Executive Summary

  • This is the Brightwork Research & Analysis software rating series.
  • We rate both the software and estimate the risk of implementing each application.

MUFI Rating & Risk for MicroStrategy

MUFI: Maintainability, Usability, Functionality, Implement ability

Vendor: MicroStrategy (Select For Vendor Profile)


Microstrategy has been historically an innovator in the BI space. MicroStrategy is one of the BI Heavy vendors that offers a full BI solution. However, as is discussed in our introduction to the BI software category, even if MicroStrategy is selected, an analysis of the history of the BI software market indicates that it is a losing strategy to try to get all BI functionality from a single software vendor. MicroStrategy has a moderate buyer satisfaction level but has quite a poor user adoption.

Application Detail

MicroStrategy has impressive technology in some areas. It is known for its speed. In an evaluation of the reports that are created, they are on the upper end in the BI space, although quite a ways behind Tableau and Brist. MicroStrategy also has excellent mobile functionality, which is a rarity.

MicroStrategy offers a heavy-duty application for those companies wishing to invest. Although it offers some BI applications, and if one wishes, one can buy just MicroStrategy Desktop which is a direct competitor to Tableau. However, for the rest of MicroStrategy’s applications, they require a certain number of resources to be using the application before it can be efficiently used and has a much higher maintenance burden than lightweight applications like Tableau.

MicroStrategy applications which are inappropriate for companies unless they have at least somewhere between 15 to 20 people who are performing intensive report generation. MicroStrategy is a challenging application to learn. It is designed for people who specialize in reporting, not for business users who occasionally need to create reports. And this is why we believe the user adoption is such a standard issue on MicroStrategy projects. This comes down in part to the quality of information that comes from MicroStrategy sales, which is covered in our MicroStrategy vendor profile. MicroStrategy presents itself as much easier to use than it is, and so many companies underfund MicroStrategy implementations and support, and this leads to issues in user adoption. We find some MicroStrategy implementations that have fallen into disrepair. This lesson is frequently repeated in BI purchases in that buyers buy systems with a significant number deal of functionality, which is just too much them to maintain.

MicroStrategy no doubt has some good BI technologies, however, they are oversold and end up with clients that are not as dedicated to building their BI infrastructure as MicroStrategy would like them to be. We have interacted with MicroStrategy, and they don’t get this fact. Obviously, the will want to sell their application to anyone that will buy their applications, but buyers need to learn from the history of MicroStrategy projects and fit the BI applications they purchase with their implementation budget and appetite for complexity.

MUFI Scores

All scores out of a possible 10.

MUFI Scores

Search for the vendor in this table using the search bar in the upper right of the table. Shortening Key: 
  • Ma. = Maintainability
  • Us. = Usability
  • Fu. = Functionality
  • Im. = Implementability
Average Score for Big ERP5. ERP
Average Score for CRM6.
Average Score for Small and Medium ERP8.386.78.5Small and Medium ERP
Average Score for Finance8.88.888.8Finance
Average Score for Demand Planning7.67.277.1Demand Planning
Average Score for Supply Planning6.76.976.8Supply Planning
Average Score for Production Planning6.86.976.9Production Planning
Average Score for BI Heavy5. Heavy
Average Score for PLM77.26.87.3PLM
Average Score for BI Light7.78.798.3BI Light
Arena Solutions Arena PLM10101010PLM
AspenTech AspenOne48107Production Planning
Birst88.5108BI Light
ERPNext10107.510Small and Medium ERP
Delfoi Planner866.57Production Planning
Demand Works Smoothie SP910710Supply Planning
Hamilton Grant RM1098.59PLM
IBM Cognos2.731.53BI Heavy
Infor Epiphany7865CRM
Infor Lawson8767Big ERP
Intuit QuickBooks Enterprise Solutions9959Finance
JDA DM97.588Demand Planning
Microsoft Dynamics CRM2322CRM
NetSuite CRM6433CRM
Netsuite OneWorld7788Big ERP
Oracle BI4436BI Heavy
Oracle CRM On Demand4535CRM
Oracle Demantra533.54.5Demand Planning
Oracle JD Edwards World4136Big ERP
Oracle RightNow6745CRM
PlanetTogether Galaxy APS10101010Production Planning
Preactor8737Production Planning
QlikTech QlikView99109BI Light
Rootstock9899Small and Medium ERP
Sage X38878Big ERP
Salesforce Enterprise88.597.5CRM
SAP APO DP3432Demand Planning
SAP APO PP/DS2243Production Planning
SAP APO SNP3484Supply Planning
SAP BI/BW1.5242BI Heavy
SAP Business Objects32.573BI Heavy
SAP ECC336.53Big ERP
SAP SmartOps4475.5Supply Planning
SAS BI6.5796BI Heavy
SAS Demand Driven Forecasting7897Demand Planning
Tableau (BI)9101010BI Light
Tableau (Forecasting)10859Demand Planning
Teradata86.39.76BI Heavy
ToolsGroup SO99 (Forecasting)7897Demand Planning
ToolsGroup SO99 (Supply)56107Supply Planning

