A popular platform-as-a-service (PaaS) business intelligence provider now offers a free software-as-a-service (SaaS) version for personal use. Called Cloud Personal, the SaaS lets individual users access MicroStrategy's business analytics suite before committing their company to its PaaS.
Business intelligence helps make sense of the glut of information streaming into enterprises, providing visualizations that help executives pinpoint relevant trends. MicroStrategy's platform as a service (PaaS) provides these services to its enterprise customers, but a new software-as-a-service (SaaS) version called Cloud Personal gives individual users free access to the company's business analytics.
"Cloud Personal combines data discovery, mobile business intelligence and social data sharing," said Kevin Spurway, vice president of cloud intelligence at MicroStrategy. "It's a 100 percent self-service environment running on our cloud."
MicroStrategy's free SaaS version of its business intelligence apps called Cloud Personal gives users the ability to produce visualizations like this graphic illustrating aircraft schedule tardiness.
MicroStrategy's main business is its PaaS, which installs on an enterprise's own server to provide its users with access to business intelligence and analytical tools. Cloud Personal SaaS offers a free subset of those capabilities to users who can bring their own data or can use a set of public data sets to evaluate its capabilities. Cloud Personal provides both analytics and a rich set of visualization tools that can be used to populate interactive dashboards for posting on a blog, Facebook or Twitter, or to share with mobile users of MicroStrategy Mobile apps for iOS devices.
Cloud Personal eliminates the need for IT to process many business intelligence tasks that users can now perform themselves, according to MicroStrategy. Users merely upload their data sets to the MicroStrategy Cloud platform, where its Visual Insight algorithms are triggered to analyze and then visualize results that uncover trends. Users can then construct dashboards to present their results using visualizations that can then be shared with colleagues.
MicroStrategy claims the user-configured analytics and visualization capabilities of its Visual Insight engine can match the results obtained by trained analysts using specialized software tools. Users can view results from any browser, or by using MicroStrategy's Mobile apps for iPhone and iPad.
For users who want to kick the tires before uploading their own data, public data sets from the Data.gov, The World Bank and the National Center for Education Statistics are already preloaded into MicroStrategy's Cloud platform. Users can also view the results already obtained by other users in the MicroStrategy Cloud Personal Gallery, where each month's best dashboard receives a prize, and where MicroStrategy's own 20 example dashboards can also be viewed.