MicroStrategy customers have many choices for their mapping solution, but it is critical to choose the solution that best fits your requirements both now and in the future. Many factors come into play such as: Training, Cost, Maintenance, Hardware, Flexibility and Ability to Deliver a Solution. Over the last 10 years of specializing in Maps for MicroStrategy, Visual Crossing has put together a list that we think all customers should read when they evaluate their mapping vendors.
Choosing the Right Solution
- Dashboard support– The same powerful map control built directly into your widget architecture on Web and Mobile.
- Visual Insight Support – Visual Crossing is the only external vendor to support Visual Insight without requiring additional web services.
- Report Support – Visual Crossing doesn’t forget about your analyst users who still use MicroStrategy reports to do most of their analysis. Our control has supported reports and dashboards since the beginning and will continue to provide unlimited support to all available MicroStrategy data delivery mechanisms.
- Mobile support -With Visual Crossing everything is edit once and deployable everywhere. We have one codebase for mobile and web solutions so your users get a fully capable Mobile platform that matches your Web platform.
- Selectors – Does your map both respond to and initiate single and multiple selector commands? Visual Crossing support all selector types: Grid to Map, Map to Map, Map to Grid for single and multi-selection scenarios.
- Page-by /View Filter and other selections that change the MicroStrategy dataset will be rendered live.
- Animations – The ability to animate data requires both scalability as well as advanced understanding of the platform you are working on. The Visual Crossing integration will auto-detect an attribute that will repeat geographic data and automatically allow your users to play that report as an animation.
- Multiple Dynamic Layers – Add as many geographic attributes to a single report and have the map understand and display them all while maintaining the hierarchical relationship of your data.
Visual Crossing has dedicated itself to the fastest possible performance architecture. Where current solutions can only render one or two small regions of postal codes in 10-20 seconds, Visual Crossing can render 40,000 postal code polygons in a few seconds. Insist that your map vendor shows you how to put 100,000 points on a map and render a full zip code layer at the same time! On other systems you will almost always find your browser or mobile device running out of memory and crashing. With Visual Crossing we are dedicated to solving your Big Data scenarios whether through scalability or through advanced visualizations such as our metric based Heat Maps.
Most customers do not want to send their data requests to an online service or would prefer the option to keep all of their data securely on-premise. Most MicroStrategy integrations require that your data get sent to the remote server to download the matching geographic data. With Visual Crossing you have the option to fully secure your map installation on-premise. We do not require a web service from Google/Bing/ESRI server for our functionality.
Geocoding and Region Creation
Ask your map vendor to show you exactly how they will geocode and create your custom regions for you. Only Visual Crossing has the automated capability to do both and utilize your MicroStrategy schema to streamline the process. This will save you potentially weeks of time and effort every time your data changes. Other vendors will say “we have a tool for that” but it requires additional purchase, advanced knowledge and a great deal of time to configure and create the custom regions manually.
How do I create and edit maps? How will your users make simple changes such as adding new layers, changing a label, legend style, or distribution values for a thematic sequence of colored shapes? With Visual Crossing the editors are live in your current interface. Run a report and click the map icon… that is all you need to do to get started. We have designed Visual Crossing 4 to be the easiest to use map interface available.
True MicroStrategy Integration
Only Visual Crossing has spent 10 years integrating their map solution into every facet of the MicroStrategy environment. Here are a few areas of our expertise:
Embedded Map Server
With Visual Crossing 4, we have taken 10 years of advanced geospatial map server technology and condensed it down to a single plugin. You are no longer required to have a separate map server process or additional hardware components. This new architecture will outperform server-based systems, it is more affordable and easier to maintain.
File-based Metadata and Geometry Management
With Visual Crossing 4 the metadata is now file-based. This makes the system more manageable and portable. Need to move your metadata? Just copy the files to your new instance. Need to deploy a new version of your data or shapes? Simply copy the shapefile into the “datasources” folder of your metadata and it will be loaded on the fly.
At the end of the day, the most important feature is your ability to learn something from your maps that can improve your business. Most maps stop at showing you data and allowing you to take away whatever visual matches manually. At Visual Crossing we pride ourselves on going the extra step and helping you with all of your analytics needs.
If your team spends 6 months setting up your system, geocoding your data, aggregating your regions and building maps then you are wasting budget. Visual Crossing 4 has been introduced with a low, flat pricing model per node, per year.
When you have a map problem within the MicroStrategy environment who are you going to call? MicroStrategy support cannot always help solve problems within 3rd party mapping technologies and map vendors are not aware of BI technologies. You will often find yourself without an answer or a narrowly focused solution. At Visual Crossing all of our employees are MicroStrategy and mapping experts. We can help you with any problem you are trying to solve in a very efficient manner. We have a complete support, services and education team to help you with your project.