What is Microstrategy and How to Design Dashboard

What is Microstrategy and How to Design Dashboard

What Is Microstrategy?

Microstrategy is an enterprise business intelligence (BI) application software. Microstrategy platform allows us to create dashboards, reports, documents, and ad hoc reports. Microstrategy’s automated report distribution service enables you to distribute reports and dashboard automatically. Microstrategy Interfaces include web, desktop (for developers) and Microsoft Office integration and Microstrategy Mobile supports mobile BI.

Microstrategy is based on ROLAP architecture and a user can drill down in entire relational database. Microstrategy maintains only a single cluster of metadata for consistency and easier maintenance and uses Intelligent Cubes (or I-Cubes) to get all the data using OLAP architecture in one go and then uses that data to create different metrics, attributes, filters, transformations, custom groups, and consolidations. You are also able to use the same data for your reports.

Microstrategy provides a software developer kit (SDK) which allows us to customize the application.

What is Dashboard?

A dashboard is an interactive display that allows you to explore business data visually and showcase it if needed. You can add multiple graphs and grids on a dashboard to make the data easier to interpret. Dashboards can contain multiple tabs to represent relevant information, which in turn helps the user to visualize data, hence increasing the understandability of the data. Using Microstrategy’s pre-defined, presentation-quality formatting and visualization capabilities, you can quickly and easily create a dashboard without spending a lot of time on it.

You can use Excel spreadsheet, text, or CSV file or database information that you want to import – a topic to be discussed in detail later.

How to create a Dashboard from Scratch?

Here we will discuss how to create a dashboard ground up. The snapshots and GIF images attached here will guide you every step of the way in creating a robust Microstrategy dashboard.

Step 1: Create Dashboard

When you open the MSTR web app, you would be able to see “CREATE” on the left side of the page. Click on it and then press “New Document”. As a MSTR pops up and inquires about the template, select the one appeals to you the most for your dashboard design.

Step 2: Select Dashboard Template

Microstrategy provides multiple templates for Dashboard and document creation, if you need to create a Dashboard from the scratch, you will need to select the “Blank Dashboard” template.

Default Look of Blank Template

When you select a blank dashboard, you will see a padlock sign at the corner of the dashboard. By default, it will not allow you to insert any graph, textbox or anything else. To unlock the default panel stack on the dashboard you will first need to unlock it from “Options”.

Step 3: Unlock Dashboard for Design

After right clicking on the padlock you can find the correct pop up menu and from this menu you need to select Properties and Formatting (which is the last option). From the “properties” window unchecked the locked check box and press “Ok”. Now the dashboard is unlocked and you can insert any graph, metric, label or anything else on Dashboard.

What is Dashboard Properties window

Dashboard properties window is used to format the dashboard. There you can see multiple options available in this properties window. Following is the list of options provided in it:

  • General
  • Layout
  • Advanced
  • Color and Line
  • Effects

Every tab has its own multiple options to format the dashboard with.

Change Dashboard Back ground Color.

Select “Color and Lines” option from properties window to change the background color for the Main panel. You need to use different colors for the Main panel and for all other panel, because after the dashboard’s completion or during any stage of dashboard design you may need to modify a specific panel. Representing them with different colors makes it easier to differentiate the panels.

Rana Rumeel Khan's picture
Senior Software Engineer at Systems Limited with Over 5 years of experience in Core Application and Database Development, Rana Rumeel Khan is based in Lahore and is a regular contributor of the Systems Limited Blog.

Disclaimer: The views expressed here are solely those of the author in his private capacity and do not in any way represent the views of Systems Limited, or any other entity related to Systems Limited.


Gulnaz Iftikhar's picture
Submitted by Gulnaz Iftikhar on Mon, 01/11/2016 - 15:37

Good sharing. keep it up.
Rizwan Shoaib's picture
Submitted by Rizwan Shoaib on Tue, 01/12/2016 - 02:36

Great work. Keep it up. . .
Aamir Nakhwa's picture
Submitted by Aamir Nakhwa on Tue, 01/12/2016 - 12:41

Like to know how we integrate it with our web application...
Faheem Ahmad's picture
Submitted by Faheem Ahmad on Tue, 01/12/2016 - 15:41

Nice work Rumeel , keep on posting.
Arif Zia's picture
Submitted by Arif Zia on Wed, 01/13/2016 - 08:58

Good going Rumeel... it's the next step in IT
Zafar Hakeem's picture
Submitted by Zafar Hakeem on Wed, 01/20/2016 - 00:51

Good Work Rumeel . Keep it up .

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