It is only a couple of weeks since I published Why BI Needs AI, and Microstrategy, one of the longest established BI suppliers, has surprised with a move to add AI generated commentary on charts and graphs. So you can teach an old dog new tricks. This is an important addition to the capability of the very large product suite offered by Microstrategy, and hopefully signals an intent to add more AI functionality in the future. The current capability should help business users to validate the significance of their data analysis – something that is very badly needed. The press release is below:
MicroStrategy® Incorporated (Nasdaq: MSTR), a leading worldwide provider of enterprise software platforms, today announced the general availability of MicroStrategy 10.7, the newest feature release to the company’s MicroStrategy 10™ platform. This release delivers a new set of APIs that will allow MicroStrategy customers to build custom connectors to almost any data source. MicroStrategy 10.7 also adds integrations with Natural Language Generation (NLG) providers Automated Insights and Narrative Science, letting users add Intelligent Narratives to their dashboards alongside their reports, graphs, and visualizations. With NLG, MicroStrategy users can read narratives that explain the patterns and trends in the data, making the platform more accessible to an even wider audience of business users.
“Enterprises need both horsepower and flexibility to deploy business intelligence and data analytics solutions at scale,” said Tim Lang, CTO of MicroStrategy Incorporated. “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.”
The company’s latest release and its new capabilities will be featured at MicroStrategy World™ 2017 taking place from April 18 to April 20 in Washington, D.C. MicroStrategy customers, including eBay, Cisco Systems, Dr Pepper Snapple Group, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, Toys“R”Us, Whole Foods Market and others, will discuss their achievements with the MicroStrategy 10 platform and how they are using its latest capabilities to build innovative solutions to digitally transform their organizations. To learn more about the agenda and register to attend MicroStrategy World 2017, click here.
New Data Connector SDK
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. Adding to MicroStrategy 10’s extensive library of native supported drivers, the Data Connector SDK enables MicroStrategy customers and partners to use a proprietary REST API or standard web technologies to access additional and new sources of data.
The Data Connector SDK opens a more extensive list of options for both IT and business users, allowing access to data sources including Eloqua, Amazon S3, OneDrive and more – all on top of secure authentication modes. The SDK includes documentation and instructions to make it easy to build and deploy new connections.
Real-time Intelligent Narratives Explain Analytics to Users
Through technology partnerships with leading NLG platform providers Automated Insights and Narrative Science, MicroStrategy 10.7 supports the use of artificial intelligence to produce intelligent narratives that describe the analytics users are viewing. This new feature interprets charts and graphs into clear and meaningful narratives that explain the context of hidden insights in data. 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.
Version 10.7 also certifies integrations with Automated Insights and Narrative Science, and makes extensions available to both technologies, enabling end users to leverage NLG to translate structured data to text in order to facilitate data discovery. Pre-configured plugins for both Automated Insights and Narrative Science are available in the Visualization Library on MicroStrategy Community.
“Our seamless integration with MicroStrategy reflects our common vision of empowering enterprises with data-driven intelligence. Narratives for MicroStrategy broadens the accessibility of this intelligence by automatically providing it in natural language,” said Mauro Mujica-Parodi, General Manager, Integrated Narrative Solutions & Applications at Narrative Science. “This technology partnership enables MicroStrategy clients to instantly receive and report Intelligent Narratives comprised of insights that matter most to their organizations.”
“The technology partnership between MicroStrategy and the Wordsmith® NLG platform is exciting because it gives MicroStrategy users control over the automation of narrative insights derived from their dashboards. 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,” said Adam Smith, Chief Revenue Officer and Head of Partnerships at Automated Insights. “Now, MicroStrategy users can easily complement their complex dashboards with the most important takeaways condensed into a narrative that any user can understand, utilizing company-specific language.”
Enhanced Native Hadoop® Gateway
MicroStrategy 10.7 delivers a completely re-architected native connector, called the Hadoop Gateway, that leverages Apache Spark™ to increase scalability and performance while accessing data directly from HDFS. 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.
Additional new features for MicroStrategy Desktop™, MicroStrategy Web™, and MicroStrategy Mobile™ in version 10.7 include:
- New Certifications for Data Sources
- MicroStrategy 10.7 supports even more data sources and meets a number of new certification standards. New certifications available in version 10.7 include:
- MSAS 2016 (certified as a data warehouse)
- Amazon Aurora, MySQL Edition (certified as a data warehouse and metadata)
- Custom Shapes on iOS Devices
- MicroStrategy 10.7 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™
- In addition to native integration support with AirWatch®, MicroStrategy 10.7 supports the implementation of AppConfig (formerly known as ACE) for standardized enterprise mobility management processes. This configures and helps secure applications on Android devices based on AppConfig guidelines. The integration with AppConfig facilitates more consistent, open, and simple ways to configure and help secure mobile applications.