Big data also gets the analytics treatment with latest flagship platform updates
MicroStrategy has stepped up its battle with the likes of QlikTech and Tableau Software by introducing new visualisation capabilities to its flagship business intelligence platform.
Announced at the company’s MicroStrategy World conference being held in Amsterdam, version 9.3 also includes integration with Hadoop.
The data visualisation capabilities come in the form of enhancements to the Visual Insight platform within MicroStrategy 9.3. Much like the tools offered by QlikTech and Tableau aim to make it easier for end users to gather useful information from the data they have available.
The new features in Visual Insight include geographical analysis such as density maps, which enable users to drill down into detail on certain geographies. Also included is what MicroStrategy is calling a Network Diagram. This enables comparison between groups of items, such as traffic into a website selling certain products. Finally, Image Layouts is the new customisation capabilities within Visual Insight that enables workers to view data in a variety of ways.
MicroStrategy has also introduced auto-suggests for data visualisation. This will automatically choose a certain visualisation feature depending on the data being analysed. In another nod towards Google, MicroStrategy has also upgraded the search functionality in 9.3.
The updates also make it easier for end users to create their own dashboards. At the conference, Brian Brinkman, MicroStrategy director of product marketing, said it should now be possible for end users to create dashboards in around 10 minutes, with no help required from IT.
The latest release also taps into the Big Data craze. Integration with Hadoop is offered through a native Thrift connector to Hadoop. The Hadoop data will be located in-memory, which MicroStrategy says will speed up responses. The number of analytical functions available in the product has been increased from around 300 to over 5,000 thanks to integration with the "R" open source statistical computing language.
The move to incorporate "R" sees MicroStrategy follow in the footsteps of many of its rivals, including Oracle and Tibco Spotfire.
The updates tap into what MicroStrategy believes are the big waves shaking the industry at the moment – social, mobile, cloud and big data. Founder and CEO Michael Saylor told the conference that eventually cloud-based apps running on mobile devices across the world will replace inefficient humans in industries such as education and publishing. You can read more on his thoughts here.
Saylor also spoke candidly about the recent news of Microsoft’s Surface tablet, describing it as the most "disastrous" tech product announcement in a decade.