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Today I’ll be sharing the top features that i loved within MicroStrategy 2021 in the form of blog post from my learning through MicroStrategy World 2021 sessions. Hope it helps the community to understand about them !

MicroStrategy 2021 ~ One of the most anticipated version release from MicroStrategy with lot of features added as part of this version for the customers to take advantage of it.

Get to know the roadmap as well that is coming up in future within the product

Photo by Alex Knight on Unsplash

Pick # 01 : Long Form Dashboard/Dossiers

One of the most anticipated feature within Dossier is to have “Long Form” Dossier/Dashboard. (i.e.) It is now expandable with scroll bar to have an long form dossier to tell story within single page (if there is an business need) or go with story telling approach of having chapters with pages.

Check out the collaboration Viz with Reema Mohanty for Vitara Contest using “Long Form” approach for our landing page.

Reema as well posted an guest post about how to achieve them within Dossier – check it out for more details :

URL : Long Form Dossier within MicroStrategy

My take-away from this feature >>

Another way of story telling the business data for end users Export requires improvement
Website like feel with focused users in one screen than navigating across chapters/pagesResizing is an pain while you have to adjust during the middle of development (It is the pain in any BI tool from my experience such as Tableau)
Feature that matches to Tableau long form design of dashboards (I love it to match with it) Responsive needs improvement (especially for development itself – varied laptop resolutions causes images and objects(Viz, shapes, texts) appear dis-oriented (It doesn’t happen in other BI tools & they stay fixed for development/design wise)

Pick # 02 : Shapes within Dossier

You can now introduce shapes such as below into dossier/dashboard (i.e.) similar to RSDs

  1. Line
  2. Rectangle
  3. Eclipse
  4. Triangle
  5. Polygon

Do you know, earlier in RSDs – we have got only line & rectangle. With this new update, we have got more shapes within Dossier. It shows the product is more focused towards Dossier focusing on self-service analytics or agile development matching to other golden BI products (such as Tableau, Power BI – where easy to learn and build dashboard quicker)

Additional Tip : Round Rectangle is possible within shapes

Round Rectangle on “Asia” label shape

Pick #03 : Improved interface for choosing visualization

Earlier, we used to have “Visualization” pane in right side of dossier interface. Now, it has been categorized and provided at the top pane to pick any viz for analysis & categorized as well.

I love this categorization of viz nicely and placed on the top pane.

Improved User InterfaceEarlier changing from one viz to another was easy & now, we have to either right click viz header to change from one to another type or go to right top corner of viz to select “…” –> Change visualization
Different way to update viz type with updated approach

Pick # 04 : Ring Pie Chart

Now, you can easily pick “Ring Pie” chart instead of going to design mode in prior versions. So, one click to choose “Ring Pie” now.

Pick # 05 : Text Box Auto Size feature

We used to have scroll bar on text box in prior versions of MicroStrategy.

Now, with one click of enabling “Auto Size” from design editor – we can make it auto responsive and avoid scroll bars

without Autosize – you will get scroll bar on text at times
With Autosize , it can be avoided

Pick # 06 : Duplicate “Text Box” or “Shapes”

Finally, MicroStrategy introduced the option of duplicating “Text Box” in Dossier 🙂 Also, you can duplicate shapes if needed.

Pick # 07 : Hyper Cards Apply Thresholds + Derived Metrics

We can apply thresholds on Hyper Cards “Headers”

Example :

  1. Sales > 1M = Green
  2. Sales > 50K to < 1M = ORANGE/YELLOW
  3. Sales < 50K = RED

So, by using above examples – we can see hyper cards with respective color codes – which is cool and helps customers to take actionable insights immediately from hyper cards.

We can also include “Derived Metrics” into hyper cards now. Earlier only Attribute & Metrics were allowed. Now, with this version of release, on the fly created metrics (i.e.) Derived Metrics can be included.

Pick # 08 : Workstation Updates

I should insist that, MicroStrategy is focusing more into Dossiers + Workstation as their next-gen product. I feel, Workstation in 10 years from now, would be an beast and futuristic than Tableau/PowerBI/Qlik. It will basically be an one stop shop for delivering an enterprise solution to customers.

Coming back to latest updates involved are below :

  1. Users & User Group Management (Along with Security Roles)

2. Monitors (easy to monitor the servers within Workstation itself now)

Credit : MicroStrategy World Keynote Presentations
Easy access to view total number of objects now within Workstation (Image Credit : MicroStrategy)

3. Subscriptions, Certificates, Licenses & Scripts as well can be handled/reviewed/monitored within Workstation

Credit: MicroStrategy World Key Note Presentation

As i said, Workstation is going to be next-gen analytics product within MicroStrategy for Developers, Administrators , Data Analysts or Architects to manage and handle everything at one place.

MicroStrategy is working on “Multi user edit of Schema Objects & Versioning controls” 🙂 – more to come in upcoming year!!

Pick # 09 : Updating Labels with Multi-Selection in Pie, Bar & Circle Charts

We can update the legends or labels color now easily

Pick # 10 : Compound Grid Improvements

Enhanced version of having “Attribute” + “Metric” within an set in Compound Grid – Isn’t it cool ?

