Business intelligence software provider MicroStrategy announced that MicroStrategy 9.2 comes with a new feature, Visual Insight, that helps business people explore data to get the answers they need without assistance from their IT teams. In addition, the latest release includes features that allow organizations to embed even more information into interactive dashboards and further extend MicroStrategy's performance at higher scales of user populations and database sizes.
Visual Insight is designed to allow business people to answer business questions on their own, avoiding the process of report specification and design, and lets users analyze data from across the enterprise, regardless of where it resides. Users can access data from a full spectrum of data stores, ranging from massive enterprise data warehouses to distributed departmental databases to financial databases and even to data that resides on the individual's desktop computer and in Excel spreadsheets. MicroStrategy's Web-based data import feature allows businesses to import data directly from their desktop computers for visual analysis and sharing with others.
Visual Insight allows users to create multitabbed "insight dashboards" that can present many different views of a business issue. These dashboards can be saved and shared so colleagues can access them. MicroStrategy's data security architecture automatically ensures that people only see the data they are allowed to see, and requires only a Web browser for its user interface.
In addition, new dashboard selector controls allow users to navigate through analytical workflows faster and switch more easily between dashboard information panels, and users can now analyze geographical data in their dashboard using MicroStrategy's Connector for Google Maps. Data can be plotted as markers on a map that vary in color and size depending on the business metric values. Tapping on a marker enables the user to drill to more detailed views. The maps can also include an "affinity visualization" that links map points with lines whose color and thickness depend on the strength of affinity between the two points.
New pop-up information windows deliver additional business data. The information windows are context-sensitive when activated, so the data in the window is relevant to the specific area of the dashboard being viewed. Also new in MicroStrategy 9.2, users can now access their dashboards using the Google Chrome and Apple Safari browsers, in addition to Mozilla Firefox and Microsoft Internet Explorer.
MicroStrategy 9.2 also offers the ability to automatically and transparently combine multidimensional data with relational data and retain full analytical capabilities, including drilling, sorting, pivoting, adding thresholds, aggregating and adding calculations, and includes a capability to automatically redirect queries to in-memory data stores when the data originates from multidimensional data sources, including SAP BW, Microsoft Analysis Services, IBM Cognos TM1 and Oracle Essbase.
"MicroStrategy 9.2 is focused on empowering business people to get answers to their questions faster than ever before," said Sanju Bansal, chief operating officer of MicroStrategy. "Visual Insight and the other new features in our latest release dramatically speed data analysis and put the power of BI into the hands of business users."