MicroStrategy is back. After a few years in which the business intelligence and analytics company made little noise, it's back with new energy, new capabilities for ad hoc and departmental users and a new educational push around what it calls its "Map of the Intelligent Enterprise."
I got the sense that most of the attendees of MicroStrategy World -- more than 2,000 executives from enterprise customers ranging from AIG, Coca-Cola and Merck to Citi, Optum, and UBS - were comfortable with what I would characterize as top-down messaging aimed at executives, analytics leaders, project managers and administrators of high-scale, enterprise-wide deployments.
As for the ease of use and agility of the new ad hoc and departmental capabilities, including Dossier, Desktop and Workstation, these were briefly demonstrated during chief technology officer Tim Lang's second-day keynote, but it was a fleeting glimpse.
Yes, there were detailed track sections and hands-on workshops for those interested, but if MicroStrategy is truly serious about retaining (or regaining) the self-service ad hoc and departmental workloads, it could do a better job of demonstrating and even celebrating its "massive departmental productivity" on the main stage. Show me, don't tell me. Let the live and video-taped customer testimonials include more front-line analysts, Dossier builders and ad hoc explorers rather than just the top-dog analytics executives.
The passion at MicroStrategy World was most evident around what MicroStrategy has always done best -- providing the platform for powerful analytical applications deployed at high scale. The company's prowess with a variety of consumption options was also on display, now extending from multi-screen conference room displays at the high end down to smart phones and smart watches.
And as the speed of decision making increases, there may be no time for such interaction. In that world, users will want to be able to simply ask questions and get precise answers and recommended actions.