MicroStrategy Inc. (NASDAQ:MSTR)
The Only Dashboard Platform You'll Ever Need Conference Transcript
October 3, 2012 12:00 PM ET
Matt Ipri - Director, Product Marketing
Kristen Larson - Product Manager
Good afternoon. And welcome to the latest in our MicroStrategy Webcast Series for 2012. Our topic today is The Only Dashboard Platform You'll Ever Need. Thank you for joining us.
Our speakers today are, myself, Matt Ipri. I’m the Director of Product Marketing here at MicroStrategy; and Kristen Larson, one of our Product Managers also from MicroStrategy.
Our topic today, as most our webcast are, is all around Business Intelligence and specifically around dashboards. And this is probably the stat you’ve seen from us before, but Gartner has recently put out a theory that says that only 28% possible BI users are actually using this intelligence, which is a pretty low adoption rate and this is specifically the problem that we are out to solve with all the new things we put out to the market and all the new features we add to our product set, and dashboards are one of those features that we believe can help to bridge this gap from 28% adoption rate all the way up to 100% adoption rate.
And because we are talking about dashboards specifically, this year we put out a survey into the market about how people are using dashboards. We wanted to get a feel for what people were thinking about their dashboards, what they were looking for from our dashboard platform, how they are helping to use their dashboards, what they were lacking in their current dashboard platforms and we got about 3,300 people the respond.
And here are some of the key things that they said, 78% of them said, they have data they like to visualize or seen a dashboard, but they don’t actually have it in a dashboard, a complete large percentage; 75% said they would like to build their own dashboards but they don’t have the tools to do so; 73% said they don’t have enough time or said it is too hard to build their own dashboard; 76% said they would be more effective in their jobs that they can create their own dashboards; 78% asked to have their dashboards via mobile device; and 60% said it take more than three weeks to get new edited dashboards from IT.
So, clearly, this proves the 28% number that Gartner’s put out there that there is a lot of remaining opportunity, a lot of space out there to grow BI and grow dashboards across the environment.
So we are here today to talk about dashboards, specifically we are looking at, dashboards that are used by people across the organization. And dashboards have been around for a long time and they evolve as different people across the organization, different types of users have needed to work with them, they’ve evolved from simple spreadsheets, scorecards that track different metrics that were required for success in KPIs and things, all the way to more dynamic and interactive type dashboards that really laden with workflow.
And as more and more people start to use dashboards and start to really ingrain themselves with how dashboards can work for their job and work for their processes, work for their workflow, they really evolve into two very distinct use cases that we think need some further discussion, is what we are here really today to talk about.
The first, our IT-developed operational dashboards and either those dashboards used by anyone of the organization, a lot of operational users and fields, store managers, teachers, truck drivers, factory workers, anyone that may use things, use data that make better decisions in their jobs can use an operational dashboard, pre-build by IT and personalized for them to really make their job easier and make their job more efficient.
The second priority is proven to be a business user developed do-it-yourself type dashboard. This is the dashboard built by the end-user themselves in a much faster environment and a much quicker file-your-hunch, get your own data and visualize it kind of way.
In reality these are the two biggest use cases we’ve seen across all of our customers, all of our different user basis out there and these are the two big use cases that really making sure that the MicroStrategy platform can deliver on, and they can really can answer both the questions at these two need and enable the process to go between them.
So we are going to take a closer look at these two types of use cases, we are going to see some examples of both them and we’re going to talk about really what makes them unique and why you want to make sure you have a platform that delivers both of these.
But if you look about just the spectrum between an IT-developed operational dashboard and businesses developed do-it-yourself dashboard, they have a lot of different characteristics and you can see why an organization needs to have the full spectrum of dashboards.
You think about sort of the type of skills that build this different dashboard from a technical to an analytical type user, your platform is still delivered on both of those. It answers the time problem about really taking hours or even days to build the very personalized, very customized, very particularly polished IT-developed dashboard versus the minutes it may take to create a sort of file-your-hunch explore some data do-it-yourself dashboard.
These things scale the different types of user, the different amounts of users from hundreds of thousands within IT-developed operational dashboards down to just one or two people or workgroup for do-it-yourself dashboard, depending exactly on what the need is.
And you can see things like the change frequency, with the do-it-yourself dashboard you won’t be able to change it all the time depending on what hunch you’re following, what idea you’ve got, what visualization you see, whereas in operational dashboard that may want to stay pretty sandstone for awhile, as you have different store managers, who get it everyday, you don’t want that to change too much. They’ve got a lifespan that spend according to that as well, the long lifespan even operational dashboard versus the short lifespan of the do-it-yourself dashboard.
So you see they really -- the sort of pull opposite in a lot of ways to run the gamut of different types of users who want to engage with the dashboard and want to build the dashboard or a dashboard platform that really works for them. And so we are going to explore both of those in a little bit a detail.
So this is what we are talking about, we are the IT-developed operational dashboard and business user developed do-it-yourself dashboard, with the idea that a dashboard can be created by anyone and should be used by everyone.
First, let’s look at IT-developed operational dashboards. So as dashboard have evolved this idea of serving the operational user, the end-user who is not engage or interested in building them has really come out of necessity.
