Microstrategy targets Excel users with Cloud Personal BI

'Cloud Personal' is aimed at business users who want more than Excel

Microstrategy is hoping to get its BI (business intelligence) software in front of people looking to get more out of Microsoft Excel with a new service, Cloud Personal, that is being offered at no charge.

In public beta as of Wednesday, Cloud Personal allows users to send their data to Microstrategy's data center, run it through a series of visualization tools and then share the results with others through email or social networking sites, according to a statement.

It works with Microsoft Excel files that are organized in tabular format and have only one row of headers. "At this time, we do not support crosstab data or files in other formats," Microstrategy said in a FAQ document.

Cloud Personal can also work with public data sets, such as those found on government websites like Data.gov, Microstrategy said.

A security framework gives users the ability to decide who is able to see the reports. Users can also revoke the right of particular individuals to see dashboards at any time.

The service runs entirely in a browser, with no need for a local install, but Flash is required. Apple iPad users can access the dashboards with a mobile application available at no charge.

Microstrategy wants users to submit "their most insightful visualizations" to a website for use by anyone. Some 20 sample dashboards are already available there.

Cloud Personal takes a cue from companies like Tableau, which has offered a free version of its data-visualization tools for some time. Along with raising awareness of a vendor's products, the general thinking with such services is that users will get hooked on the functionality, leading their companies to license a paid edition.

The service is also Microstrategy's latest move in the direction of "self-service" BI, or tools that business users can adopt without the help of IT staff.

Chris Kanaracus covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Chris's e-mail address is Chris_Kanaracus@idg.com

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags TableauInternet-based applications and servicesapplicationsMicroStrategysoftwareinternetcloud computingbusiness intelligenceanalytics

Struggling for Christmas presents this year? Check out our Christmas Gift Guide for some top tech suggestions and more.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Chris Kanaracus

IDG News Service

Most Popular Reviews

Follow Us

Best Deals on GoodGearGuide

Shopping.com

Latest News Articles

Resources

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Latest Jobs

Shopping.com

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?