations. These advanced mapping features, powered by Esri, include markers, clusters, layers, shapes, and more. Multiple map skins and cartographic overlays are available.
  • Mobile analytics, fully native and touch-optimized for iPhone, iPad, and Android. This release extends existing mobile capabilities with enhanced graphing, formatting, and self-service functionality, so users can slice and dice, drill, pivot, modify, and visualize their data with complete immersion and interactivity.
  • Performance enhancements: Major architectural improvements enable MicroStrategy users to analyze 10 times more data in memory than was previously possible. Analytics involving multiple data sets are now supercharged by MicroStrategy's new in-memory data blending technology, delivering results up to 40 times faster than previously possible with direct database queries. Self-service analytics now run 40 percent faster, often with sub-second response. Throughput has increased by nearly 100 percent, which means the platform supports twice the number of users on an equivalent hardware configuration.
  • Upgraded cloud-based deployment with MicroStrategy Direct Connect technology, that lets users host their data either on-premises or in the MicroStrategy Cloud.

As a core part of its introduction of the MicroStrategy Analytics Platform, MicroStrategy is releasing a new free-of-charge, desktop-based, self-service analytics solution, MicroStrategy Analytics Desktop. Desktop is a tool designed to enable business users to analyze and understand their data. With Desktop, it takes just minutes to create data visualizations and data-driven stories.

MicroStrategy Analytics Express (Express), formerly known as MicroStrategy Express, is the third product in the integrated MicroStrategy Analytics Platform family. It is a software-as-a-service (SaaS)-based application that delivers all the rapid-fire self-service analytical capabilities of Desktop, plus pixel-perfect reports and dashboards, native mobile applications, and secure team-based collaboration, all instantly accessible in the cloud. In this release, Express inherits all the major functional upgrades of the MicroStrategy Analytics Platform, including new data blending features, improved performance, new map analytics, and much more.

For a limited time, MicroStrategy is making Express available to all users free for a year.

"MicroStrategy Analytics Enterprise is designed to bring extremely fast time-to-value for our customers, with cutting-edge self-service capabilities and an ultra-fast Cloud deployment option," said Sanju Bansal, vice chairman of the board and executive vice president at MicroStrategy, in a statement. "But even more significantly, we eliminate major risks around selection of an analytics solution. With MicroStrategy Analytics Enterprise, our customers can be confident that their product choice supports an extensive range of analytical use cases, delivers high performance at any data or user scale, and does it cost-effectively across a broad range of delivery media. Unlike other analytical point solutions, there is no danger MicroStrategy customers will run into a dead end on functionality, scalability, or performance."

"With the addition of Desktop and other product enhancements, we now offer a complete analytics platform for the enterprise as well as for the departmental, self-service user," said Paul Zolfaghari, president of MicroStrategy, in a statement. "We believe that we have transformed the self-service analytics market with our new on-the-fly data-blending technology; free out-of-the-box map analytics for all MicroStrategy customers; our supercharged in-memory analytics to support 10 times more data than previously; and extension of our industry-leading performance with improvements in both speed and throughput in big data analytics."

"The new MicroStrategy Analytics Desktop makes MicroStrategy a top-tier competitor in the red-hot visual discovery market," said Wayne Eckerson, president, BI consulting leader, and industry analyst at TechTarget, in a statement. "The company was one of the first enterprise BI vendors to ship a visual discovery tool, so its offering is mature compared to others in its peer group, but it was locked away inside its existing platform. By offering a stand-alone desktop visual discovery tool and making it freely available, MicroStrategy places itself among the leaders in this new sector of business intelligence."

"The new data blending feature in MicroStrategy Analytics Desktop will boost this enterprise solution's agility, and the easier-to-use, more appealing interface will up the ante in the competitive visual data discovery market," added Cindi Howson, founder of BIScorecard, in a statement. "The new MicroStrategy Analytics Desktop, with no complicated modeling and free for now, seems easy enough for any BI user to test drive."

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