Previously these types of operational users and operational, people were given a couple of different things, they were even given a traditional dashboard which was very basic, very, very rudimentary and its probably easy to use, couple gauges, couple graphs, but did not have all the data that they needed to their job or to make the decisions they had to make, that or they were given a stack of operational reports, pounds and pounds of paper reports, spreadsheets, green bar reports, all those things that we’ve seen before that had all the data they needed that was very hard to really use or very hard to gauge the insights that they needed to actually do their job in a more effective way.
So what’s going out of that is really the need for the combination of these two things. The ease, the look and feel of the traditional dashboard with the sort of dense data and all the answers you needed of an operational report really build in this idea of pre-build personalized, customized operational dashboard, that is after the kind of thing we’re really wanted to really introduce today, it makes your all different users and customers are really getting out of their dashboard platform now.
So the idea is that you take all this sort of easy to use visualization, easy to use views and you’ve given all the data they need, all built into one compressed operational dashboard. And so MicroStrategy dashboard this is also an image you may have seen many times before. As their operational dashboards combine many different reports and even many different dashboards into one easy-to-use, easy-to-understand dashboard application, you can see the growth that you may cheer from dozens of reports, that are often frequently used to gather or filter between two set of business dashboards that combine those reports all the way, the combination of each of those dashboards into one multi-layout dashboard book which has all the things that this operational user would want for their jobs, all in one place.
And what these operational dashboards really allow their users to do is to empower them to be more efficient in their use of information when they are making their decisions. There is no need for training this, no need for connectivity, no need for them to be able to build different things. It really allows them to be empowered, gives them all the information they need to do their job on a daily basis. It gives them all the things they need to be functional, to be efficient, to be productive in their job.
It allows all the different end users to be aligned from a KPI and metric basis to everyone around and above them. That way you know that the Director of sales at headquarters are looking at the exact same metrics and KPIs that the field level sales account managers are looking at. It allows you to really push the decisions in the metrics all the way down to the right person.
You don’t want your regional head unnecessarily having to make day-to-day decisions for your store or on your truck or on your factory, now give it to the operational worker who needs that information. It allows them to replace dense reports. He then collects dozens of reports into one view. You can see exactly their reports and exactly the views of information that that person needs to have. It allows you to really access data from many data source.
So all those different things you would have done to build a stack of paper to build a stack of operational reports, you could now give to them in one operational easy-to-use dynamically changing, dynamically personalized dashboard enough to build 300 different dashboards or sort of your 300 different store managers. They only see the data they are allowed to see. They only see the data they need to see and the same dashboard can be used by many, many different people.
And finally, it embeds all the analytical workflows. You’d want to have inside the dashboard for them to do their job. Lot of them looking at this number in this report and then comparing to this number in this report. They can do that literally right on the screen of the dashboard, bouncing from one section or one panel to another or making one selection leading to another selection, leading to another selection so they can get to their decisions that they have been making their job without having to change dashboards, change reports or close the dashboard. It’s all there. It’s all updated regularly as you want it to be and all the data they need is included right there in their dashboard.
And they’ve had lot of success with customers building these types of dashboards. We’ve got five examples here that are examples of customers who have built operational dashboards for use by all the different operational users. We’ve got a retailer here who is used by 900 store managers. They’ve got one large dashboard app that goes out everyday which focuses on store operations, KPIs, benchmarks, revenue, all those things that those store managers need. They’re getting the daily dashboard everyday.
We’ve got a financial services customer who sends out dashboards of 15,000 branch managers everyday. That’s got all the data they need for production, for customers on the success of their finances of their local branch, all those things they need to do their job, again built into one dashboard.
So that’s got all the work that they need, all the data they need built into one. And you can see couple of others, 4,000 store managers at a restaurant, 2000 branch employees in another bank, 3,000 retail managers at another retail store. So lots and lots of customers are having lots of success building these kind of dashboards at MicroStrategy.
So let’s step through some of the real big features and real big success in operational dashboard. First of, they get all the data. No matter where your data lies, whether it’s in different sources, enterprise database, smaller operational databases wherever they are, they’d be compressed and assembled into a package and then built into the dashboard. So wherever the dashboard is from, however data is sourced from, it can be built right into dashboard as much as you need it.
It’s got all the views you need. So in one dashboard, the user can have all -- very easy to use all the controls he or she needs to step through all the data whether it is different tab, look at different pages or different mouse control to switch between grids and graphs or hover over data and get tool tips. There is dropdown selectors, radio buttons, sliders to look at time, categories that filter on different ways to look at the data, all built right into dashboard. You don’t need to rebuild the dashboard, no need to have different views, no need to recompile it, anything like that, all built right in.
It’s also personalized for that individual operational user like we said the 15,000 store managers can only see information for their store. And you can see, sort of, the picture of it here. The data comes from different datas compressed into one and it’s sliced into the different individually personalized sections that each person can see. That’s a data that they then can look at based on their role, based on their level, based on their geographic location, whatever it is that determines what one person would want to see versus another can really be sliced and diced, nature of that they are seeing what they want, again all built from one dashboard.
