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MicroStrategy Intelligence Server

September 12, 2010 Leave a comment

Before we get into the bits and pieces of MicroStrategy Architecture, we need to know a little bit of Intelligence Server. MicroStrategy Intelligence Serverâ„¢ is an analytical server that is optimized for enterprise querying and reporting as well as OLAP analysis. It processes report requests from all users of the MicroStrategy Business Intelligence platform through windows, web, and wireless interfaces. These reports range from simple performance indicators such as quarterly sales by product, to sophisticated hypothesis testing using a chi-square test. The results are then returned to the users, who can further interact with the data and run more reports. Folloiwng are the benefits of the Intelligence Server:

Features:

Dynamic SQL Generation: MicroStrategy Intelligence Server stores information about the database tables in metadata. MicroStrategy Intelligence Server uses this metadata to generate optimized SQL for the database. Because the metadata is schema independent, these reports, queries and analyses are generated from your current physical schema without any modifications.

Advanced Caching: MicroStrategy Intelligence Server caches all user requests. Not only are reports cached, but the individual report pages requested by users are also cached. As a result, no redundant processing occurs on the MicroStrategy Intelligence Server or on the database.

Built-in Software-level Clustering and Failover: MicroStrategy Intelligence Server lets you cluster many different individual servers together without any additional software or hardware components. Built-in failover support ensures that if a server experiences a hardware failure, the remaining MicroStrategy Intelligence Servers will pick up failed jobs.

Integrated Aggregations, OLAP, Financial and Statistical Analysis: MicroStrategy Intelligence Server provides simple analysis such as basic performance indicators, as well as more sophisticated analyses such as market basket, churn, retention and deciling analyses. Other analyses include hypothesis testing, regressions, extrapolations and bond calculations.

Business Intelligence Architecture

September 8, 2010 Leave a comment

A business intelligence architecture using MicroStrategy is shown in the following diagram:

The Architecture has the following components:

  • Source System (OLTP):

Source systems are typically databases or mainframes that store transaction processing data. As such, they are an Online Transaction Processing System (OLTP). Transaction Processing involves simple recording of transactions like sales, inventory, withdrawals, deposits and so forth.

A well designed and robust data warehouse lies at the heart of the business intelligence system and enables its users to leverage the competitive advantage that business intelligence provides. A data warehouse is an example of Online Analytical Processing System (OLAP).

Analytical Processing involves manipulating transactional records to calculate sales trends, growth patterns, percent to total contributions, trend reporting, profit analysis etc.

  • ETL Processes:

The extraction, transformation and loading (ETL) process contains information that facilitates the transfer of the data from the source systems to the data warehouse. We have discussed about this in details in my previous post.

The metadata database contains information that facilitates the retrieval of data from the data warehouse when using MicroStrategy applications. It stores MicroStrategy object definitions and information about the data warehouse in proprietary format and maps MicroStrategy objects to the data warehouse structures and content.

  • MicroStrategy Application:

The MicroStrategy applications allow you to interact with the business intelligence system. They allow you to logically organize data hierarchically to quickly and easily create, calculate, and analyze complex data relationships. They also provide the ability to look at the data from different perspective.

A variety of grid and graph formats are available for superior report presentation. You can even build documents, which enable you to combine multiple reports with text and graphics.