Embedded business intelligence is at the core of the latest version of the MicroStrategy analytics platform, which the vendor unveiled on Wednesday during its virtual user conference.
HyperIntelligence, an embedded BI tool built on the concept of "intelligence everywhere," continues to be a significant focus for MicroStrategy, and many of the key new features and upgrades in MicroStrategy 2021 -- all of them now generally available -- involve HyperIntelligence.
MicroStrategy, a long-established BI vendor founded in 1989 and based in Tysons Corner, Va., first introduced HyperIntelligence to its analytics platform in 2019.
The tool, which utilizes information cards that pop up as users scroll over text throughout their everyday workflows in order to enable them to make business decisions in the moment, was touted as a "zero-click" embedded analytics experience fueled by augmented intelligence and machine learning. In 2020, MicroStrategy updated the design of HyperIntelligence and improved customers' ability to gain access on the web, applications and on the devices of their choice.
New HyperIntelligence features in MicroStrategy 2021 include Hyper.Now, a SaaS version of HyperIntelligence that costs $10 per user, per month; and HyperVision, a feature that employs color-coded text to automatically alert users to positive and negative developments in their data.
"Taking friction out of the process of getting an answer is really critical," said Michael Saylor, chairman and CEO of MicroStrategy, during the keynote address of MicroStrategy World 2021. "Embedded intelligence has exploded in popularity in the last year, and the idea of putting HyperIntelligence right into your applications ... and getting the answer with zero clicks is a big benefit."
In addition to Hyper.Now and HyperVision, new HyperIntelligence features include Pattern Matching, which is the ability to scan millions of rows of data to find patterns within that data, and enhancements that make it easier to design and update cards.
Taken in sum, the new HyperIntelligence features don't represent a technological leap for the tool, but the updated version marks steady and significant progress, according to Dave Menninger, research director of data and analytics research at Ventana Research.
Dave MenningerResearch director of data and analytics, Ventana Research
"HyperIntelligence addresses a real issue that organizations face, which is getting analytics in the hands of business people," he said. "It's about helping people get their jobs done, and the enhancements are helpful. They're incremental, but they represent a different way of thinking about the problem of getting information in the hands of business users."
Menninger added that using color to communicate, for example, doesn't seem particularly spectacular, but it demonstrates creative thinking and "represents a furthering of this whole HyperIntelligence philosophy."
Beyond the new features and upgrades for HyperIntelligence, MicroStrategy 2021 also includes an interactive catalog for data assets called MicroStrategy Library in which customers can store key visualizations, documents, reports and HyperIntelligence cards and includes collaboration capabilities that enable users to share data and work together.
Collaboration and sharing are also enabled by new connections to Excel, Power BI and Tableau along with developer platforms including Jupyter and RStudio.
In addition, MicroStrategy 2021 makes it easier for customers to create data visualizations by adding new design templates and enabling users to build visualizations without having to write code, enables users to create mobile applications without writing code, and facilitates faster embedding of analytics applications, according to the vendor.
"We don't see monumental changes happening from release to release anymore, but the MicroStrategy update adds some interesting features," Menninger said. "There's good, steady, incremental progress.
In particular, he said the features that enable sharing and collaboration are important.
Beyond the platform update itself, cloud migration is an ongoing focus for MicroStrategy.
While MicroStrategy 2021 is designed to work on premises as well as in the cloud, the cloud version of the vendor's analytics platform is its best, according to Hugh Owen, executive vice president and chief marketing officer of MicroStrategy.
"We want to encourage you to make the move," Owen said.
In doing so, Owen continued, MicroStrategy will provide software, services and education that will help customers migrate their analytics to the cloud.
"Across our customer base I'm seeing the migration from on premises to the cloud, so we've worked to deploy tools and better upgrade programs," Saylor said. "Cloud upgrades and migrations are a really big trend. Customers can stay on the latest version of MicroStrategy, and also decrease the cost and complexity of deploying business intelligence throughout their enterprise."