You see the plus signs in the middle. They represent the fact that their visualizations in the dashboard product themselves is actually reused across all the different people, just the data is different. It allows your IT group or your BI group, whomever they support, one dashboard and they serve all the thousands of different users.
Is there any visualization that they want to see, whatever makes sense for them whether its heat maps, bubble graphs, bullet charts, line charts, micro graph, all the different things that they might want to see can be built then right there into the dashboard to make it as sort of comprehensible and easy to understand as possible.
And of course, we’ve talked about it few times is that these operational dashboards support the analytical workflows that these people need in their jobs rather than having to go through sort of a litany of traditional reports where they find the report, open it, look for some data, run that report, get what they need, write that down, run another report, find it, find the graph, look at it, run another, run another, run another to get sort of their answer. With an operational dashboard, you can build that workflow directly into the dashboard.
So you find what you need first, you look down the next graph. You figure out that information or you filter that information based on what you found there. You select a different tag, look for a different heat map and you can get all the answers you would have gotten from five different reports built right into one dashboard, one easy to use operational dashboard there.
So there are always different things built into one, all the data, all the views to personalize data as much as you needed and the visualizations you need to always see what you want, all baked into the same workflow, you would like to have for their jobs built into one dashboard.
That’s for the crux of the operational dashboard. Exactly what your people need, when they need it, with the processes they needed to follow, they can do their job more efficiently without having to waste anytime trying to find the right data there.
So with that in mind, let’s look at our first demonstration. We’re going to look at example of an IT developed operational dashboard and for that, I’ll turn it over to my colleague, Kristen. Kristen?
In this dashboard, you are looking at an application that can be used within a typical call center or helpdesk. Every company has a helpdesk of some sort and they all measure their success and customer satisfaction in keys closure efficiency.
Note there are four tabs along the tab containing critical information that help users understand manage operations. The first tab provides you with an overview of the entire operation. Key performance indicators are KPIs on the top show how you are performing. Thresholds are being applied to indicate the trend of the KPI. And upward green arrow indicates good performance and the downward red arrow indicates poor performance.
The same data can be analyzed from a yearly perspective. Okay. I just provide a quick overview of the KPI performance. Using the gauge, you can see how each KPI value compares to a target as indicated by a dart on the gauge. Below, you can see an interactive stack graph is used to analyze a selective metric overtime by geography. You can see how quickly you can analyze different metrics by using the selector above the graph. On this tab alone, there are nearly 10 reports combined in a single view.
Moving on, the next tab provides an overview of regional performance. Data is divided into four geographies worldwide and uses more advanced visualization such as sparklines, bullet graphs, and bubble charts. This sparklines shows the cases closed in the trailing 12 months. The line itself provides trend information compared to the trailing 12 month average of cases closed. So very quickly and in a very small space, you can see all regions are performing better than average.
Moving to the right, a bullet graph is used to analyze biometrics together to understand current performance as compared to a target. The red vertical line represents the target of cases to be closed under a week. The blue horizontal bar shows attainment of that goal and the background colors indicate different levels of performance. Navy blue is poor. Medium gray is average. And light gray is good. And in small space, using a single visualization you can learn tremendous amount of information and it becomes apparent which regions are meeting their targets and which regions are behind.
Fortunately, none other reasons are behind here. You would know if they were falling behind, if the red target line was ahead of the light blue attainment goal line. Now thus you can select the specific region and the graphs below are updated to show the data only for that region. The two graphs below show the summary for the selected region Asia-Pacific.
The visualization on the left is a key catalyst we make our chart. The data is divided into different KPIs graphed over the past 12 months. By having over the data values, you can see specific details for given month. The bubble group to the right shows our relationship between two highly correlated metrics and the slight turn in the top changes the evaluated metrics.
Changing perspectives, this bubble grade evaluates the correlation between revenue as indicated by bubble size and customer satisfaction as indicated by the color of the bubbles. The larger the bubble, the higher the revenue contribution, the large red bubbles in Sydney are clear indication that customer satisfaction is low but revenue is high. So, they suggest that there can be a significant revenue risk, if customer satisfactions now addressed.
Moving on, the product adoption tab provides more insight into specific product releases. On the top left, you can see representation of how many months each version was in existence for in regard to tech support in cases for them. The proceeding columns represent how many months it took each version to outnumber the previous version in open tech support cases.
On the right, you can see this map top visually by month. Beside open cases at the end of the month, you can also see a similar representation for new cases logged by product. The stacked aerograph on the bottom displays a contribution of product lines to new, closed and existing cases.
Using this dropdown selector on the top, you can see how quickly users can analyze different metrics to better understand the performance of different product lines.
By analyzing the three graphs together, you can see many cases being logged but most of them are being handled quickly. So normalizing the user base, the situation looks pretty good. But even though cases are being closed quickly, it still takes time to process that. One solution for this could be that perhaps improving user education would decrease the case loan.
Finally, to determine how specific support centers are performing individually, we will select the supports center tab. Here, you can select a specific study to analyze. We will Washington DC as it’s the nation’s capital.
On the left, you can see that DC support centers monthly KPIs. On the right, you are able to determine whether or not the support center is on target and on the bottom, this area graph highlights the KPIs by month over the entire year.
