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What Microstrategy Developers need to know about NoSQL

Adoption of enterprise-caliber NoSQL databases such as MongoDB or Cassandra is growing across more organizations. At the same time, business sponsors are turning to one-off BI and analytics solutions, further fragmenting enterprise reporting capabilities and creating silos. Learn how organizations are using NoSQL connectivity with Microstrategy to demonstrate thought leadership and take back control of BI and analytics. We'll talk about common challenges and gotchas that shops are facing when attempting to consume semi-structured NoSQL data with Microstrategy.

On May 20th, we presented a joint MicroStrategy-Progress DataDirect webinar on NoSQL databases. If you missed this session, check out the full-length recording here and abstract below:

“Adoption of enterprise-caliber NoSQL databases such as MongoDB or Cassandra is growing across more organizations. At the same time, business sponsors are turning to one-off BI and analytics solutions, further fragmenting enterprise reporting capabilities and creating silos. Learn how organizations are using NoSQL connectivity with Microstrategy to demonstrate thought leadership and take back control of BI and analytics. We'll talk about common challenges and gotchas that shops are facing when attempting to consume semi-structured NoSQL data with Microstrategy.”

Top 3 takeaways for webinar attendees:

  • Attendees are now thought leaders on new database technologies, such as NoSQL, and empowered to communicate what data sources they can support to clients.
  • Attendees are better prepared to deliver on future requirements across reporting, analytics, and data visualization.
  • Attendees have an understanding of practical lessons learned when consuming NoSQL data with Microstrategy Analytics.

Top 3 favorite data features in MSTR Analytics 10 (beta):

  • Support for new data sources including MongoDB, Cassandra and SaaS sources across Marketo, Eloqua, Hubspot, Oracle Service Cloud, and Google Analytics (via DataDirect Cloud)
  • Support for both Mac and Windows in MicroStrategy Desktop
  • Easy to use with powerful visualizations

Most common questions from the Q&A:

  • Will we expect NoSQL data sources for enterprise reporting?

    While data visualization and exploration are common use cases for MongoDB, we are seeing several NoSQL applications that have enterprise reporting requirements.  These systems handle business critical data across applications such as network security, fraud detection, call centers, master data management, and order management.

  • Can Microstrategy connect to MongoDB in AWS?

    You will need to configure the database servers to accept TCP/IP connections from Microstrategy or consider the DataDirect Cloud connection which enables firewall-friendly connectivity over HTTPS.

  • Is it possible to flatten the data for an EDW instead of normalization in MongoDB data model?

    It is always possible to flatten the data (which is what many users complained about with the Simba drivers), but this means you will lose data fidelity, making it difficult to report against (illustrated by the data modeling nightmare in screenshot below).  For example, how do you count total current reporting databases across dozens of columns?

It is recommended to leverage the unique normalization capabilities in the Microstrategy/DataDirect connection to treat MongoDB as any other data source and either connect directly or integrate the data into a mart or warehouse.

Summary of Demo

This was done with Microstrategy Desktop 10 (Beta) which includes several new and exciting data sources out of the box, including MongoDB and Cassandra, and can run either on Windows or Mac.

Below is an example of one of several thousand MongoDB documents used for the demo with a varying number of colleagues, with current versus future reporting database preferences:

{

        "_id" : "5537f1a41867375916706e8d",

        "index" : 592,

        "guid" : "5b6ceafb-3743-42ef-a0a1-f815ed9cadad",

        "isActive" : true,

        "balance" : "$3,825.13",

        "picture" : "http://placehold.it/32x32",

        "age" : 20,

        "eyeColor" : "brown",

        "name" : "Stacie Lang",

        "gender" : "female",

        "company" : "ISOTRONIC",

        "email" : "stacielang@isotronic.com",

        "phone" : "+1 (983) 590-3177",

        "address" : "578 Bryant Street, Lowgap, Colorado, 6814",

        "about" : "Veniam consequat adipisicing do minim pariatur laborum sunt l

aboris officia ad fugiat voluptate cupidatat. Consectetur nulla veniam irure des

erunt duis in do. Eiusmod aliquip exercitation do est laboris est id Lorem non c

upidatat occaecat cillum Lorem. Cupidatat laborum labore reprehenderit irure qui

s aliqua quis adipisicing sit veniam incididunt dolor exercitation culpa. Culpa

ex enim occaecat mollit laborum proident nisi sit mollit ex nisi minim ea dolor.

\r\n",

        "registered" : "2015-04-04T22:29:02 +04:00",

        "latitude" : -11.711396,

        "longitude" : -118.650697,

        "tags" : [

                "Lorem",

                "fugiat",

                "ex",

                "ullamco",

                "excepteur",

                "laboris",

                "laboris"

        ],

        "colleagues" : [

                {

                        "id" : 0,

                        "name" : "Alexandria Finley",

                        "reportingDBs" : [

                                {

                                        "Current" : [

                                                "MySQL",

                                                "Microsoft Access"

                                        ],

                                        "Next" : "SQL Server"

                                }

                        ]

                },

                {

                        "id" : 1,

                        "name" : "Alyce Sweeney",

                        "reportingDBs" : [

                                {

                                        "Current" : [

                                                "SQL Server"

                                        ],

                                        "Next" : "PostgreSQL"

                                }

                        ]

                },

                {

                        "id" : 2,

                        "name" : "Hamilton Mercer",

                        "reportingDBs" : [

                                {

                                        "Current" : [

                                                "PostgreSQL"

                                        ],

                                        "Next" : "Oracle"

                                }

                        ]

                },

                {

                        "id" : 3,

                        "name" : "Harrington Meyer",

                        "reportingDBs" : [

                                {

                                        "Current" : [

                                                "Redis",

                                                "Oracle",

                                                "Redis"

                                        ],

                                        "Next" : "MongoDB"

                                }

                        ]

                }

        ],

        "greeting" : "Hello, Stacie Lang! You have 7 unread messages."

}

  

Here’s a visualization using the DataDirect MongoDB ODBC driver bundled with MSTR 10 that exposes the semi-structured data above into a normalized logical data model for reliable reporting.  The heat map shows fictional data on what reporting databases for Microstrategy are popular today versus tomorrow and sorted by gender.

Answers from the live poll during webinar (275 registrants)

About the author:
Sumit Sarkar, Chief Data Evangelist
Progress DataDirect
@SAsInSumit
www.linkedin.com/in/meetsumit
About Progress DataDirect:
Industry leader in data connectivity and technology partner for Microstrategy Analytics (https://www.progress.com/customers/microstrategy). Proud participant in the Microstrategy 10 Beta program with focus on data connectivity.

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