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MicroStrategy Debuts Its Latest Business Intelligence Software Platform, MicroStrategy 9.3

AMSTERDAM, July 10, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- MicroStrategy® Incorporated (Nasdaq: MSTR), a leading worldwide provider of business intelligence (BI) software, today unveiled MicroStrategy 9.3, the latest version of the Company's core business intelligence platform, at MicroStrategy World 2012, the Company's European user conference being held in Amsterdam. 

MicroStrategy 9.3 contains powerful new capabilities that enhance MicroStrategy Visual Insight for data exploration and dashboard creation, allow businesses to gain insights from Big Data, and incorporate advanced analytics from R — an open source programming language for statistical computing.

MicroStrategy 9.3 empowers business people by providing them with the information they need to make better decisions and be consistently more productive.  The new release includes important enhancements in a number of areas, providing business people the ability to:

  • Better explore data visually to discover actionable business insights
  • Build and share their own dashboards in minutes without help from IT teams
  • Better leverage Big Data through greater access to the vast amounts stored in Hadoop repositories
  • More quickly search to find and build reports and dashboards
  • Use advanced and predictive open source analytics in all of their reports for better decision-making
  • Get more information and increased availability for lower cost and through automated system management

"MicroStrategy is extremely proud to announce the availability of MicroStrategy 9.3, which showcases our successful efforts in improving usability, time-to-value, and administrative ease," said Sanju Bansal, MicroStrategy Chief Operating Officer.   "We're particularly excited about the ease of use enhancements to MicroStrategy Visual Insight, which allow business users to create powerful insights and dashboards in minutes."

1. Explore Data Visually to Discover Actionable Business InsightsMicroStrategy 9.3 includes many new features in MicroStrategy Visual Insight, MicroStrategy's user environment that allows business people to visually explore and understand their data in a way that is fast, simple, and engaging. 

Compelling Visualizations.   MicroStrategy Visual Insight includes new data visualizations that quickly and easily let business people of all skill levels spot outliers, discover patterns, and uncover problem areas that otherwise may be difficult to discern. 

  • Density Maps.  New geospatial density maps present color-coded location data to represent higher levels of concentration over map areas.  For example, density maps can represent the concentration of customers that live in proximity to retail store locations.
  • Image Layouts.  New image layouts provide the ability to customize layouts, such as sales regions in a country, customer traffic through a department store, or productivity on the floor of a manufacturing facility.  Images can be color-coded according to business metrics, making it simple to understand business performance.
  • Network Diagram. The network diagram offers a powerful way to see relationships between pairs of items or groups of items.  For example, network diagrams are useful for web-page traffic analysis or affinity analysis (commonly referred to as market-basket analysis) that shows the propensity for two products to sell in conjunction with one another. 

Improved Usability. MicroStrategy Visual Insight includes new features that simplify the data discovery process even further. 

  • Auto-Suggested Best Fit Data Visualizations. MicroStrategy Visual Insight helps business people find answers quicker by suggesting which of the many data visualizations in the MicroStrategy library to use for a given set of data.
  • Quick Searching. MicroStrategy Visual Insight supports fast search features for long lists of data items so business people can quickly find the most relevant business elements to investigate.
  • Enhanced Interactivity. MicroStrategy Visual Insight's smoother drag-and-drop metric actions make interacting with the data simpler.

Expanded Analytics. MicroStrategy Visual Insight gives business people access to over 300 analytical functions, thus supporting myriad business calculations.

  • Instant Metrics. MicroStrategy Visual Insight provides shortcut metrics for the most often used calculations, such as moving averages for time-series data. 
  • Guided Metric Creation.  Business people can also use a function wizard to create new metrics simply based on any analytic function in the MicroStrategy library.
  • Powerful Filtering. MicroStrategy Visual Insight adds new filtering capabilities to quickly identify the top- or bottom-performing business areas.  Also, filters can be applied across many visualizations at once or just to a single visualization — providing fine grain control for data analysis.
  • Enhanced Thresholds. MicroStrategy Visual Insight offers more threshold options so business people can quickly characterize and display differences in their business data.