Beside the monthly analysis, this dashboard also provides with the yearly analysis of a city support center. So here you can see that customer satisfaction is low in Washington DC support center. One resolution could be increasing employee performance to improve this. As you change the city, you will notice that the KPIs in the left and bottom change to reflect us. This is just one real example, when you’d use a flash demo to analyze company performance.
Great. Thank you, Kristen. So that was a great example right there of an operational dashboard used by support center and you can see how it could scale to all different types of users whether they were at headquarters or geographical location or down to the individual support center to see what mattered to them. The important cases, the hard cases, the critical cases, the long open cases those things that mattered to them, they could see in their dashboard. They haven’t close or open anything else.
So with that in mind, let’s explore the other side of this section of dashboards that we had talked about. In this case, a business is developed do-it-yourself dashboard. That even to do-it-yourself dashboard is that now business users can create dashboard as well without having to go to IT or a centralized BI group to get it done. They can use their own data and their own dashboard on their own timeline, however it make sense. And couple of the sort of the biggest used cases we see for the do-it-yourself business user-created dashboards are being able to build their own dashboard very quickly and efficiently, exploring data to support a hunch, we’ve been prototyping for a future IT-created dashboard.
When you are building your own dashboard quickly, they are allowed, they can choose the multiple visualizations in one place. They can access any set of data, no regardless of where it is, even their own spreadsheets and their own local databases, their own workgroup databases. And they can lay them out quickly as they want to see what they are looking for.
And since they are building at themselves, they can explore that data to support the hunch. They can focus on exactly the data they want. They can look for specific outliers that maybe causing them some distress or causing them some concern. They can try and find some root cases for those problems to do some quick analysis and see what’s happening there, different ways they can then have their own data and their own time to explore the hunch they are trying to prove there.
And finally, they can do some prototyping. They can create test dashboard of that using IT. They can iterate quickly with all of their teammates and stake holders and say this is what we want, this is what we like, this is how it should work and eventually they can provide it to IT to really allow it to scale, to be polished, to be personalized and then to be distributed across the entire organization regardless of who it may need to go to.
That’s one of the big things that separates having all these types of dashboards in one platform as opposed to others, the ability to really to grow between the two types. You can take your business user-created dashboard, iterate on it how you want it and then provide it to IT to turn to a personalized, scaled, outward facing, dashboard used by all of your operational users.
Now, I’ll talk about that idea of the path between the two types a little later on. Let’s look at some of those specific features that are build your own dashboard that are worth talking about. Visual insight is that MicroStrategy features that allows our users to do this on the fly and 10 minutes or less without any help for IT, a user can build their own dashboard. Again, with the data set that they have got locally or to the enterprise data warehouse that they have access too.
They can put a different visualization that they want on a single tab. No bar charts, line charts, heat maps, scatter plots, geographic maps all the same visualization you’d expect from a dashboard built by IT or build by BI can be selected for you just by yourself, by our own user.
It can combine multiple data sets, whether it’s your own spreadsheet, enterprise database or dupe-base data set, anything that you’ve got access to that you want to see and visualized, you can build yourself. Now also and maybe most importantly it’s available on the web and mobile, so if you are building this via desktop system, it can then be looked at via your iPad, you can share it someone via e-mail and look at it on the web.
Anyway you want to share this data and share the information there it can be really shared and with MicroStrategy, you are not limited by any kind of browser-based mobile access. We’ve got native mobile applications for all the most topper devices, iPhone, iPad, Android devices, all those have native MicroStrategy mobile applications for viewing your data and building your own dashboards.
You can explore data visually. The idea of exploring data and using visual cues to help you identify problems and find out later is not new and we’re certainly not introducing that to the world. But we built a library of great looking, beautiful interactive, easy-to-use visualizations that you can build right into you do-it-yourself dashboard.
We’ve got geographic maps that allows you to look at different metrics in sort of heat map style or placement style. We’ve got traditional heat maps. We’ve got network type diagrams that show you nodes and how things connect, interconnect. We’ve got scatter plots and graph, matrices, anything you expect from our traditional dashboard you can then build it into your own dashboard right there on the fly.
And you can explore data support to hunch, by taking all the different tools and features and function you need, you can answer the business questions you have with great ease. Again whether using a different kind of visualization, a density map versus the network diagram versus an image layout, to take that one most best.
We’ve got visibility tools like MicroStrategy can recommend you to best visualization, best base on the type of data you’ve got, if its got one, two or three metrics or lots, lots of different attributes or categories. There is easy ways to search, easy ways to drag and drop, lots of different ways that’s very easy and usable for you to wherever you’re trying to get at.
And finally lots of different expanding analytics. All kind of different functions and map features and ranking and things that you need to really get the answer as you are looking for or prove that data you are trying to prove out.
And when visual analysis, it allows you to really comprehend the data faster to identify trends and patterns that affect business performance right away. You can see two examples here. Looking at scatter plot and you nearly see a pattern of clump data across all of those different pieces of information. You can identify really fast those ones are outside of the clump. So you can quickly see it get worse, I focus my attention here two or three problem area that you really need to focus on and solve.
