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MicroStrategy keeps focus on embedded analytics in update

Embedded BI capabilities, including integrating single data assets, rather than entire dashboards into users' workflows, feature prominently in MicroStrategy's latest update.

New embedded analytics capabilities highlight the latest MicroStrategy platform update.

While much of the focus on MicroStrategy centers on its heavy investment in bitcoin, analytics remains the longtime independent vendor's primary business, and, on June 30, CTO Tim Lang unveiled MicroStrategy's second update of 2021 in a blog post.

Though saying the update is incremental in nature with enhancements to existing tools, rather than the introduction of major new ones, Doug Henschen, principal analyst at Constellation Research, said two new capabilities stand out as particularly beneficial for customers, both of them related to embedded analytics.

The first is customers of HyperIntelligence are now able to build fully customized Hyper plugins for Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge. And second, application developers can now embed single data visualizations from a MicroStrategy dossier -- interactive dashboards -- into custom applications.

New embedded capabilities

MicroStrategy, founded in 1989 and based in Tysons Corner, Va., first introduced HyperIntelligence, a zero-click embedded analytics tool fueled by augmented intelligence and machine learning, in 2019. Since then, it has been the focus of numerous updates, including the release of Hyper.Now, a SaaS version of HyperIntelligence, in February 2021.

Using information cards that pop up as users scroll over text, HyperIntelligence delivers information that enables customers to make data-driven decisions.

A user's email exchange information is displayed on a HyperIntelligence for Office card
A HyperIntelligence for Office card displays information pertinent to a user's email exchange.

The new customized plugins for Chrome and Edge are designed to improve users' ability to monetize data -- make key decisions in the moment -- Lang wrote in the blog post.

Henschen, meanwhile, noted that MicroStrategy customers who build their own products using HyperIntelligence and market them to their customers, can use the customizable plugins to create a seamless look.

"This shows MicroStrategy -- and, at least, some of its customers -- is thinking big about delivering actionable intelligence to customers using HyperIntelligence," he said. "If a MicroStrategy customer wants to deliver actionable insight to its own customers, this customizable plugin can be branded and matched to the identity of the company offering the HyperIntelligence-based service."

In addition to the ability to customize plugins for Chrome and Edge, a new compact card template aims to make it easier to integrate HyperIntelligence assets into collaboration workflows.

Beyond HyperIntelligence, by enabling developers to embed individual visualizations from a dossier, rather than the entire dossier, MicroStrategy is making it easier for end users to work with specific data, rather than all the data, according to Henschen.

This shows MicroStrategy -- and, at least, some of its customers -- is thinking big about delivering actionable intelligence to customers using HyperIntelligence.
Doug HenschenPrincipal analyst, Constellation Research

Delivering concise, actionable analytics in context is a capability that users have been expressing interest in for a few years, Henschen said.

"Rather than delivering a complete dashboard or dossier page with many related insights, the idea is to deliver just the right key performance indicator or graphic at a key decision or action point within a custom app," he continued.

He added that by delivering just the right data at the right moment, it saves time and effort and results in efficient data-driven decision-making.

"The user isn't forced to toggle between transactional and analytical interfaces," Henschen said. "Instead, the two experiences can be blended, with a to-the-point insight taking up a fraction of the interface within the context of the application. It's the key to delivering actionable insights and data-driven applications."

Additional features

Beyond the new embedded analytics capabilities, MicroStrategy's platform update includes:

  • interactive, customizable time-series visualizations for dossier authors that enable financial analysis of stocks and cryptocurrency, among other things;
  • new connectors to Exasol and Databricks SQL Analytics, along with support for OAuth to cloud storage solutions including Azure Data Lake Storage Gen2 and Google Cloud Storage;
  • a keyboard shortcut for navigation between menus in Library, a personalized catalog of analytics content, and dossiers;
  • added capabilities for system administrators and architects to create and edit Python scripts without leaving Workstation, MicroStrategy's tool for controlling projects and environments; and
  • enhanced security, including OpenID certification for MicroStrategy and an added layer of security for Library.

Though the vendor is still packaging capabilities together four times per year for significant analytics platform updates, Lang said during a webinar on July 7 that MicroStrategy is now releasing new features each month and the quarterly releases now simply tie three monthly releases together.

The move comes after Hugh Owen, MicroStrategy's executive vice president and chief marketing officer, said in February during the vendor's virtual user conference that cloud migration is a significant focus for MicroStrategy and the cloud version of its platform is now the best one because of the speed and efficiency with which updates can be delivered.

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