Access to Data Across the Enterprise. MicroStrategy Visual Insight lets business people analyze data wherever it resides -- from relational databases, multi-dimensional databases, Hadoop distributions, Web services, or data imported from personal data stores, such as Excel files. MicroStrategy 9.3 improves the data import feature by automatically enriching time and geographic data.  For example, it can take a single date item and create week, month, quarter, and year dimensions automatically.  Similarly, MicroStrategy 9.3 can take geographic data at the city level and determine state and county automatically. 

To see a demonstration of MicroStrategy Visual Insight, visit http://www.microstrategy.com/bi-visual-insight.

2. Build and Share Your Own Dashboards In Minutes Without Help from ITMicroStrategy 9.3 also enhances MicroStrategy Visual Insight to further enable business people to create engaging and effective dashboards in under 10 minutes with no help from IT.

  • Immediate Collaboration . Dashboards created in MicroStrategy Visual Insight can be immediately shared with colleagues via the web or tablet computers, so everyone can benefit from powerful business insights.  Every business person can become an information publisher to their workgroups.  MicroStrategy's security architecture automatically ensures people only see the data they are allowed to view.
  • Multiple Visualizations on a Single Page.   MicroStrategy Visual Insight now lets business people add multiple data visualizations onto a single page or tab.  Using simple drag-and-drop techniques, business people can resize and place each visualization on the dashboard as desired. 
  • Multiple Sets of Data on Dashboards. MicroStrategy Visual Insight now lets business people include more than one set of data in their dashboard.  The data can come from a BI application or an Excel spreadsheet — or from Salesforce.com or Hadoop.  Business people can now include as many sets of data they need within their dashboards to gain a more comprehensive view of the business.
  • Enhanced Analytical Interactivity. MicroStrategy Visual Insight allows the dashboard creator to specify interactions on one visualization to target and filter the data that is shown in another data visualization.  This helps synchronize multiple data views on a single dashboard.  For example, a business person can select data on one chart with their mouse or finger — and a corresponding map will automatically update to reflect only the data selected.  Such enhanced interactivity lets business people find critical answers faster.

3. Analyze Big Data Stored in Hadoop for New Business InsightsAnalyzing Big Data — often terabytes of detailed transactional data or petabytes of unstructured machine-generated logs — is a growing imperative as companies look to their data as competitive assets. The goal is to discover new insights that were practically unobtainable, due to both technical and cost issues posed by the ever increasing volume of data. One technology gaining traction to store these large data volumes efficiently is the Apache Hadoop Distributed File System, or HDFS. MicroStrategy 9.3 can transparently analyze the data stored in Hadoop and unlock actionable business insights without the business user or report designer needing to know anything about the underlying data storage.

  • Direct Connection to Apache Hadoop. MicroStrategy 9.3 includes a native Thrift connector to Hadoop, eliminating the time and complexity of establishing a reliable connection to Hadoop.   MicroStrategy 9.3 provides direct access to on-premise Hadoop distributions such as Apache, Cloudera, and Hortonworks, as well as Hadoop distributions that are hosted in the cloud like Amazon EMR.
  • Query Hadoop Without Coding. MicroStrategy 9.3 provides business people the power to analyze Hadoop data by abstracting the complexities of Hadoop into a handful of simple attributes and metrics that can be plugged into reports and dashboards, eliminating the specialized skills and time previously required to write code to access the data.  As business people drag-and-drop business attributes and metrics onto a report, MicroStrategy dynamically creates a query containing optimized Hadoop Hive-QL language to retrieve data from Hadoop. 
  • Explore Hadoop and Relational Data Together. MicroStrategy 9.3 provides access to the entire Big Data ecosystem — whether the data is stored in Hadoop, columnar databases, database appliances, relational databases or multidimensional databases.  MicroStrategy 9.3's MultiSource Option can combine Hadoop data with data from any of these enterprise data sources for analysis: business people can now have a comprehensive view of their enterprise for better decisions.
  • Sped-up Hadoop Performance. MicroStrategy 9.3's in-memory technology is ideal for analyzing Hadoop data.  With Hadoop data located in-memory, many business people can use MicroStrategy Visual Insight to explore Big Data at the speed-of-thought, with average response times under two seconds. 