To the right, you see a heat map style. We are adding quickly see those areas are green, for those areas are red that maybe either places to avoid or places that need some of my attention to make sure I get them out of the red. And I may not have noticed them in a big long spreadsheet with lots of different comps, lots of different data point themselves, I can see it when I’m looking at it visually.
As I mentioned I can take, interact with my dashboards anywhere, as I’m looking at it via my browser or I’ve got it on my iPad, I can share them immediately with my workgroup however it makes most sense for me to carry it around, share it, explore it, send it, whatever makes most sense, MicroStrategy allows you to do with this dashboard that you just build in a few minutes.
And that also when it comes down to this idea of sharing, collaborating. One of the main reason you build a dashboard in lot of ways is to figure out some answers, figure out some things and then share that with your colleagues. And then you can publish them to workgroups and departments very quickly so that you can really get the answer, hey, look what I found, share with someone else that person and iterate going to few more times shares that back with everyone before you know you’ve got a great, tested, approved so to speak by your workgroup dashboard that can be shared with anyone or even sent to IT or your central BI group so they can really propagate it and turn into a great enterprise via dashboard.
That’s for the idea of this size, you can really amplify those thoughts and throughout the enterprise. So you build four great prototype dashboard inside your workgroup you then can provide them to your IT group or essential BI group they can create the standard machinery than it goes around this. They send it to 15,000 people everyday or to polished to look and feel of it or to add a role base security to get all the different people see only what they want. And then they can distribute them to their front line operational workers whatever they are, whoever they are, whatever data they really want to see there.
So with that in mind, let’s take another demonstration here and look at it business user developed dashboard, do-it-yourself dashboard here actually used by financial services company. So, here is Kristen again.
For this dashboard, let’s assume that I work for a financial services company that lends to individuals. I want to build the dashboard to help me visualize data that I have stored in a spreadsheet on my computer. First, I’ll import this spreadsheet directly into MicroStrategy.
I can preview my data and make sure all the columns are mapped correctly and change than if need be. When the document is uploaded I can then click create analysis to begin building my dashboard. Let’s pick a horizontal bar graph as a starting point. I’m interested in seeing how much the average loan amount first data is and which states have the lowest amount lend. I’ll add average amount funded to the X-axis and state to the Y axis.
I want to make it easier to distinguish the number of loans drawn in each state. So, I’ll add count of loans to color body. The lighter bar, the fewer number of loan issued. Since I’m interested in seeing the states of the lowest amount lend, I will sort the list in descending order and create a new filter on state.
From this I can learn which states we learn in the list amount in and do further analysis and how to increase these numbers. Next, I want to see how FICO scores in loan purposes affect the loan sizes and interest rates. I don't really know what visualization. I want to use so I select the attributes in metrics that I want to analyze and let MicroStrategy pick the best visualization for the data. In this case, it’s a scatter plot.
To make this easier to see, I can maximize the current visualization. To gain additional insights I can move the FICO attributes to the columns. Now, I can see that as a FICO scores improve, the interest rates drop, so that the people with the best scores are only paying half the interest rates that the people with the worst scores are paying. So, the last piece of data that I’m interested in learning about is the correlation between FICO scores and our financial institution proprietary credit grade. I will let MicroStrategy automatically populate my graph.
I’m currently looking at FICO scores again employment length. But since I’m interested in FICO scores in relation to our credit grade score, I simply move FICO range in the columns and drag credit grades to the Y-axis. And as expected, there is a high correlation. High FICO scores tend to have the best credit grade.
To see how these attribute affect the average loan size, I can switch out the metrics and make the threshold green to make things easier to see.
The darker green represents larger loans. What’s surprising is that for any given FICO range, people with the lowest credit grades take out the largest loans. To complete my dashboard, I want to add visual targeting to help filter my data in my dashboard. I specify state in the bar chart and have it target the two other graphs.
Now when I select various states, the data changes across my entire dashboard. In less than five minutes, I have created a dashboard that helps my need to work with my loan managers in seats like Tennessee since I seem to be leaving opportunities on the table. This prototype dashboard can be used within my department or sent to my centralized IT group to further polish and send out to the entire enterprise.
All right. Thank you, Kristen. And like you -- like you’ve just said, in just about under 10 minutes there, right about five or six minutes there, you saw her add a new data set based on a spreadsheet and then build an entire dashboard that answered a few other questions or ideas she has than she could take some action based on what she saw on that data, who to call that she would make something happen.
That’s a very simple yet very real example of building a business we’ve developed do-it-yourself dashboard in just a few minutes.
So now that I’ve explored the two different types, business user created and IT created, one of the things that we led this webcast offer, so we really want to describe about the only dashboard platform you’ll ever need. And what it comes down to is, there is lot of platforms out there, lot of vendors out there that may allow you to get a business user created or an IT developed dashboard on their own.
But in reality, the only one of the best single platform for access across both styles but also across all delivery method is MicroStrategy whether you want to deliver and build a do-it-yourself dashboard via a mobile or via your iPad or you want to perfect slash-based – browser-based dashboard and distribute it to your entire company via web. MicroStrategy is the platform for you to do that on. So they are going to buy multiple platforms, just seem to be a bit crazy.
