What was the best part about using MicroStrategy?
MicroStrategy is a business intelligence software as a service. It's available in a desktop download as well as an Enterprise level plan in the cloud online. I have been researching several BI softwares lately I though I could weigh in on the value offered by this company in comparison with some of those such as Chart.IO, Microsoft Power BI, Tableau, Qlikview, MixPanel and Zoho Reports so far.
I like the ability to connect so many different data sources. This is a common feature across the services mentioned above though most prominent in Chart.IO in my opinion. The scalability is good too this company has large businesses in mind. I like the ability to re-use metadata as well that's a cool feature I don't recall across all of the other platforms. The number of BI types available to display your data is good too with Office 365 tools, mobile adaptivity and responsiveness using their interface, OLAP reporting, operational reports, scorecards dashboards while you can have notifications setup to and become alerted when critical criteria have been met.
The SDK capabilities are good you can integrate and extend and customize the functionality of the MicroStrategy a lot. There's a high level of security possible as well with object and data, app, authentication and authorization functions. The user dashboard is quite simple but there is a deceptive amount of functionality under the hood so to speak.
What would you change about your experience with MicroStrategy?
It's a very deep program with a significant learning curve to becoming proficient. As much as it is a do it yourself platform for analytics reporting in order to fully utilize the massive amount of potential you may likely have to hire an MSTR certified expert. It's great to have so much to utilize but prior to full implementation you would do well to have a thorough plan in mind based on their functionality. I would it is spend having spent good time with their resources, trials, documentation and an expert before implementation in order to have the most cost effective plan in place initially.
In the interest of transparency I have only experienced the MicroStrategy trials and spent good time with their documentation. And having had reviewed several others similar to this in many regards it's fair to weigh in and offer my opinion. The MicroStrategy solution is incredibly robust but it is certainly has a learning curve which must be taken in order to utilize it's full potential. The price is going to be reflective of your development and maintenance costs but scalability would be very good as this is an Enterprise class solution certainly.
I simply question how much different several of these other business intelligence software tools are that are going to be more cost effective and provide the same functionality. I recently bumped into Microsoft Power BI and it's incredible for ten bucks per month. Much of the same capabilities as MicroStrategy for certain. And you do well with an paid expert to help develop, support and maintain your Microsoft Power BI account as well I don't think the implementation and deployment of analytics is going to be as costly going with this route.
You can pretty much do anything with MixPanel as well which has an incredible free way to get started with full functionality so you can upgrade when you're ready but spend time to analyze your needs and implement it directly hands on within a day and not have to have a massive design and development time. The ability to reuse metrics, attributes and other metadata is perhaps the feature which differentiates MicroStrategy the most from others and can help you create reports a little faster, but in my opinion it's not the most user friendly, nor the most cost effective business intelligence tool available currently in the market.