MicroStrategy Interview Questions

MicroStrategy Interview Questions

Q. Explain what is Microstrategy?

Microstrategy is an enterprise business intelligence application software vendor.  It supports scorecards, interactive dashboards, ad hoc query, high formatted reports, etc.

Q. Mention what specific features and functionality do you get with OLAP services?

With OLAP services users can create a unique report views by removing or adding attributes and metrics contained within the intelligent cube. Without submitting a new request to the data warehouse, the new calculation is performed.

Q. Explain how intelligent cubes are different from ordinary cubes?

Intelligent cubes are generated automatically when a new report is run against the data warehouse. Users don’t have to mention the cube to which they want to connect. Within the Microstrategy platform, the logic to match user requests with the proper intelligent cube is automatically handled. Subsequently the requests made by other users can seamlessly hit this new intelligent cube.

Q. List out the end user products that delivers OLAP Services?

End user product that delivers OLAP services includes

  • Microstrategy Web
  • Microstrategy Desktop
  • Microstrategy Office

They all leverage the functionality enabled by OLAP services

Q. Explain what is the difference between the Report filter and Report limit?

  • Report limit: It determines a set of criteria used to restrict or limit the data returned in the report data set after the report metrics are calculated
  • Report Filter: It applies the where condition to the query sent to the warehouse to retrieve the results

Q. Explain what is Logical view in Microstrategy?

In Microstrategy, logical view is a table that you create by writing the SQL in Microstrategy instead of pulling it out from warehouse catalog.

Q. Explain what is Smart Metrics in Microstrategy?

Smart metric is referred when a compound metric is defined with other metric objects using arithmetic operations like sum M1/M2.

For example: Simple or Compound Metrics Total (profits/unit sold) Smart Metrics: Total (profit)/ Total (sold)

Q. Mention what types of testing can be carried out over the Microstrategy reports?

Microstrategy can carry out test like

  • Naming convention tests
  • Total calculations test
  • SQL query validations
  • Attribute and metric positions in the report
  • Drilling options tests
  • Prompts related verifications
  • Security filter tests
  • Formatting/export functionality tests
  • Threshold testing

Q. Explain what is Microstrategy Narrowcast server?

Microstrategy Narrowcast Server is a software product which monitors and delivers individualized information to users through e-mails, web portals and wireless devices like pagers, PDAs, and phones. Users determine what information they want, when and how they want to receive it, through an easy to use web page.

Q. Explain what are the advantages of dataset compared to file-set?

File set consists of total tables and information while data-set consists of attributes, metrics of a particular report only.

Q. Explain what security does Microstrategy provides?

Microstrategy provides many security options to make sure that data is kept private and confidential.  To make easy access and minimum maintenance, Microstrategy desktop synchronize with Windows NT and 2000 security and with Novell directory.  Due to that users who have logged into these systems does not have to log on again.

Q. Mention what is the difference between Schema object and Public object?

Schema objects are availed to create Application objects like Attributes, functions & operators, Hierarchies, Tables, etc. While, Public objects are used to create other application objects like Filters, Metrics, Consolidations, etc.  Using architect permission schema object can be created while public object can be created by using a schema object only.

Q. Explain what is Listeners?

Listeners allows us to view the result of samplers in the form of trees, graphs, tables or simple text in some log files.  They offer visual access to the data collected by JMeter about the test cases as a sampler component of JMeter is executed.

Q. Explain how you can resolve attribute roles?

By creating separate table alias for the same or enabling the automatic attribute role recognition, you can resolve the attribute roles.

Q. Mention what does the predictive modeling capabilities does Microstrategy provides?

Microstrategy can calculate four of the primary data mining functions including network algorithm, regression algorithm, clustering algorithm and tree algorithm.

Q. Explain how you can direct the SQL generated to use a specific table?

We can use alias name of that table and alter the logical size of that alias table dnt then modifies main table and use the alias table.

Q. Explain how you can insert and update a record in the database through Microstrategy?

You can insert and update or even a delete a record by using one of the components of Microstrategy known as an ODBC test tool.  You can also alter table specification as per your need.