And then we talk a lot about the path between the two styles of dashboard. If the organization is successful with one style of dashboard, say they’ve been great at building IT-created dashboard that could distribute across the organization, it makes the path to the other a lot easier.
So we start with the idea that we’ve got some do-it-yourself dashboards built by business users and they create lots of prototypes. They’ve filed their hunches. They build a pile of 15 or 20 dashboards. They can do that amongst their workgroups and they only find the ones they like. They can easily provide to IT for scale, polish and propagation.
And it doesn’t mean you have to then create one, give it to IT where then they have to build it again or take it to different platform and rebuild it or redo the data mapping. It’s all done from the exact same data dashboard object that then can be used by any single person in the organization. So it’s sort of mix that path quite easy. You find some gem, you find some sort of diamond that roughly you want to share with the whole organization really propagates, it could be done from the exact same dashboard object.
And then inversely, when you’ve given the dashboards to all your different end-user operational people, they then have the option of editing that dashboard themselves, starting with that one, changing some different things, changing some views, changing some ideas, and then doing their own kind of hunch following or their kind of hypothesis proving.
You really create a mindset of using a production dashboard at the starting point. You find the data, find the answers you need with the dashboard that are what kind of built, that are what option is there to really make it possible to find what you want. They can customize the data event. They can investigate data further. They become the business user in this case who is doing it themselves that they started with their production base, IT-created operational dashboard.
So they view as the exact same type of objects for both different styles of dashboards. It’s pretty unique to MicroStrategy as long as things that really makes us the only dashboard platform you’ll ever need, just use that phrase for a good time of this webcast.
And in general, MicroStrategy continues to sort of push the boundaries of dashboards across the board. For all different types, whether it’s a business user-created, or an IT-created dashboard, we’re always being innovative and trying to really figure out the things and the features you need.
This was the big reason to put survey out that discussed being in the webcast was they figure out the things that you’re looking for. Whether it’s making designing creation easier without quoting, without knowing SQL, by giving you more and more visualizations, they’re allowing you to build via the web, allowing you build via mobile. More and easier drag and drop or templates, making it an easy and available to perfect the positioning, perfect the formatting of it.
The old standard of what you see is what you get designs. So you know, you’re looking at that end user having to write any code. Designing creation is a big deal. To use that analysis, how easy can we make these dashboards to use so there is no training required. There is sort of intuitive browser like options for using it. That way anyone who picks up a dashboard knows how to use the dropdown, knows how to use a radio button. And there is no right clicks required, nothing like that.
Simple analytical layers that you can see all on one tab that you can split between views, all in one place, for using calculations drilling to any piece of data way out of box. So if I know, I start at one level, maybe at the regional level, I want to drill all the way to the school level of the individual store level, over my lowest level of detail is. I can do that right there at the box and I can include things like mapping and then different ways to share and collaborate via my dashboard.
How I can personalize if every single person see just what they want to see? How I can share it across anyone? How I can use native mobile apps? I can share via e-mail or share upon iGoogle. I can do things offline. All these different ways you might want to use your data and collaborate on your data while making sure a part of this one great dashboard platform that is MicroStrategy.
And even outside of just dashboards, MicroStrategy, sort of, continues to push general industry-leading features across the entire business intelligence platforms, starting sort of from the top and going clockwise. We’re building native mobile applications, sort of, those, they just came out on record, said they are abandoning HTML 5 and going all native and we believe this is the only way to really get what you want with all the features that your devices add.
So we’re building native apps for iOS devices, for Android devices, for all different platforms that are out there. We continue to focus on high performance. High performance, sort of, isn’t it nice to have around here MicroStrategy. It’s absolutely a feature. Every time we build something, we look at how it affects the performance of the product in general. We don’t want to put a feature in there that allows you to answer big questions but that takes three days to answer that question and so it’s crazy to us. We always make sure high performance takes part in every design decision.
Focus on sort of robust security administration. We recognized that security is a problem out there whether it’s via mobile, via the web, via anything involving data, security has got to play a part and we focus a lot of our efforts on security.
There are a lot of new products that can be delivered to the cloud whether it’s a private or a public cloud of ours, making sure you get access to all the BI features you want, deliver all the BI features you want, be it a cloud.
And transactional services, I make these apps to sort of read apps. Why can’t we make these apps and mobile dashboards and things able to transact. Let me conduct the site survey. Let me put in a change of target all right there on my dashboard and my strategy lets you do that.
And then finally, we have a unified architecture. We’ve got one platform architecture allows you to deliver dashboards, mobile analytics, predictive analytics, all the things you’d want to do, all from the same platform that way you’ve enabled this passport to deliver all the BI to deliver across the board and that continues to be a big, big deal for us, no matter what we do.
So in general, MicroStrategy continues thing that all the important things and Business Intelligence and initially they both align with dashboards and also push the boundary across the board.
So with that mind there are a lot of great ways to start with dashboards today. I encourage you to go to microstrategy.com/dashboard and view our dashboard and action in the dashboard gallery, there is actual customer examples up there or download the brand new white paper about the full texture on dashboards to read more about what I just talked about today.
