MicroStrategy Leverages Embedded BI with HyperIntelligence to Deliver “Insights to Action”

March 2020: BARC’s Founder and CEO Carsten Bange shares his thoughts following the recent MicroStrategy World event in Orlando.

Carsten Bange
MicroStrategy is one of the veteran BI vendors that has been overshadowed in terms of visibility and attention over the past 5-10 years by self-service BI vendors such as Qlik, Tableau and Microsoft. However, we believe that a strong BI platform with scaling, security, administration and broad coverage of BI requirements from standard reporting to advanced analytics is still highly relevant for larger companies (see BARC Score “Enterprise BI Platforms”). In fact, we at BARC believe that the demand for platforms will increase significantly in the coming years as many companies experience the limitations of the relatively unregulated spread of self-service BI tools for point solutions.

MicroStrategy’s approach

In order to be successful, analytics platforms for the 2020s must support modern software concepts and requirements in terms of integration capability and APIs, data architectures and data governance, and visualization and analysis options. MicroStrategy’s approach has been to renovate/modernize its core platform and to expand functionality, particularly with self-service BI in “Dossiers” and now embedded BI through “HyperIntelligence”. The market will judge whether this strategy of modernization is more successful than the new development of a platform (as in the case of SAP and Oracle). With MicroStrategy’s approach, customers will have a better impression of the requirements and range of functions that can be covered by the modernized platform, and what the focus and the vendor’s strategy is for further development.

HyperIntelligence

At the center of MicroStrategy’s latest updates is its new approach to embedded BI with “HyperIntelligence”. The focus here is on HyperIntelligence cards, which, like a tooltip, display a window of information about keywords on a screen when the mouse is moved over the word. In the cards, developers can display master data and KPIs associated with the keyword (= information object), but also a “next-best action” and links to other documents or applications (e.g., SAP ERP, Workday, Salesforce), allowing suitable predefined transactions to be triggered with a single click. The pure provision of information in BI tools is thus extended to the more direct support of actions/decisions in an operational process context.

The embeddability of HyperIntelligence cards in other applications has been significantly enhanced in the first year of availability of this new feature. Information cards can now be displayed for keywords in mails, calendars, web pages, office documents and most enterprise applications. The keywords for which cards are available on the screen are indicated by an underline (like a web link). Different types of cards can be embedded in an application at the same time. These cards are created based on different rules and use various colors to underline the keywords. Customers in a CRM analysis can be classified differently. For example, those with good KPIs can be green underlined and those where action is required based on rules or models can be red underlined.

Conclusion

The “tooltip” concept of displaying information directly on cards in other applications makes the presentation and accessibility of information very easy. In the background, the linking of keywords to information objects and the generation of information on the cards is sensibly done from the MicroStrategy platform, which is updated simultaneously.

The metadata in the semantic layer (now called the “Enterprise Semantic Graph”) includes all objects from connectors to pre-systems to KPIs in reports. Opening up this layer to integrate with other self-service BI vendors is another innovation that allows MicroStrategy to provide a consistent data platform across the enterprise, even when user groups are working with other BI tools for visualization or data analysis.