Partner Sales Training At MicroStrategy HQ

MSTR_HeadqtrsJust before Halloween I had the opportunity to travel down to Tysons Corner, Virginia and attend the Partner Sales Academy at MicroStrategy headquarters. As a MicroStrategy Partner, we not only have the opportunity to promote and work with a best in class BI tool, we also get to participate in awesome partner events. In the past year I have been to MicroStrategy World in Vegas (their biggest conference of the year), Meet-ups in Toronto, a free Introductory to Business Analytics class and recently the trip to headquarters.

The three-day event was lead by various MicroStrategy professionals at all levels and discussion topics included everything from sales positioning on products to interactive discussions with execs. Our group was small. There were only six partners, so our conversations were very interactive. Still being a young pup in the business world, I definitely had a few sweaty hand moments.

The workshop was geared towards sales people. We heard the most up to date information and product positioning. MicroStrategy is known for their leadership in Mobile Analytics, Big Data, Cloud Services and their enterprise security platform; Usher. Usher is a really exciting new technology I got to see in action. There are many use cases for Usher, but the easiest way to explain it is it replaces the need for passwords and access cards. MicroStrategy employees simply walk up to the device reader, hold up their phone and the door opens. Through encrypted, time sensitive, mobile badges, they have taken the meaning of ID cards and passwords to a new level.

Governed data discovery was also a topic of emphasis. Organizations are finding more and more that IT simply doesn’t have the time to create reports and dashboards in a timely manner when the business needs them. In some cases, business users will then go and make their own, unsure if the data sources they are using are even valid. The big kicker here is, you can’t run a business off the wrong data. With everyone creating their own reports, it becomes unclear which data is valid and not. A big challenge here is the business will start to assume their numbers are correct.  When those numbers are scrutinized they are sometimes incorrect, but the burden of proof rests with the governance groups to establish which numbers are correct.

MicroStrategy is providing ways for the business and IT to work together and make sure employees are consuming one version of the truth. Tools like Visual Insight allow business users to drag and drop metrics and attributes that have been validated and published allowing them to create their own reports on the fly. Once the data has been published, it sits in MicroStrategy’s Metadata layer where the business can access that data at anytime while having confidence that it’s valid.

If you have not tried self-service data discovery, try out MicroStrategy Analytics Desktop (MAD) – it’s free. Building reports in MAD is a great way to demo MicroStrategy’s extensive functionality. Anything you build there seamlessly scales into an enterprise solution. Watch for Governed Data Discovery to emerge as a critical category when rating BI systems in 2015.

My time spent in Tyson’s Corner was well worth the visit. Looking forward to MicroStrategy World 2015!

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