Try visual insight, try right away with MicroStrategy Cloud Personal. Take some of your data, take a spreadsheet of your own data and pump it into our cloud-based version of MicroStrategy and give it to world, microstrategy.com/cloud, or even engage with MicroStrategy in a quick strike engagement, where we’ll come to your site for a week or two, we’ll take some of your data, we’ll build you a couple great dashboards both using visual insight and other products that may you can see how this things look with your data in it right there on your site. So contact your account executive for anything like that or give us call or e-mail here at MicroStrategy.
So, with that, I want to thank you for your time today. We’re going to open up for some questions here for both, Kris or I, so if you got any questions, hopefully you put them in through the box there and we’ll answer as much as we can. Thanks so much for your time today and we’ll talk soon.
All right. Great. I’ve put us on speaker phone now, you can hear both Kris and I at the same time. We’ve got a couple of good questions here, so we are going to get through as many of them as we can get through in the next few minutes and then if you got more keep coming in, and if we can’t get to them, at the end we will answers as many of them as we can by e-mail to make sure we get some answers out to you. All right. Let’s start with some of the easy one at the beginning.
We provide the presentation doc just after the webcast?
We won’t be sharing the slides for confidentiality reasons. But on our website there at microstrategy.com/dashboard you can find all this sort of same content there, same messaging there and some demonstrations as well. So you should be able to find really everything you need there at microstrategy.com/dashboard.
Next one, let’s look at, can we do dashboards for quality measurements, like errors per million, other examples for this?
The answer is absolutely you can use MicroStrategy for any kind of data like that. So if you got a database that have your quality measurements and use them in total volume or total errors with an errors per million and total volume per million, whatever it is, if you’ve got the dashboard that’s there and its in accessible format, MicroStrategy can absolutely report of it.
I’m not aware that we’ve got any examples of that on our website now, but there is a dashboard gallery there of a number of real-life examples from our customers, customers from banking, from retail, from software, a lot of different customers have put some examples out there in the dashboard gallery. So just go give that a look, you can find that at microstrategy.com/dashboardgallery and look at some examples there.
Another one here, how do, excuse me, how do MicroStrategy clients go about workflow design, designing a dashboard, is there a particular methodology MicroStrategy recommends?
There is not really, we’ve got customers who do things in some of the traditional methods of (inaudible) or waterfall or different things that people make sense. The methodology I think that I've seen work best with some of our customers is starting small, starting in a workgroup where one person maybe put some things on paper then you iterate with one or two other people, until you get to really what you like, what you want to see, how you want to see it work and then what nice on MicroStrategy are described there towards the end, when you find something that is satisfactory to you, you going to have IT get involve, the essential BI group get involve to formalize it, put on the right server to scale it and really make it available to entire organization. So that sort of iterative approach hybrid of all the different methodology out there, is often the one we’ve seen work best.
All right. Let’s find a couple of questions here for Kristen. Kristen, here is one. I see the dashboards open a browser, is this build in HTML 5 or use Java or flash?
So the browsers that MicroStrategy run on is Internet Explorer, Firefox, Google Chrome and Safari, and our web dashboards are created in the HTML. But the demos you are watch are being run down in flash, and they can be run down in both flash and the HTML but some visualization normally work for one or the other.
Good. We had one more here I think you could use your answer, if data is missing for say a particular month, will this throw off the gauges on the dashboard?
So it won’t effect the gauge visualization but if you are looking for, you are looking at the gauge by month, it will display as a no value and in MicroStrategy you can decide how you want those no value handled, but the gauge will still show up. So if you are looking at the gauge by yearly average, the gauge will add up the month included and deliver the information based on what it has, so it will ignore the no value and sum up their app.
Cool. Thank you, Kristen.
Okay. Other things here, how does MicroStrategy recommend visualization on dashboard using available data sets? So I think if I interpret that question right, how does MicroStrategy make a recommendation to you on what visualization to use?
The answer is it looks at the data set that you're working against and figures out how many metrics are in there, how many attributes are in there and then recommends what is, basically historically or usually the best way to look at say a data set with three dimensions, three attributes and two metrics, maybe bar charter or micro charter with the bullet graph is the best way to do that. So basically looks at the data, counts the sort of number of dimensions, the number of metrics and the size based on that.
We’ve got easy quick one here, which version of MicroStrategy is required for building dashboards?
Dashboard has been in MicroStrategy for the all the versions since MicroStrategy 8, which came out around 2006, 2007. The product that you saw, the main product that is as -- is required is called MicroStrategy Report Services. And that’s the feature set, the product set that allows you to build formatted documents, build visualized dashboard, use visual insight which is the name of this the product that Kristen demonstrated, second, the build-your-own dashboard product, visual insight is part of the MicroStrategy Report Services product, that’s the one you really want to have there. And all you need to really make that work is the sort of the server product is held in server and then the report services product that goes with it to build the interactive dashboards and use visual insight.
All right. Let’s look at a couple others here, well, dashboard platform, sorry I lost here, the dashboard platform work with forms such as in full path, where the user input data in a forms data for multiple forms you put into a dashboard?
The answer is, yeah, I’m not an extra in full path, but I believe in full path stores the data collected by the forms as XML files, excuse me, and really anyway that that data is stored behind the forms whether its XML file or an Access database or a SQL database, MicroStrategy can hit that database while in full path stores the forms there. So, yeah, wherever that data is stored MicroStrategy can work off that data set with no problem.
