MicroStrategy Inc. unveiled a new version of its business intelligence tool set that combines reporting, analysis and performance monitoring on a single platform.MicroStrategy 8 can provide a rough report that ‘users can tune to their exact needs’ if they know how to use programs like Microsoft PowerPoint or Excel.Sanju Bansal>Text

Dubbed MicroStrategy 8, the platform is designed to extend its capabilities to more enterprise users while lessening the demand on IT shops, said Sanju Bansal, chief operating officer at McLean, Va.-based MicroStrategy.

The new version can provide a rough report that “users can tune to their exact needs” if they know how to use programs like Microsoft PowerPoint or Excel, Bansal said.

A new Web interface allows end users to design and refine their own reports over the Web, he added. Also new in Version 8 is support for joining data from data warehouses, data marts, operational systems and an SAP data warehouse into a single document, he added.

With MicroStrategy 8, more than 700 state government users in Tennessee will have increased flexibility for their data analysis, said Sherrie Benn, a business intelligence consultant in the state’s Office of Information Resources. Benn’s operation is a beta-test site for the software.

Using Version 7.5.3, Tennessee financial and human services department personnel can access only a PDF version of reports, said Benn. With the new version, “they won’t have to depend on anyone else for their reports,” she said.

Tying together reporting and analysis in one interface can provide significant benefits to users, said Dan Vesset, an analyst at IDC. “If you want to customize a report, you can do it in the same interface. You don’t have to open a new development interface,” Vesset said.

While the new version does allow users to pull data from SAP AG’s Business Warehouse, MicroStrategy should consider integrating its tools with other OLAP sources, such as Microsoft Analysis Services, Vesset added.

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