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Trusted data key to MicroStrategy platform plans

The vendor plans to add new capabilities this year that will provide AI-generated guidance to better enable self-service users to take action using governed data.

MicroStrategy recently unveiled product development plans for its platform in 2022, including three capabilities aimed at helping users take action with trusted data that it plans to add before the start of next year.

The vendor, founded in 1989 and based in Tysons Corner, Va., introduced the concept of intelligence everywhere in 2019 when it unveiled HyperIntelligence, a zero-click embedded analytics capability fueled by augmented intelligence and machine learning (ML).

The goal of intelligence everywhere is to enable users to get insights and work with data within their normal workflows rather than a BI environment, and do so on any device they may be using at a given moment.

Since 2019, MicroStrategy has added capabilities to its platform to help users reach that goal of intelligence everywhere. Recent additions include the release of custom applications in Library that enable developers and administrators to tailor applications and set permissions based on the user, and the introduction in preview of the vendor's revamped Embedding SDK Playground.

But making data actionable takes more than merely delivering it to users within their workflows. The data has to be good. It has to be trusted.

If it's bad data, it could lead to misguided decisions that result in disastrous consequences for an enterprise.

Augmented experiences

In response to this problem, on Feb. 2 during its virtual user conference, MicroStrategy introduced yet another concept it's calling augmented experiences.

Augmented experiences, as defined by the vendor, are an evolution of augmented analytics that add guidance and governance to data to ensure its trustworthiness. And it's that trustworthiness that MicroStrategy is targeting with the addition of Guided Insights, Governed Insights and Authoring Insights to its platform in 2022.

"A user only needs one bad insight to turn a feature off and never look back, or to make a decision off bad data that harms the customer or the company," said Tim Lang, CTO of MicroStrategy. "At MicroStrategy, our vision is to bring insights to enterprise applications in the form of augmented experiences."

Screenshot of CTO Tim Lang speaking at MicroStrategy's virtual user conference
MicroStrategy CTO Tim Lang speaks during the vendor's virtual user conference.

The concept of augmented experiences is built on three key tenets, he continued.

"They must be governed, they must be guided, and they must be actionable," Lang said.

The capabilities that will be added to the MicroStrategy platform work together to address those tenets and result in trusted data.

Guided Insights is an automatically delivered daily summary of all data changes, including a natural language generation explanation of the factors behind the data changes. With the tool, users will receive focused updates through a single launch point for insights into the data spread across all of their applications.

Governed Insights gives developers and administrators control over the data insights being pushed out to end users to make sure the insights are accurate and actionable. Developers and administrators are able to preview the insights with Governed Insights, and accept or reject those insights to minimize the risk of bad information reaching end users.

Finally, Authoring Insights simplifies the content creation process for developers and administrators through AI and ML by suggesting data assets that can be used together to lead to insights. MicroStrategy's engine will identify commonly used data sets or combinations of data sets and pair them with commonly used visualizations.

In addition, Authoring Insights includes an asset library where users can find reusable data objects to employ for content creation.

MicroStrategy's augmented experiences announcements are evolutionary rather than revolutionary. They're bringing together multiple capabilities that have been out there, but MicroStrategy's twist is to focus on enterprise priorities including centralized control, governance and consistency.
Doug HenschenAnalyst, Constellation Research

None of the three tools that comprise augmented experiences and will be added to the MicroStrategy platform is new, but together they stand to help produce trusted, usable insights, according to Doug Henschen, an analyst at Constellation Research.

"MicroStrategy's augmented experiences announcements are evolutionary rather than revolutionary," he said. "They're bringing together multiple capabilities that have been out there, but MicroStrategy's twist is to focus on enterprise priorities including centralized control, governance and consistency."

Henschen added that Governed Insights has the potential to be the most powerful of the three augmented experiences capabilities.

Meanwhile, he noted that the tools MicroStrategy plans to add to its platform in 2022 have the potential to enable self-service users to receive only relevant insights that lead to action. Data-driven organizations have now amassed copious amounts of data assets, and it can be difficult for end users to know what information to use. A guided approach addresses that problem.

"The theme is delivering augmented insights with guidance, governance and oversight to ensure that insights are trusted and actionable," Henschen said. "Many organizations are now on overload with insights competing for attention. There's a growing desire ... to focus on insights that are important and actionable."

More capabilities

Beyond the new capabilities that comprise MicroStrategy's approach to augmented experiences, Lang said the vendor's 2022 platform roadmap includes plans to add tools that will enable enterprises to more easily scale their applications while ensuring security and enhancing administration capabilities.

In addition, he noted that MicroStrategy now releases features on a monthly basis rather than quarterly, now that the cloud-based version of its platform is the vendor's priority. Just recently, in December 2021, the vendor quickly added updates that addressed vulnerabilities exposed in Log4j that it could not have delivered immediately when it was making only quarterly updates geared toward on-premises users.

"We have designed our platform with a long-term vision in mind, embracing a federated and open architecture with major investments in our cloud technologies, as well as new investments in containerization and security," Lang said. "We have made these investments to provide a future-proof platform that can be built upon with confidence."

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