Held as a virtual event this year, MicroStrategy World nonetheless offered the same opportunity to see what they have been up to lately. And what they have been up to has been to pile on steam in the direction they set as a result of a reckoning four years ago, when Tableau and PowerBI asserted that analysis could be easier and less dominated by behemoth IT projects. While a big part of this trajectory is increased cloud functionality and presence, the best indicators of MicroStrategy’s clarity of mission can be found in the features for the end-user: updates that enable analysts to fundamentally change their workflow for the better.
It’s still possible to do everything in MicroStrategy that was possible four years ago. You can still engage a phalanx of developers to create a good-looking suite of Reports Services Documents. But if there was any lingering doubt that there was now a better way, World 2021 quelled it. Like the last four years, improvements to the MicroStrategy platform this year have focused on delivering more analytical functionality to the business constituent, faster.
While the full list of enhancements is a long one, here are five key feature enhancements that speed the delivery of value to your business:
MicroStrategy’s HyperIntelligence module was always interesting. It’s the logical next step in integrating analysis into your everyday functioning without disrupting your workflow to head over to a portal and run something. If you get an email from a customer, having the size and nature of your business with them handy in a card is incredibly helpful. But it always felt like something that would be great to have if an organization was data-mature. The common refrain seemed to be, “Those things would be great to have in a browser plugin if we could get it.” Consequently, it was hard to justify the lift involved just to see if it would work. Enter Hyper.Now. This is a cloud trial version of Hyper that can be spun up on a trial basis to connect to your data – an hour or less if that data is readily accessible – and verify the effects of breaking down that wall between your everyday work life and your analytics portal.
Customizable Mobile View
This was one of a few sleepers: items that tended to sail by in long lists of updates but which have a big impact on development effort (read: time and $). It is commonly accepted that, if your organization needs to push analyses to multiple form factors, you will need to develop multiple versions of the same presentation. One Dossier for browsers, another for tablets, and still another for phones. So you have three times as many objects, need to make an update 3 times, and have three times the support headaches. This simple feature introduces Dossier settings that allow you do things such as exclude containers to make it compact for the phone.
Dynamic Dossier Filtering
The second sleeper. Anyone who has used traditional MicroStrategy functionality is familiar with the relative date references pervasive in standard reporting applications. Unfortunately, Dossier developers, who tend more and more to be business power users, were only able to store absolute data references until an IT person could get to creating a workaround using schema objects that could be brought into the Dossier that would set the relative reference needed. Otherwise, they had to go manually change the date and save it for other business readers. And if the relative reference needed to be changed, then it was back to square one. Now this functionality is built-in.
Dossier Level Filtering
And while that Business Developer was setting filters, they had to do it for each Chapter in the Dossier. And the casual Business reader would easily get confused as to why the filtering changed on some of the Dossier pages, but not all of them. This too has been addressed with a small but hugely meaningful change, as filtering can now be achieved at the Dossier level.
Honorable Mention: Python for administrators
Another one for the techies. If you have spent time administering MSTR, you know the blessing and the curse that is Command Manager (CM). While it doesn’t yet completely replace CM, the mstrio-py integration pulls it into the realm of a much more widely understood open source platform to perform admin tasks such as managing clusters and exporting settings.
Some other existing functionalities such as the ability to access Tableau and PowerBI objects are worth revisiting, as these can be integrated into a Library to view your whole organizational analysis ecosystem through a single lens without rearchitecting it first. Taken whole, when comparing this new, open, mobile approach and coupling it with vastly heightened user experience and cloud maturity, MicroStrategy’s adaptability and rich functionality on display at World 2021 is just what we need in the world of 2021.
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