Excuse me, a couple of questions here, a bunch have come in. This is great. Thank you. Do you need training from MicroStrategy to use a dashboard provided by MicroStrategy?
The answer, usually no, what’s nice talking about the dashboard is that we went through and what we describe is that a lot of them use very simple tools like drop-down buttons, radio buttons, so you should need them to use it. There is nice web-based training and free training available to you, if you want to learn to better build dashboard or build, probably but using a dashboard should not require a lot of training there.
How about our almost real-time dashboard, is that a possibility?
And answer is, yeah, often is that data set is refreshed, MicroStrategy can refresh the dashboard as well, we’ve got a great customer that actually our credit card customer based in Delaware, who have customer support center war room, they’ve got a number of screens in the front of the room, they are looking at open calls and call problems and call volumes, and that’s refreshed real quick, I think within a few minutes max, those things are all refreshed, that near real time is absolutely an availability if the data is refreshed that often.
Let me try other question here, what tools do you have to aggregate data from various databases, what are the business rule capability?
MicroStrategy has a tool within it called MicroStrategy MultiSource, which allows you to access different data sources in one grid or graph or one report, and that’s one way you can aggregate the data then it does, what it does it moves a little bit of data from, its moves the least amount of data from data source to the other then report the results.
But if you are user of an ETL tool, Informatica and Nitya, whatever you might use out there MicroStrategy can work with those that it access the data set it sort of combine data set that the ETL tool may use for you.
One here question about mobiles apps, I think I lost it, yeah, can MicroStrategy be embedded within or called from other apps on mobile devices, is probably qualified, yeah, I hate to use the old standby, it depends. But, yeah, MicroStrategy really can be called from a lot of different places, whether it’s a linked from your SharePoint, if it’s, in your e-mail, a number of different apps can call out MicroStrategy reports. We’ve got apps out there that are built by our customers that may do thinks like be a retail app on closing sales that have a MicroStrategy report built into them.
So definitely can be run on many mobile apps and we’ve got our native apps for the iPhone, the iPad, the Android, so there are ways you can run MicroStrategy natively as well there.
Question here on where, we deployed in a K-12 public school, what types of information is being studied?
We’ve got, I don’t know, we have all, we’ve got number of different school districts that are our customers, big one the Dallas Independent School District uses MicroStrategy sort of testing results and access to parents. The Ohio Department of Education is the MicroStrategy customer who puts out lots of data to the public, the entire public for them to look at of their results. So there are different ways that you can put things out there if you are sort of public school system and actually people are seeing it there.
The visual templates library using a dashboard, they require a separate license from MicroStrategy?
I’m not sure I understand exactly what they are, but the visual templates are part of MicroStrategy Report Services. So if you’ve got access to the product that allows you to build dashboards and build -- use visual insight than the templates in library are there for you already.
Is there a difference between visual insight on the web on one hand and BI on iOS or Android on the other?
There is not from a usability perspective, so if you build the dashboard visual insight, it can be accessed and play with via the web and via iOS, but no difference of usage. There -- it not able to build a visual insight dashboard with all the different platforms just yet, but we are working, make sure you can build them from all the platforms beside web as well. So you can definitely access them from the different platforms that are out there.
I’ll take a couple more here before we run out of time. Is it possible to update the dashboard with new monthly data without having to recreate it every month, how does that work?
The answer is, absolutely, yeah. What MicroStrategy will do is, it will hit the data set that it’s build from and if that data set got new data, all you have to do is rerun the dashboard, re-execute that dashboard and it will be updated to that month, it can happen everyday, it can happen near real-time, as long as that data is updated MicroStrategy will show you the latest and you never have to recreate the object, the dashboard object there. It essentially pulls the latest data from the data source itself and puts it all into the dashboard that you are looking at that moment.
Yeah. MicroStrategy, I lost there, okay, [originally] you work with cat files, flatter text files then and yeah, again, if there is a set of data out there that needs to be read? You can work with MicroStrategy either in automated fashion or even write some of own sequel within MicroStrategy was interpret it correctly to build your answer there?
If accessing data in the warehouse and using visual insight, how much IT involvement do you need, can you pull raw tables, columns, individual insight?
You need, I’m sorry, you need any IT involvement if you got access to that data set. So if you got the right and access to see that data set an important as a data source, you won’t need any IT involvement.
Can you pull tables and columns? Yeah, I mean, you choose what gets imported there as much as it goes.
Nice question here. One hour is too small for this presentation. Thank you very much. And I promise you I didn’t put that into myself. We would love to see more examples of different organization that use dashboard. So I will again refer you to our website there microstrategy.com/dashboardgallery and you can see real examples from real customers.
Again, actual customers are out there that have given us their dashboard to post on the website, we scrub the data, we removed anything real in there, so there is no data concerns and you can see what’s really going on there.
All right. Look we are into our last minute here, so I want to thank everyone for joining us today? I’m sorry we couldn’t get to all the questions, we’ll go through a number of them in e-mail as many of the answers as we can to the people who ask the questions, and please join us again next time for our next MicroStrategy webcast. Talk to you soon.
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