Q. Mention what is the difference between Microstrategy and Cognos?

                           Microstrategy                                  Cognos
·       Microstrategy is based on single meta-data repository·       Microstrategy can be operated as web based and a desktop tool

·       There is no cube data-set for Microstrategy, and we obtain latest data-set from data-warehouse automatically

·       Microstrategy reporting is fast

·        Cognos has two meta-data repository based database·       It can be used as web-base reporting tools

·       Cognos has a cube dataset which needs to be refreshed in order to get current repository values before reporting

·       Compare to Microstrategy, Cognos reporting is slow


Q. Explain how you can create the intelligent cubes in Microstrategy?

  • Intelligent cubes can be made in Microstrategy in the public folder or a particular user folder
  • We can make a report and point the report to a cube or right click in a folder and select the cube option to make a new cube
  • Once the cube is created, select the report objects which is required and save the cube
  • Once the cube is stored and ran to check, one can create multiple reports out of a cube
  • You can also add new attributes and metrics, whenever necessary, and those will be readily available when you run the reports next time

Q. Explain how you can optimize a report in Microstrategy?

VLDB properties enable you to customize the SQL that Microstrategy produces, and determine how data is processed by the Analytical engine.

Q. What specific features and functionality do I get with OLAP Services?

With OLAP Services Microstrategy Web, Desktop and Office users can:

Create unique report views based off an Intelligent Cube.

With OLAP Services, users can create unique report views by adding or removing attributes and metrics contained within the Intelligent Cube. This allows speed-of-thought report creation and modification with no need to extract data from the data warehouse.

Create new on-the-fly metric calculations from existing metrics in an Intelligent Cube.

The new calculation is performed without submitting a new request to the data warehouse.

Filter their view of the data within an Intelligent Cube.

The filtering will be performed on Microstrategy Intelligence Server within the Intelligent Cube.

Q. How are Intelligent Cubes different from ordinary cubes?

Intelligent Cubes are created automatically when a new report is run against the data warehouse. Subsequent requests by other users can seamlessly hit this new Intelligent Cube. The logic to match user requests with the appropriate Intelligent Cube is automatically handled within the Microstrategy platform. Users don’t have to specify the cube to which they want to connect.

Q. Benefits of Intelligent Cubes include?

Greater Efficiency – Intelligent Cubes are automatically generated and shared among all users whenever a report is executed by a user or pre-cached by the administrator or a user.

Easy to Use – Intelligent Cubes can be designed by mainstream BI users, using the same interface and the same operations as are used with basic OLAP analysis.

More Scalable Cubes – Intelligent Cubes do not need massive pre-calculations or pre-aggregations. The mid-tier Intelligence Server can do these calculations on-the-fly as the cubes are being used.

Increased Manageability and Reliability – Intelligent Cubes can be configured to expire or refresh automatically whenever underlying data or definitions change.

Increased Power for End-Users – Users can seamlessly drill through to the full depth of the data warehouse, or slice and dice with speed-of-thought response time within the Intelligent Cube.

Q. What end user products leverage OLAP Services?

Microstrategy Web (Analyst and Professional versions), Microstrategy Desktop (Analyst and Designer versions) and Microstrategy Office all leverage the functionality enabled by OLAP Services.

Q. What does an end-user need to do to take advantage of this?

The usage of OLAP Services is transparent to end-users. Users do not need to know the name and location of an Intelligent Cube, or even if it exists. OLAP Services works with Microstrategy Intelligence Server to automatically use the appropriate Intelligent Cube or create a new one to satisfy the end user request.

Q. How is security handled?

Intelligent Cubes used by OLAP Services automatically inherit all of the security provisions of every report object used within the Intelligent Cube, and those provisions are dynamically applied to each user’s security profile when the cube is accessed. If a user only has privileges to use four of the five metrics contained in an Intelligent Cube, that restriction will automatically and seamlessly apply when the user accesses the Intelligent Cube. The user will still have access to the Intelligent Cube for the four metrics he or she has privileges to use.

Q. Can I access Intelligent Cubes without OLAP Services?

Yes, with the appropriate version of Microstrategy Web or Desktop, certain functions leverage the Intelligent Cubes. These functions include: report formatting down to cell level, column aliasing, drilling, pivoting, page-by, adding metric thresholds, adding subtotals, ranking and sorting. Please see the Web and Desktop version comparisons to determine exactly which Web or Desktop version includes the desired functionality.

Q. Is OLAP Services sold as a separate product?

Yes, OLAP Services is sold as a separate product that is installed with Microstrategy Intelligence Server. It is licensed either on a per-user or per-CPU basis.

Q. What is Microstrategy Narrowcast Server?

Microstrategy Narrowcast Server is a software product that monitors and delivers individualized information to users via email, web portals, and wireless devices such as PDAs, pagers, and phones. Through a easy-to-use web page, users specify what information they want, when and how they want to receive it.

Q. What are the business benefits of Microstrategy Narrowcast Server?

Microstrategy Narrowcast Server provides an easy and inexpensive way to send corporate information to untrained employees, partners, and customers. As a result, decision-makers have the information they need to maximize revenue generation and streamline business processes that cut operating costs.

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