MicroStrategy 10’s Latest Update Drives Innovation with Broader Connectivity, Support for ‘Intelligent’ Narratives

With version 10.7, the latest update to the MicroStrategy 10 platform, users for the first time can build custom connectors to almost any data source. Users will also be able to add more context to their dashboard, with the power of intelligent narratives.

Tags: AI, analytics, BI, connectors, data, dashboard, integration, MicroStrategy, SDK,

Enterprises need power and flexibility to deploy business intelligence and data analytics solutions at scale. With version 10.7, the latest update to the MicroStrategy 10 platform, users will for the first time ever get the ability to build custom connectors to almost any data source. Users will also be able to add more context to their dashboard, with the power to add narratives.


In this release, MicroStrategy delivers a new set of APIs that will allow MicroStrategy customers "to build custom connectors to almost any data source,” senior director for product marketing Vijay Anand said in a statement.  In specific, MicroStrategy 10.7 offers a set of APIs to build almost any data connector and an extensive SDK to support the Data Connector API.


"With new and updated data sources being published by database vendors almost weekly, organizations need fast access to connect to and use the data stored in these various data locations," Anand said.   Adding to MicroStrategy 10's current library of native supported drivers, the Data Connector capabilities enable customers and partners to easily use either a proprietary REST API or standard web technologies to access additional and new sources of data.


Why the extra focus on data connectivity in MicroStrategy 10.7? Anand put it simply: “Innovation happens best when our customers have unrestricted access to the tools and data they need,” he noted. 


MicroStrategy CTO Tim Lang added this perspective. “MicroStrategy 10.7 extends the types of technologies that can connect to the platform by giving our customers direct pathways to the data resources they need. With this greater level of accessibility, our customers can draw more value from their existing investments to improve productivity, customer engagement and operational efficiencies.”


For context, MicroStrategy’s Hugh Owen, senior vice president of product marketing, highlighted in a recent blog post how MicroStrategy 10.7 responds to trends in how companies want to use BI.

[Companies need to] understand how employees interact with the business and its buildings, who is using what technology, when they’re using it, and how. Armed with this information, organizations can better understand and take action on everything from work attendance to the communication tools employees prefer in real-time, making it far easier to determine where to consolidate and reduce costs. On the customer side, companies can use monitoring tools to identify top customers and see how much revenue they’re generating.

With MicroStrategy 10.7, BI Gets More Data, AI and Narratives

With that as context, let’s look at MicroStrategy 10.7’s major updates.

In specific, the MicroStrategy 10.7 sports a new set of APIs, designed to let users easily build almost any data connector. The Data Connector SDK allows access to data sources such as Eloqua, Amazon S3, OneDrive and more – all on top of secure authentication modes.  The SDK works with the Data Connector API, and includes documentation and instructions to make it easy to build and deploy new connections.


MicroStrategy 10.7 also adds broad support for bringing together BI with AI (artificial intelligence) and natural language capabilities, thanks to new partnerships and certified integrations with Natural Language Generation (NLG) platform providers -- Automated Insights and Narrative Science.


The idea is to add capabilities to BI to bring more “intelligent narratives” that can enrich traditional dashboard visuals, and use language to explain the significance of some analytics.




MicroStrategy 10.7 supports the use of artificial intelligence to produce intelligent narratives that describe the analytics users are viewing. By allowing users to understand and readily share a narrative explaining a visualization, this feature also makes MicroStrategy 10.7 "easily accessible to a wider audience of business users at extraordinary scale,” Lang noted.


The new feature interprets charts and graphs into clear and meaningful narratives that explain the context of hidden insights in data, he added.  


An example of an intelligent narrative offers up this sales-related scenario:

Total margin in the United States is way up through June of 2016, climbing to $306M, an 80.71% increase over 2015. The increase was driven by an additional 10,022 in unit sales. Turnover jumped by 38.75% to $1B, due to a significantly higher average sale price; the average unit sold was $18,604 in 2016, up from $16,007 last year. 

For NGL partner Narrative Science, the combination is a natural. “The seamless integration with MicroStrategy reflects our common vision of empowering enterprises with data-driven intelligence and broadens the accessibility of this intelligence by automatically providing it in natural language,” said company’s Mauro Mujica-Parodi, general manager of integrated narrative solutions & applications in a statement.


Automated Insights’ chief revenue officer Adam Smith offered another benefit to his company’s integration partnership with MicroStrategy.  “Key metrics and data points that MicroStrategy users need to know are highlighted and summarized in a narrative form, updating in real-time as users explore their visualizations,” he said.


Other notable updates in MicroStrategy 10.7 include:  

Enhanced Native Hadoop Gateway  - To leverage Apache Spark for increased scalability and performance when accessing data directly from HDFS (Hadoop Distributed File System). The new release also makes the Hadoop Gateway setup process easier and more seamless with the rest of the analytics platform. Also with version 10.7, the Hadoop Gateway will be able to access more file types, including Parquet, Avro, and JSON formats. This functionality is in addition to previously supported .csv and text file formats.


New Certifications for Data Sources – Expanding to more data sources and new certification standards, including MSAS 2016 (certified as a data warehouse) and Amazon Aurora, MySQL Edition (certified as a data warehouse and metadata).


Custom Shapes on iOS Devices – This delivers a consistent user experience in maps on iOS devices by allowing organizations to deploy custom shapes and area maps, supporting both .KML and .SHP files.


AppConfig Support in Android – To standardize enterprise mobility management processes by configuring and helping secure applications on Android devices based on AppConfig guidelines.

MicroStrategy 10.7 is available on premises and in the cloud. A free trial can be requested here.