Microstrategy interview questions & material

1. What is MicroStrategy Intelligence Server?

Ans : MicroStrategy Intelligence Server is the industry's most advanced, secure and scalable business intelligence server.

2. What does MicroStrategy Intelligence Server allow users to do?

Ans : MicroStrategy Intelligence Server provides reporting and OLAP analysis for the whole enterprise. All business users can obtain scorecards and dashboards, operational reports, queries and OLAP and predictive analyses without learning any programming or database syntax.

3. What are the benefits of using MicroStrategy Intelligence Server?

Ans : MicroStrategy Intelligence Server provides one centralzed architecture for all users' monitoring, reporting and analysis requirements. MicroStrategy Intelligence Server also provides scalability to analyze any amount of data, support for any number of users and a 24 X 7 operating environment, with robust security.

4. Does MicroStrategy Intelligence Server run on Windows®, UNIX®, or Linux®?

Ans :MicroStrategy Intelligence Server is certified on Windows, UNIX, and Linux operating systems. MicroStrategy Intelligence Server has been designed to be a completely open architecture built on industry standards and compiled to run on multiple operating systems.

5. How do you ensure simultaneous releases across multiple operating systems?

Ans : MicroStrategy Intelligence Server is engineered to be platform-independent on a single code base and is simply compiled appropriately for each certified operating system. As a result, MicroStrategy can release Intelligence Server on all certified operating systems at the same time with the same features.

6. Does MicroStrategy Intelligence Server run on 32-bit and 64-bit systems?

Ans : Yes. MicroStrategy Intelligence Server provides an industry first -- a common code base architecture for all supported 32- and 64-bit operating systems. This single code base ensures that the latest functionality is always available on all these operating systems at the same time.

7. What are the advantages of running a BI server on a 64-bit operating system?

Ans : A BI application can access much greater memory resources when running on a 64-bit systems than it could on a 32-bit system. More addressable memory results in more BI applications, more sophisticated applications, more reports, larger reports, better performance and more users -- all with fewer servers. Organizations can combine MicroStrategy's industry leading scalability with the advantages of 64-bit UNIX to deploy the richest BI applications, with the highest performance and the most users.

8. Do users need to learn any programming languages or database syntax to run business queries?

Ans : No, business users can run any query without learning any programming languages or database syntax. MicroStrategy Intelligence Server automatically and appropriately processes all business questions by accessing a report cache or Intelligent Cube, or by generating dynamic SQL or MDX that is optimized to each data source platform.

9. Can I deploy a single BI application in multiple languages?

Ans : Yes. Every component of a BI application can be translated and presented in multiple languages, including all MicroStrategy user interfaces, metadata objects such as the names of reports and documents, and data within a data warehouse.

10. Can I access multiple data sources transparently from a single data model?

Ans : Yes. MicroStrategy MultiSource Option is a new and fully integrated add-on component of MicroStrategy Intelligence Server. It allows users to seamlessly report, analyze, and monitor data across multiple sources through a single business model.

11. What is a cache?

Ans : A cache contains the properties and data of a report once a report has been run. Caches can be stored in memory and/or on disk. When users ask for a report that is cached, the Intelligence Server will retrieve the data from disk or memory instead of running a query on the data source. Cache creation and usage securely leverages other users' work, increases query performance and reduces the workload on the data warehouse.

12. What are Intelligent Cubes?

Ans : Intelligent Cubes are in-memory caches stored by the Intelligence Server. While accessing an Intelligent Cube, users can easily add or remove report objects (such as attributes and metrics), add new metric calculations and filter their view of the data -- all in an ad hoc fashion with speed-of-thought response times. Data stored outside an Intelligent Cube is automatically accessed using the ROLAP engine when drilling to more details.

13. Can MicroStrategy Intelligence Server access any amount of data?

Ans : Yes. MicroStrategy Intelligence Server can scale to any amount of data by leveraging your database's strengths. Using Very Large Database (VLDB) drivers, MicroStrategy Intelligence Server automatically tunes its operations to leverage the unique strengths of your database software and hardware.

14. Can MicroStrategy Intelligence Server scale easily and cost effectively based on my growing needs?

Ans : Yes. MicroStrategy Intelligence Server provides out-of-the-box clustering capabilities that allow corporations to leverage their initial investments and gradually scale as more users and data are added to the system, or when different styles of BI are required.

15. Can my users perform on-demand analysis without any downtime?

Ans : Yes. MicroStrategy Intelligence Server provides complete fault tolerance and fail-over support to maximize the uptime of your application.

16. Will my users get the performance they need?

Ans : Yes. MicroStrategy Intelligence Server maximizes system performance at all layers of your system. Intelligence Server:
  •  Leverages the unique strengths of each database software and hardware using VLDB 
  •  Uses four levels of report and dataset caching to optimize performance for documents, 
  •  Increases analytic performance with its Intelligent Cubes. Users or administrators can 
  •  Minimizes network traffic by sending users only the result sets they want to view.

