European Space Agency sees out of this world potential in MicroStrategy BI tool

By Danny Palmer
09 Jul 2014 View Comments

The European Space Agency (ESA) has dramatically improved its reporting on procurement through the use of MicroStrategy's business intelligence tools and the organisation is so impressed with the results, it could use the solution to analyse scientific data from space missions.

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That's what Salim Ansari, head of technical IT services at ESA, told Computing during an interview at the MicroStrategy World 2014 conference in Barcelona, Spain.

Ansari explained how MicroStrategy benefits the ESA, which he described as operating in a way which sees "each programme as kind of a standalone silo with its own organisation and structure" by allowing the IT department to simplify covering requests from the various sectors. Ansari described how MicroStrategy enables the management of data from many platforms but with the minimum amount of effort required.

"One of the most important factors is that MicroStrategy is a multiplatform business intelligence and business analytics tool that allows us – without having to change much in the different systems we use internally – to be able to pull the information together from various sources to better manage our service-level agreements with our internal customers," he said.

Ansari told Computing that the ESA has been using MicroStrategy for about two years, with the organisation deciding to opt for the Virginia-headquartered vendor following a rigorous tendering process.

"In this particular case we ran an evaluation on various tools that were on the market and tried to figure which was the most extensive in terms of functionality and in terms of producing the flexible reports that we need. Those were the driving factors for having chosen MicroStrategy as a viable tool upon which we could build our reporting capabilities," he said.

The adoption of MicroStrategy, Ansari explained, has benefitted the ESA by enabling it to easily extract and analyse data from various sources.

"The main benefit is being able to very quickly pull information from things such as Excel, Oracle databases and SAP, independently without it actually touching those systems.

"Basically, analysing logs, analysing the data we get from those systems, seamlessly pulling all those together, producing reports and keeping them up to date over a longer period of time," he said, before going on to describe the MicroStrategy platform as "one of the most sophisticated I've seen implemented on the web."

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