Vendor and Application Risk

MicroStrategy has a very capable set of BI applications, and MicroStrategy is one of our best-rated BI Heavy software vendors. However, the trick in a MicroStrategy implementation is dealing with the inherent complexity of the MicroStrategy product which means getting the best possible consulting resources. MicroStrategy has partnerships/relationships with the major consulting companies. But they are not tied to hip with them as are many other alternatives (unless the consulting company “brings them in,” which at that point the software vendor becomes subordinate to the major consulting company – which is why one ever wants to hire a major consulting company to perform a software selection). If the buyer researches out to MicroStrategy without a major consulting company intermediating, the price of the implementation immediately declines, and the buyer immediately has many more implementation options. MicroStrategy can easily provide all the support that is required without any assistance from a major consulting company billing any hours.

Likelihood of Implementation Success

This accounts for both the application and vendor-specific risk. In our formula, the total implementation risk is application + vendor + buyer risk. The buyer specific risk could increase or decrease this overall likelihood and adjust the values that you see below.

Likelihood of Application Implementation Success and Failure

Estimates are for a typical project. A specific implementation requires details from the project to make a project-specific estimate.

Search for the application in this table using the search bar in the upper right of the table.
ApplicationProb of Implementation SuccessProb of Implementation Failure
SAP Smartops0.390.61
NetSuite CRM0.460.54
Sugar CRM0.620.48
Base CRM0.910.09
SAP CRM0.350.65
Salesforce Enterprise0.720.28
QlikTech QlikView0.820.18
Tableau (BI)0.980.02
SAP Crystal Reports0.460.54
SAS BI0.760.24
Oracle BI0.350.65
IBM Cognos0.230.77
Infor Epiphany0.580.42
Microsoft Dynamics CRM0.260.74
Oracle RightNow CRM0.410.59
Oracle CRM On Demand0.360.64
SAP Business Objects0.320.68
SAP BI/BW0.250.75
SAP PLM0.290.71
Hamilton Grant RM0.890.11
Arena Solutions0.960.04
Delfoi Planner0.70.3
PlanetTogether Galaxy APS0.960.04
AspenTech AspenOne0.550.45
SAP APO PP/DS0.270.73
Demand Works Smoothie SP0.930.07
ToolsGroup SO99 (Supply)0.820.18
Demand Works Smoothie0.960.04
Tableau (Forecasting)0.90.1
SAS Demand Driven Forecasting0.820.18
ToolsGroup SO99 (Forecasting)0.860.14
JDA DM0.570.43
Oracle Demantra0.330.67
SAP APO DP0.280.72
Intuit QB Enterprise0.80.2
Microsoft Dynamics AX0.40.6
SAP Business One0.490.51
Sage X30.620.38
Infor Lawson0.580.42
Epicor ERP0.40.6
Oracle JD Edwards World0.310.69
Oracle JD Edwards EnterpriseOne0.360.64
SAP ERP ECC/R/30.320.68
NetSuite OneWorld0.650.35

Risk Definition

See this link for more on our categorizations of risk. We also offer a Buyer Specific Risk Estimation as a service for those that want a comprehensive analysis.

Risk Management Approach

MicroStrategy implementations are similar to SAS and Teradata (although this is not to say that each software vendor does not have different strengths and weaknesses) implementations in that the buyer simply must be prepared to deal with the inherent complexity of these powerful BI platforms. Each of these software vendors offers serious products without a lot the fluff and expense of some of the more prominent brand names.

Finished With Your Analysis?

To go back to the Software Selection Package page for the BI Heavy software category. Or go to this link to see other analytical products for MicroStrategy.