MicroStrategy World is the annual user group conference hosted by MicroStrategy. MicroStrategy 2012 will be the 6th conference I've attended and it remains to be the highlight of my year. There are incredible opportunities for education and networking, as well as whetting your appetite for future MicroStrategy enhancements. I'll discuss some of the many benefits of the conference to help convince you to attend if you've never been, and help unearth some annual gems of the show if you've been in the past and aren't sure if there's anything more for you. I learn an incredible amount every year, and some would say I'm already pretty knowledgable in all things MicroStrategy.
BITSoftware and Google organize the „Google Apps for efficient companies” event on October 14th, 2011, in Bucharest. Join the free event to learn how to reduce IT costs and help employees collaborate more effectively, by using Google`s communication and collaboration applications. Przemek Sienkiewicz, Head of Google Enterprise CEE, Russia & CIS, will be one of the event speakers, talking about the benefits of using 100% web applications, configured for any type of companies. The event will be held at the Novotel Hotel - Bucharest (Calea Victoriei 37B), starting at 9.30. The participation is free, based on invitation.
During my years of industrial marketing and sales, I learned that there is a big difference between corporate information and Strategic Knowledge. Corporate information usually consists of internal raw data while Strategic Knowledge is the business wisdom necessary to achieve profitable growth consistently. Although internal data is necessary to manage logistic or tactical areas like, supply chain, manufacturing, accounts receivable, transportation, accounts payable or customer service; it’s far from enough to perform marketing and sales management jobs effectively, namely increasing market share, revenue and ultimately net profit.
The reason is simple, internal data is a by-product of the order entry system (ERP), designed to ship orders on time; not to build a strategic data base for marketing use.
Unfortunately, most Business Intelligence (BI) implementations populate sophisticated BI software with just internal raw data from the ERP.
This is only half of the story because ERP data does not usually contain competitive or market intelligence. This is the reason why BI usually does not provide the immediate strategic analysis and direction necessary to grow the businesses, leaving Marketing and Sales teams struggling to find the information they need to increase profitability.
Typically, after Sales or Marketing run BI reports several times and they keep seeing the wrong structure or hierarchy in their customers, markets, segments and territories, they stop using BI and continue making decisions the old fashion way: based on intuition.
by Bill Cabiro and Strat-Wise LLC
„Please visit their web site at www.strat-wise.com for additional articles and resources on the strategic use of Business Intelligence and Analytics”
BITSoftware will participate at the first edition of the „Meat Factory” Fair, which will take place at Romexpo central pavilion between October 19th and October 23rd, 2011. On October 20, 2011, during the symposium "Computerization - sustainability and traceability solution for the benefit of Romanian products",we will present our integrated solutions for business management and advanced reporting (Socrate ERP and Socrate BI), helping companies to enhance productivity and to achieve their long-term growth targets.
Here's a quick tip to follow up with Answering Prompts via URL API. If you need to get the Object ID of an Attribute or Metric dynamically, you can use this syntax:
I read a lot about BI implementations failure. I wrote myself an article about it few months ago. But I have a question: what a BI implementation need to succeed? I ask this question also to the members of Business Intelligence Professionals on LinkedIn.
And after reading almost 400 comments, I was able to make a short list of 5 things that will help a BI implementation process to succeed:
1. The presence of a Good Business Analyst who understands business and who has a zeal for technology.This is a role that can bridge gap between functional experts and IT- BI experts.
2. A Good Dimensional models with flexibility to enhance future requirements. Basically well thought out models expecting future rquirements.
3. Requirements understanding between data modelers, data integrators and reporting people.
4. A proper resource and project management.
5. User friendly, self-help oriented and designed for the users and not for IT experts, because constantly needing an IT person to run SQL, MDX or complex reports is a slow and unproductive process for everyone.
If all the 5 are there, no project will fail... At least this is the experts opinion.
While the Interview Questions I've posted before are more geared towards finding the qualities I'm interested in (hint: textbook MicroStrategy recitation isn't one of them), this post is geared towards actually testing an individual. Ideally, you'd still do the face to face question based interview and if you feel good about the candidate, you can give them this hands on test. Just setup a machine with the Tutorial project loaded on a local or development IServer. There are a few places where you'll need to do some initial setup before you introduce the candidate, and I've outlined those. I've also broken it out into three posts depending on what level of skills you're interested in: Developer, Admin, Architect. You would sit down with the candidate, explain the requirement, and watch them work. You'll get more information form a few minutes of one of these sessions than from days of face to face interviews.
I recently read an interesting interview about mobile business intelligence, BI trends and cloud computing with Michael Saylor, CEO of MicroStrategy. The interview was made by Jason Stamper from Computer Business Review, who is now widely regarded throughout Europe as „The Economist” of the IT industry.
I've noticed that in my experience, most users log into a single project. Either because there's only one project in the environment, or because the projects are specific to their department or function and it's the only one they have access to. With that, it's always slightly annoyed me that a user has to login and then click to access the single project they have.
Freeform SQL Reports can be a handy tool in your MicroStrategy bag of tricks. We're all tempted to turn to them from time to time, but when is the right time and what kinds of tricks can we manage by leveraging them? As always, the answer to the first question is going to be a personal preference and depend greatly on your project scenarios. Today I'll offer my opinions, as well as highlight some of the tricks you can do with Freeform SQL Reports.
I recently read, on Brett Beaubouef` blog, an excellent article about influences of business problems over the ERP solution. In his article, Brett said that in business, like in real life, all of us instinctively trying to avoid or minimize problem („pain”, as he named it). And also we are focused on eliminating the symptoms rather than finding the pain cause. „And we may feel temporary relieve”, noticed Brett, „but our short-term decisions only lead us to a point were the pain resurfaces and the available options to address the pain become more limited and costly.”