17. What types of analysis does MicroStrategy Intelligence Server support?

Ans : MicroStrategy Intelligence Server users can easily perform simple to sophisticated analysis such as basic performance indicators, market basket, churn, retention and decile analysis. Users can make use of a complete library of statistical, mathematical, financial and OLAP functions. Other types of analysis include hypothesis testing, regressions, neural networks, decision tress, clustering and bond calculations.

18. Can I use my homegrown functions or integrate with existing third-party statistical and data mining software?

Ans : Yes. MicroStrategy Intelligence Server allows enterprises to integrate their homegrown functions as well as third-party software using an advanced plug-and-play architecture. Predictive Models created by third-party data mining software can also be imported using PMML(Predictive Markup Language).

19. What type of security does MicroStrategy Intelligence Server provide?

Ans : MicroStrategy Intelligence Server provides a highly robust security model at four different layers in your system: drivers.reports, analyses and prompt lists.schedule creation or refreshing of Intelligent Cubes during low usage time periods.
  •  User level - Login and ID authentication ensure users have authorization to access the MicroStrategy system.
  •  Application level - Access control lists and user privileges ensure proper access to MicroStrategy objects and functionality.
  •  Data transmission level - Encryption and dual firewall configuration ensure safe transmission of data
  •  Data level - Security filters ensure users access only the data they have authorization to view
20.  Can users access MicroStrategy Intelligence Server using LDAP, data source or Windows authentication?

Ans : Yes. MicroStrategy Intelligence Server integrates with LDAP and Windows security systems. Users will only need to login with their LDAP or Windows login to access MicroStrategy projects through Intelligence Server.

21. Can my administrator easily maintain and manage MicroStrategy Intelligence Server?

Ans : Yes. MicroStrategy Intelligence Server's centralized architecture provides one console from which all maintenance and administration can be performed. In addition, a standardized data dictionary for enterprise reporting and OLAP analysis is stored in a metadata repository and enables reusable reporting objects and business rules.

22. Does MicroStrategy have Windows- or UNIX-based administration tools?

Ans : MicroStrategy has both Windows- and UNIX-based administration tools. UNIX and Linux administration is provided through a Java-based Control Center. Both the Windows administration tools and the Java-based Control Center provide local or remote administration and monitoring of all Intelligence Servers in the BI implementations.

23. What are the supported languages for MicroStrategy Intelligence Server?

Ans : MicroStrategy Intelligence Server is available in English (US and UK), French, German, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese (Brazilian), Swedish, Chinese (Simplified and Traditional), Korean and Japanese.

24. Does MicroStrategy Intelligence Server integrate with other system management software?

Ans : Yes. MicroStrategy Intelligence Server integrates with other system management software. In fact, all inner statistics of Intelligence Server are published to Performance Monitor and diagnostic logs. As a result, third-party system management software such as IBM® Tivoli® or CA's Unicenter® can remotely monitor these statistics.

25. Does MicroStrategy Intelligence Server support scheduling? 

Ans : Yes, MicroStrategy Intelligence Server supports time-based and event-based schedules. These schedules automatically trigger report execution and place a notification message in the user's History folder upon completion.

26. Why is MicroStrategy Intelligence Server better than competitor's products?

Ans : MicroStrategy Intelligence Server wins over its competitors because it solves all issues that corporations face when implementing a query, reporting and analysis solution. MicroStrategy Intelligence Server provides the solutions required for a successful enterprise business intelligence system: full range of analysis, support for any number of users, support for any amount of data, iron-clad security, world-class reliability, easy administration and maintenance, and high performance.

27. How long does it take to deploy MicroStrategy Intelligence Server?

Ans : MicroStrategy Intelligence Server installs in minutes and automatically presents a configuration wizard to connect to the database. Within an hour, the installation and setup can be completed.

28. Can Intelligence Server integrate with my existing data structure?

Ans : Yes. MicroStrategy Intelligence Server easily integrates with your existing data structure with its support for the major types of schemas like Star, Snowflake, Hybrid, Denormalized, Normalized and Aggregated Schema. MicroStrategy Intelligence Server also integrates with SAP® BW InfoCubes and QueryCubes.

29. How does Intelligence Server integrate with the rest of the MicroStrategy platform?

Ans : MicroStrategy Intelligence Server is the analytical server that processes all requests from all MicroStrategy end users. Intelligence Server is the central product that links all MicroStrategy components to the data warehouse.

30. What data sources does MicroStrategy Intelligence Server support?

Ans : MicroStrategy Intelligence Server can access data in all major databases including Oracle®, IBM DB2®, Microsoft® SQL Server, Microsoft Access®, Microsoft Excel®, Teradata®, Sybase®, Red Brick®, Informix®, HP NeoView, HP NonStop SQL/MP, Netezza®, MySQL, PostgreSQL, Greenplum, Kognito, Vertica, Aster nCluster, text files, and other ANSI-92 compatible relational databases. It can also access multidimensional data sources such as SAP BW, Hyperion Essbase, and Microsoft Analysis Services. Additionally, Intelligence Server can access data from EII sources including Composite, Oracle Transparent Gateways, IBM WebSphere Information Integrator, and MetaMatrix.
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