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