He proposes a three-step process to transform business pain in something good for your ERP solution.
The first step is taking an appropriate problem solving approach. Because, said Brett, many companies do not execute the problem-solving process effectively. Why? Cause they believe that having an ERP system simplifies the problem-solving process. As Beaubouef says, „the misperceptions and inappropriate expectations surrounding ERP can cloud your view of the real problem. For an ERP perspective, the typical end-result to quick fixes will be more customizations. The key to eliminating this quick-fix mentality is to change the perspective of how pain is viewed”.
Second step is to see business pain as an opportunity. Too often, organizations can’t see past the present pain. „We focus only on the symptoms (negatives) without looking for the opportunities (positives). A red flag to look for is when ERP support problems are seen as an inconvenience rather than an opportunity”, said Brett.
And, finally, the third step is using business pain as a driver to increase ERP value generation. According to Brett Beaubouef, frequent upgrades is the „single largest driver for long-term, rapid delivery of addition value from a customer’s ERP investment. It is important that the internal IT organization resist the temptation for a quick win and illuminate the IT roadmap that will provide the opportunity for greater value from their ERP investment”. Obviously, its a price for every decision made and „the short-term gains will eventually result in limiting your ERP strategy”.
As a conclusion, the business pain is the way that an organization (company) communicate that something is wrong. „Effective root-cause analysis is the first step to correctly diagnoses the pain and identify viable solutions. ERP can play a positive or sometimes negative role in addressing business pains”, stated Beaubouef.
One of the most important features to control in tuning your MicroStrategy environment is controlling Job Prioritization in the Intelligence Server. In the event that you have more concurrent jobs running than open slots on the database, queuing will occur. When a Job is in the Waiting status, that could be giving a very poor user experience. Fortunately, you do have some control to tell MicroStrategy which Jobs are more important than others. Today, I'll talk about how the Job Prioritization works, what options you have, and the Job Prioritization strategy that I use in my environments.
Job Prioritization occurs at the Database Instance and is a Governing setting for sending queries to the database. While there are Governing settings for the Intelligence Server to control concurrent jobs, those are system wide settings and are generally set very high (~100). The reason is that the Intelligence Server doesn't really have to do a lot of processing per job, at least compared to the amount the database has to do to retrieve the data.
Prioritization works by managing three slots: High, Medium and Low. By default, a job has Low priority. Jobs include not only Reports but also Prompt requests, and each Report on a Document counts as a separate job.
You can classify the priority of any given job in a number of ways, but the most direct is to setup the classification rules in the Job Prioritization Wizard. This can be found by opening the Database Instance for your Warehouse (Desktop -> Administration -> Configuration Objects -> Database Instances) and selecting the Job Prioritization tab, then clicking New. The wizard allows you to set global rules based on the type of job, the project it belongs to or the user requesting it.
by Bryan Brandow
(This article was first published on Bryan`s MicroStrategy Blog)
We continue to permanently improve our ERP solutions helping companies to achieve their long-term growth targets and to enhance productivity. Therefore, we just launched the 2.7 version of SocrateOpen, an open source ERP & CRM „tier 1” class solution.
This new version of SocrateOpen comes with more than 90 enhancements in Purchasing, CRM&services, Distribution, Electronic Data Interchange (EDI), Accounting, Open Items, Fixed Assets, Stocks, Projects and Production, certain features requiring a Professional or Enterprise Edition subscription. Installation of this version needs database migration.
The version is available for customers with an active support and maintenance subscription (and can be downloaded from the BITSoftware Webstore), as well as for the rest of the community (from the SocrateOpen Community website).
For more information about SocrateOpen please visit the product section.
As I read on an article by Michelle Symonds (project manager trainer at ProjectSmart in UK), many complex, long-term projects fail to live up to their promises and produce disappointing outcomes on completion. First of all for exceeding their budgets or deadlines or both. „Project managers often have a poor reputation for delivering what was expected without budget or time over-runs. And one of the industries with the worst record is the technology industry where failures are said to exceed 50% of all projects undertaken”, said Symonds.
As she said, „organisations make commitments to major projects, but cannot always deliver what was expected and, more worryingly, cannot determine how much value they are getting from their investment”.
I've met a lot of people that have been confused about Administrative privileges in MicroStrategy and how they relate to their licensing costs. The confusion possibly is related to an old bundle MicroStrategy used to sell called "Administrator" which included the products Object Manager, Enterprise Manager and Command Manager. While those tools are critical to administer a system, they aren't related to actual Administrative privileges like killing jobs, creating schedules, clearing caches or reloading projects. The truth is that administrative privileges don't require any license beyond a Desktop license and in fact are very granular. You can grant any user access to manage anything in MicroStrategy from full on administrative functions to simple things like clearing the cache.
The healthcare industry in most countries is dealing with low revenues as well as a great lack of organization. Even in the healthcare public sector, they try to increase revenues as it allows them to buy better equipment, increase capacity and thus, obtain more income from the state.
Even If, in most of the cases it is hard to make managers, from hospitals and laboratories, understand that a Business Intelligence solution would help them lower their costs, increase revenues and help organize their structure, it is noticeable they are changing their minds and try to accept the idea that a BI solution would not be a waste of money, but a great help on their daily operations.
How many times do they underuse a ward due to a bad schedule? It is not rare to see a doctor coming into an operating theatre with a patient and find out that operating theater is already taken. It is also not rare that a patient in recovery needs to be moved from one room to another because of schedule overlapping.
A Business Intelligence solution would easily help managers: