MUFI Rating & Risk – MicroStrategy

MUFI Rating & Risk – 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.

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.

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.

Enterprise Software TCO Calculator – MicroStrategy

How it Works

Fill out the form below for a your customized TCO calculation, as well as each of the supporting cost components that make up the TCO. The form does not have a “beginning or end.” The form is constantly calculating, so feel free to make constant changes and the application will auto-adjust.


  • Vendor Name: MicroStrategy (See for Vendor Rating)
  • Software Category: BI Heavy
  • Company Headquarters: 1850 Towers Crescent Plaza, Tysons Corner, VA 22182
  • Site:
  • Contact number 703.848.8600
  • Delivery Mechanism: SaaS or OnPremises

Finished With Your Analysis?

Once complete, goto this link to see other analytical products for MicroStrategy.

Project Planning Package – MicroStrategy

How it Works

Fill out the form below for your project planning estimate. The form does not have a “beginning or end.” The form is constantly calculating, so feel free to make constant changes and the application will auto-adjust.


  • Vendor Name: MicroStrategy (See for Vendor Rating)
  • Software Category: BI Heavy
  • Company Headquarters: 1850 Towers Crescent Plaza, Tysons Corner, VA 22182
  • Site:
  • Contact number 703.848.8600
  • Delivery Mechanism: SaaS or OnPremises

Finished With Your Analysis?

Once complete, go to this link to see other analytical products for MicroStrategy.


Risk Book

Software RiskRethinking Enterprise Software Risk: Controlling the Main Risk Factors on IT Projects

Better Managing Software Risk

The software implementation is risky business and success is not a certainty. But you can reduce risk with the strategies in this book. Undertaking software selection and implementation without approximating the project’s risk is a poor way to make decisions about either projects or software. But that’s the way many companies do business, even though 50 percent of IT implementations are deemed failures.

Finding What Works and What Doesn’t

In this book, you will review the strategies commonly used by most companies for mitigating software project risk–and learn why these plans don’t work–and then acquire practical and realistic strategies that will help you to maximize success on your software implementation.


Chapter 1: Introduction
Chapter 2: Enterprise Software Risk Management
Chapter 3: The Basics of Enterprise Software Risk Management
Chapter 4: Understanding the Enterprise Software Market
Chapter 5: Software Sell-ability versus Implementability
Chapter 6: Selecting the Right IT Consultant
Chapter 7: How to Use the Reports of Analysts Like Gartner
Chapter 8: How to Interpret Vendor-Provided Information to Reduce Project Risk
Chapter 9: Evaluating Implementation Preparedness
Chapter 10: Using TCO for Decision Making
Chapter 11: The Software Decisions’ Risk Component Model

Honest Vendor Ratings – MicroStrategy


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

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Software Selection Package for BI Heavy