MicroStrategy has beefed up its reporting tools to make business analytics more palatable to the masses.
The new MicroStrategy Report Services, unveiled Monday, will provide both "number-crunchy" operational reports, scorecards or dashboards, as well as classic business reports delivered in the style the user feels most comfortable with, said Sanju Bansal, vice chairman and COO of MicroStrategy, McLean, Va.
"The beauty of it is, you can make reports look the way you want," he said.
Reporting tools, if recent product news is any indication, are hot now. Microsoft is building reporting services into its SQL Server database. Several recent acquisitions centered on reporting. Business Objects recently bought Crystal and its reporting tools and Hyperion bought Brio. (See story.)
"The hottest [technology] submarket right now is business intelligence and within that, the hottest part is Web-based reporting. People need to deliver data off corporate databases. There are hundreds of thousands of potential users out there," Bansal said.
Integrators agree that flexibility in reporting is key. "The biggest thing we can do now is format the reports the way users want them," said Chris Jordan, senior partner with iOLAP, a Dallas-based business intelligence specialist. "If they want something Excel-like or Crystal-like %85 that's fine. In the past MicroStrategy and most of the serious BI tools were limited as to report layouts. They offered tabular format and that's about it."
Justin Langseth, CTO of Claraview, Falls Church, Va., concurred. "This pretty much closes the function gap, enabling full reporting capabilities for just about anyone," he said.