4. Search BI Application Metadata to Quickly Find and Build Reports and Dashboards

MicroStrategy 9.3 delivers a high quality search experience so business people can discover the information they need simply and quickly.

  • Faster Indexed Searching. MicroStrategy 9.3 searching uses new metadata indexes so business people can see their search results appear nearly instantly to find the reports and dashboards they need.
  • Autocomplete Search. MicroStrategy 9.3 adds an auto-complete feature so results begin to appear after typing just a few letters so business people can discover the insights they need even faster. 
  • In-line Search for Building Reports.  MicroStrategy 9.3 allows business people to build reports by searching the MicroStrategy metadata for business attributes and metrics in-line with where they will appear on the report.  Unlike many individual and departmental analytical tools that cannot centrally store and share critical business metric and attribute definitions for reuse, the MicroStrategy metadata is a single repository of certified business definitions that ensures business people see accurate results.

5. Improve Decision-making with Advanced and Predictive Analytics MicroStrategy 9.3 can expand upon its repertoire of over 300 analytical functions to include the additional 5,000+ computations available within the "R" open source project, the most widely used statistical computing language.  MicroStrategy 9.3 can support all the analytics necessary to manage the business with mathematical and scientific precision.

  • Incorporate "R" Analytics for Better Decisions. With MicroStrategy 9.3, customers can incorporate the computational models and visualizations in "R" in standard MicroStrategy reports and dashboards.  With MicroStrategy 9.3, customers can import and run predictive and data mining models developed in "R" using Predictive Model Markup Language (PMML) language, and by embedding "R" computational algorithms as standard MicroStrategy analytical functions, including specialized graphical analytics such as statistical process control charts for manufacturers. 
  • Apply Advanced Analytics to Hadoop. Many highly-skilled data scientists prefer using "R" to analyze data stored in Hadoop.  Now, data scientists have the ability to develop and include their Big Data analytics as part of MicroStrategy 9.3.
  • Share the Knowledge with Everyone. With MicroStrategy 9.3, customers can incorporate any of the advanced, predictive, and data mining analytics of "R" into any mobile app, dashboard, or report. Now, everyone can access the best predictions available to make informed decisions.

6. Manage the BI Ecosystem with Minimal Administrative Effort MicroStrategy 9.3 introduces MicroStrategy System Manager to allow organizations to deliver more BI for less cost and with better system availability.  This new administration product automates the many manual, multi-step processes required to manage a BI ecosystem. 

  • Design System Automation Workflows using a Graphical User Interface.   System Manager includes a graphical design interface to construct a step-by-step workflow that can be very sophisticated, including decision logic, process loops, and node connectors.  The system management automation can include the wide range of BI components, such as the databases, BI applications, virtual machines, extract, transform and load tools (ETLs), operating systems, and alert notifications (e-mail).  For example, an administrator can automate the process of deploying a new report or dashboard, which may include establishing database connectivity, migrating metadata, validating data results, monitoring the process for completion and errors, and issuing notifications on process success or failure.  MicroStrategy System Manager works for BI ecosystems deployed either on premise or in the cloud. 
  • Eliminate Hundreds of Hours of Administrative Effort. MicroStrategy System Manager can automate almost any system management process — either on-demand or on a schedule — without any administrative oversight. Automated workflows eliminate errors, improve reliability, reduce IT personnel time, and standardize processes, resulting in lower overall cost of administration.
  • Standardize BI Maintenance Processes.   MicroStrategy System Manager workflows can be saved and maintained in source-control systems enabling BI administrators to standardize processes and maintain a history of the changes to the process.

Join MicroStrategy for the MicroStrategy 9.3 Release Webcast For more details on MicroStrategy 9.3, attend a Webcast on July 19, 2012. The Webcast will provide an overview and a demonstration of the highlights in MicroStrategy's latest release. To learn more about the Webcast and MicroStrategy 9.3, visit: http://www.microstrategy.com/Software/businessintelligence.



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