Michael Saylor, Co-founder, President, & CEOAs transforming data into valuable insights forms the core of any business strategy, companies are adopting Business Intelligence (BI) applications as a part of data analytics. This is aimed at making smart and real-time business decisions. However, cost challenges and lack of agile infrastructure often hinder BI initiatives. Harnessing the power of data for positive business outcomes, Michael Saylor along with his fellow MITian Sanju Bansal founded MicroStrategy [NASDAQ:MSTR] to deliver a unified analytics platform that comprises of a comprehensive family of powerful, easy-to-use analytics solutions. Today, MicroStrategy serves 4,000 customers—ranging from several governments to medium and large enterprises—across 26 countries with its cutting edge analytics and BI platform, solutions, and services built to glean massive data to deliver actionable information right to the end user across the hierarchy in an organization.
“Our platform caters to business’ need for a single, unified platform for their data analytics requirements,” says Saylor. The platform combines self-service data preparation, visual data discovery, and big data exploration with enterprise BI allowing businesses to derive data value. Through the platform, MicroStrategy supports its vast user base with self-service capabilities supported by enterprise-grade performance, scalability, extensibility, and security with easy-to-use interfaces and workflows.
For instance, MicroStrategy’s data discovery and self-service BI capabilities helped Pfizer, a pharmaceutical company, to eliminate static data analytics presentation layers in its supply chain department with intuitive and series of self-service BI dashboards that enable business users to drill down into any data set without depending on IT teams. While IT still runs the warehouse, access to it is now provided through applications that the BI unit creates and then hands over to the business units.
So everyone in the business has access to the same data. Amazed by the success of this implementation, Pfizer plans to extend their business analytics model across other areas of the company.
High Performance Analytics and Security
Adding vigor to its analytics platform is MicroStrategy’s in-memory engine—MicroStrategy Parallel Relational In-Memory Engine (PRIME)—which is an embedded, in-memory, column-oriented, distributed, analytic data store that supports greater scale and performance to large deployments across relational and Hadoop data sources. “PRIME has been built from the ground up to support the engineering challenges associated with development of these powerful new information-driven apps,” informs Saylor. “This innovative service allows organizations to derive maximum value from their information by making their big data assets actionable.” MicroStrategy’s data discovery capabilities support multisource self-service data preparation, advanced data manipulation, extensive geospatial capabilities, native Hadoop access, native connectors to big data platforms such as Amazon Elastic MapReduce and IBM BigInsights, and a large in-memory columnar data store.
Additionally, OEMs and other businesses can leverage the APIs to build customized workflows, hundreds of visualizations, and sophisticated analytics to build greater brands. Moreover, businesses can also build whitelabel web and mobile applications that can be integrated into their existing security model to facilitate personalized analytics. MicroStrategy Office API easily integrates MicroStrategy reports and documents into custom Microsoft Office applications.
On the security front, MicroStrategy’s analytics platform provides seamless integration with Windows, LDAP, databases, and other systems to allow authenticated users to access the systems and data.
We aim to make BI and the skills to draw value from self-service analytics and data discovery more accessible to companies and individuals
The company combines data access security with application privileges and object access permissions providing granular security carefully designed and personalized for each individual, user role, and user group. Usher Security, the company’s Enterprise Security platform, further providing secure authentication and digital badges on smartphones to log into MicroStrategy applications on web and mobile. Additionally, they capture the back-end telemetry data generated by Usher in order to analyze user activity across the enterprise.
Deriving Real-time Business Value
MicroStrategy’s intuitive BI service enables users to leverage powerful data discovery solutions that allow users to access data on their own and build dashboards across desktop, mobile, and web platforms through solutions such as MicroStrategy desktop, web, and mobile. Having made MicroStrategy Desktop free to use recently, Saylor says “We aim to make BI and the skills to draw value from self-service analytics and data discovery more accessible to companies and individuals.”
The company has also released the latest version of MicroStrategy Intelligence Server 10.6. “The latest version enables companies to schedule and distribute personalized dashboards to MicroStrategy Desktop users, empowering each user to make proactive, data-driven business decisions,” explains Saylor. The Intelligence Server 10.6 offers enhanced mapping capabilities for MicroStrategy desktop, web, and mobile. It also provides a unified map visualization that allows users to seamlessly share geospatial information on both Google and ESRI-based maps.
The company believes that partnerships with other players in the big data and analytics space is key to leverage the abundance of data stored across data repositories. To this end, it has partnered with companies such as MapR, Salesforce, and Teradata to bring robust solutions across verticals that deliver greater performance, reliability, and scalability for businesses to make informed decisions. Saylor says, “We support clients’ existing technology investments as we align our technology to our clients’ business objectives.” MicroStrategy secures clients’ SAP investments with its support for SAP platform, enabling them to build on the massive customer information repository with relevant information to drive customer engagement and business outcomes. For example, Adidas, a premium sports equipment manufacturer, is leveraging MicroStrategy’s analytics platform implemented on SAP HANA to improve the company’s response to the trends in purchasing and effectively engage customers for better experience. With Adidas’ CRM platform in the backend, MicroStrategy’s analytics platform functions as the front-end that results in faster, better BI self-service capabilities where employees create their own dashboards on mobile platforms.
Businesses across industries such as retail, automotive, finance, healthcare, and travel and hospitality are shaping up their future through MicroStrategy’s BI expertise as the company continues to disrupt business reporting with its continuous investment in innovation and the drive to aid global businesses with sheer intelligence.