Enhanced flexibility for Data Representation (Similar to RSD stitching we do with multiple grids)Export have to be cautious & designed or validated extensively (especially with more columns in grids)

Pick # 11 : Library ~ Categorizing the objects into groups & Favorites

Now, you can easily select an object as favorite or group them into sections or business area focused objects

Credit: KeyNotes

Pick #12 : Python API Enhancements

More focus towards python and their modules to automate lot of activities that can be built or configured within MicroStrategy

  1. Server Module (List Applications/Projects, List Nodes, Start, Stop Services, Fetch/Update Settings, etc.,)
  2. Application Module (Alter, Idle, Load/Unload projects, Update settings, etc.,)
  3. User Management (add, create, alter, delete, alter security roles, list members, remove users, etc.,)
  4. Security Role & Privilege Module (Assign new privilege, revoke, etc.,)
  5. Subscriptions Management (create, alter, delete, etc.,)
Credit: MicroStrategy presentations on World 2021

Pick # 13 : MicroStrategy on Cloud + Containerization

With everyone being shifted to work from home in 2020 due to global pandemic – we all know how organizations are shifting their gear towards CLOUD drastically than ever before.

Customers who moved to cloud prior to that know the real importance of the success/growth due to it. In situations like these, it is highly important to move towards the cloud to manage by either vendor/managed by customer on cloud to easily grow vertically and horizontally when in need. MicroStrategy primarily provides professionally managed services on below cloud systems

  1. AWS
  2. Azure

MicroStrategy has been pushing all customers to move towards cloud. Surprising that, they are yet to certify for Google Cloud professionally managed by MicroStrategy. I know, there are customers who are using MicroStrategy on Google Cloud or use Google BigQuery as their data/EDW platform to analyze with MicroStrategy BI Tool. So no doubt, they will very soon announce their managed service for Google Cloud Platform (GCP) as well.

Credit : MicroStrategy Cloud / Containerization presentation

You can also take advantage of containerization

  • Use Single machine split into multiple MicroStrategy Servers using Containers concepts
  • Scalability & Efficiency (scale your applications easily based on load/business needs – example increasing IServers RAM or Adding more library servers or etc.,)
  • Ease of upgrade using containers (Just an swap)
  • Migration from On-Premise setup to Cloud setup is done easily using Container
Credit: MicroStrategy
Credit: MicroStrategy

Why Container ? Below slide shared by MicroStrategy explains all the benefits you get out of this

Credit: MicroStrategy (Very well explains the benefits of Containers)

Pick # 14 Incremental Refresh Replace Option

Intelligent Cube to replace data is improved now. Earlier, customers used to perform two step process (Delete data & then Insert data for current day or refreshed data on EDW)

Now, Intelligent Cubes can be refreshed with one step process “Replace” – Go from old cube cache to new cube cache available for business users now.

Credit : MicroStrategy

Pick # 15 : Disable highlight on hover in Presentation Mode

I will be very honest, initially when i worked on 2021 Dossier interface – i was very much frustrated with behavior of highlight of each section in dossier upon mouse hover.

You can see above for “Users” section, the Grid on mouse hover shows weird highlighted
Another example of mouse hover showing the KPI Viz highlighted

You can disable by going to “Format –> Dossier Formatting –> check the option of Disable highlight on hover for containers in presentation mode” option

Post that, the dossier is super cool from business user appearance on “Presentation Mode” – VERY COOL!!

Highlight action is not visible now & you can see nice tooltip on mouse hover the bar chart

Pick # 16 : Hide Canvas or Hide Mobile option on Dossier

Pick # 17 : Subscription APIs

With workstation evolving, lot of cool automation can be done via Subscription API (& other APIs as well such as REST API, Python API, etc.,)

Credit : MicroStrategy

Pick # 18 : Upgrade with MstrBak file

Credit : MicroStrategy

Pick # 19 : MicroStrategy for Excel users

Credit : MicroStrategy

Pick # 20 : Advanced Functions in MicroStrategy

Credit : MicroStrategy
Credit : MicroStrategy
Credit : MicroStrategy

Example below :

Credit : MicroStrategy

Here , they have to update metadata – generally MicroStrategy doesn’t recommend. But, it looks like currently that’s the only option to customize these advanced functions.

MicroStrategy Dossier Road Maps

What can you expect that is coming up very soon in 2021 or in the coming months in 2021 are below :

  1. Gantt Chart
  2. Micro Chart
  3. Sankey Chart
  4. Global Legend
  5. Enhanced Text
  6. Gauge Chart
  7. Panel Stacks (most anticipated functionality to me)
  8. Dossier Templates (can be re-used for self-service analysis or quicker dashboard development)

Watch out for the above key features coming up within the product.

MicroStrategy Workstation Road Maps

  1. Create Schedules in Workstation
  2. Create schema objects within Workstation
  3. Model Schematic or semantic layer within Workstation
  4. Include Visualization, HTML Text and Dynamic Values in email body (most expected to me 🙂 )
Credit : MicroStrategy

5. Provide the option for users to “Unsubscribe” (another expected feature 🙂 to me )

Credit : MicroStrategy

6. Create and Manage Subscriptions in Library

7. Deliver subscriptions to Cloud repositories

Credit : MicroStrategy

8. Send MSTR Content via Slack & Teams (Microsoft)

Credit : MicroStrategy

9. Provide interface for function editor within Workstation with advanced function added in 2021

MicroStrategy World Sessions

I would encourage folks to view the key note presentations – they are awesome to know where the product is headed from analytics and product road map stand point. They have always been innovative every year with new features and products being launched.

I know, there are lot of new features beyond the one’s that are listed here. Do check out the on-demand videos shared by MicroStrategy in the World 2021. You’ll learn a lot from this definitely at the end!

Enjoy your day & stay safe everyone! Take Care…

Happy to be an MicroStrategy Community Master of 2021 (Image Credit : MicroStrategy)
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