Executive Summary

  • This article is part of our honest vendor series, which is one of the only ratings of vendors rather than applications.
  • The vendor quality is critical to the decision making process as software purchases have a high long term involvement by the software vendor.


MicroStrategy has been an important contributor in the BI space for quite some time. It is one of the few independent vendors that is primarily focused on BI. MicroStrategy is primarily an on premises vendor, but does offer a SaaS solution called MicroStrategy Cloud and MicroStrategy Express.

Quality of Information Provided

The quality of information provided by MicroStrategy is low, and this is our primary criticism of the company. Its salespeople routinely make confusing comparisons between its application and other vendor’s applications. This has repeatedly been pointed out that MicroStrategy competes with applications that have less scope and complexity by misrepresenting the maintenance cost required. MicroStrategy criticizes Tableau in sales presentations for not having as much under the hood as MicroStrategy, but they neglect to point out the extra maintenance required by MicroStrategy. There are different types of applications in the market as is explained in the BI Software Category Section – what we refer to as BI Light and BI Heavy, and it makes little sense for one to criticize another BI software vendor for either lacking a full complement of features or of being too heavy in maintenance – as these are features of the subcategory of application. Secondly, one of the most common errors that is made in evaluating BI applications is to attempt to get all BI applications from a single software vendor. MicroStrategy’s desire to present themselves as an easy self service application was apparent in these following screenshots.

MicroStrategy BI Score

This report makes it appear as if MicroStrategy is a good one-stop shop for BI. However, this is misleading. MicroStrategy may be broad, but it is not a one-stop shop for BI, and no vendor is.

MicroStrategy Front End

Here is an example of why, their analytics front end is a poor substitute for QlikView or Tableau.

Tableau Change Size

Tableau is a joy to work with. Why force users to use MicroStrategy’s front end, when Tableau can connect to any MicroStrategy data source?

MicroStrategy Effortless

MicroStrategy Desktop can be downloaded quickly, but this give the impression that no IT will be necessary with MicroStrategy and that the overall solution is self service, when it isn’t.

MicroStrategy 2 Days

I think we should be able to agree that enterprise BI systems are not really available in 2 days. Yes, you can login to a new systems if it is SaaS in two days, but that is not really the point.

Consulting and Support

We rate MicroStrategy consulting and support as above average. We think future performance will lag previous performance because of the challenges that MicroStrategy is facing as its bureaucracy steadily increases.

Internal Efficiency

While at one time an internally efficient company, MicroStrategy has been moving to a lower quality growth path in both their hiring practices and how employees are treated. MicroStrategy’s management is average. They seem to get the technology side of the business, but are weaker in organization maintenance and people management and the company overall is showing signs of steadily increasing bureaucracy.


MicroStrategy has good product quality, and has historically been an innovator, and has recently innovated in areas like mobile BI that are not even its previous strengths, but due to the changes we have noted in its organizational management, we have reduced its Current Innovation Score somewhat. This is because we expect MicroStrategy to increasingly tail off in its innovation.

Vendor Scores

Honest Vendor Ratings

Search for the vendor in this table using the search bar in the upper right of the table. Shortening Key: 
  • VC = Vendor Consulting
  • VS = Vendor Support
  • QIP = Quality of Information Provided
  • IE = Internal Efficiency
  • I = Innovation
  • C = Category
  • ACS = Average Category Score
Average Score for the BI Heavy Software Category6. HeavyCategory Average
Average Score for the BI Light Software Category7.76.756.36.8BI LightCategory Average
Average Score for the CRM Software Category5. Average
Average Score for the PLM Software Category7. Average
Average Score for the Production Planning Software Category7.36.765.25.7Production PlanningCategory Average
Average Score for the Small and Medium ERP Software Category7. and Medium ERPCategory Average
Average Score for the Supply Planning Software Category7. PlanningCategory Average
Average Score Score for the Demand Planning Software Category7. PlanningCategory Average
Average Score for the Big ERP Software Category4. ERPCategory Average
Actuate77865BI HeavyApplication Specific
Arena Solutions91010810PLMApplication Specific
AspenTech43437Production PlanningApplication Specific
Base CRM88997CRMApplication Specific
Birst8888.59BI HeavyApplication Specific
Business Forecast Systems991098Demand PlanningApplication Specific
Delfoi888.548Production PlanningApplication Specific
Demand Works99101010Supply PlanningApplication Specific
ERPNext888.5109Small and Medium ERPApplication Specific
FinancialForce10109109.5FinancialApplication Specific
Hamilton Grant89.589.58PLMApplication Specific
Intacct1010999.5FinancialApplication Specific
Intuit88966.5FinancialApplication Specific
JDA3.53422Demand PlanningApplication Specific
Microsoft45211Small and Medium ERPApplication Specific
MicroStrategy87777BI HeavyApplication Specific
NetSuite65644CRMApplication Specific
OpenERP788.587Small and Medium ERPApplication Specific
Oracle52111ManyApplication Specific
PlanetTogether91081010Supply PlanningApplication Specific
Preactor787.533Production PlanningApplication Specific
ProcessPro1089109Small and Medium ERPApplication Specific
QlikTech87589.5CRMApplication Specific
Salesforce73866CRMApplication Specific
SAS971077Demand PlanningApplication Specific
SugarCRM44553CRMApplication Specific
Tableau101091010BI LightApplication Specific
Teradata98.58.568BI HeavyApplication Specific
ToolsGroup1010999Demand PlanningApplication Specific
SAP53111ManyApplication Specific

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Software Selection Package for BI Heavy