Boost Efficiency by Automating Your Daily MicroStrategy Change Report

Gaurav DholwaniDecember 2, 2015

If you’ve ever worked on a large MicroStrategy project with multiple developers simultaneously, you know there’s a high probability that at some point, modifications made by one developer in the production environment can negatively affect the entire project.

The standard way to deal with this situation is by running daily MicroStrategy change reports that allow you to see changes made each day to the production environment. Unfortunately, it often takes significant time to identify the root cause of the issue, and even more time to hunt down the developer who made the modification so he or she can fix the error.

At InfoCepts, our team experienced this situation multiple times and knew there had to be a better, faster way — not only for ourselves but also for our clients. Fortunately, we found one.

From Manual to Automated Change Reports

To automate daily change reports in MicroStrategy, we created a freeform SQL report to provide details about all objects created or modified in the production environment throughout the previous day. How does the report work? Essentially, it uses metadata and Enterprise Manager tables to provide the required information in Oracle or even other database environments, if modified.

The one prerequisite, however, is that MicroStrategy administrators must have access to all MicroStrategy metadata and Enterprise Manager tables, given that the change report depends on these tables. Then, because the SQL is already created, administrators simply need to schedule the report to run daily in MicroStrategy. Once this is done, they’ll receive an email each day with the full report.

While a similar report can be created manually in MicroStrategy by the MicroStrategy administrator, that approach takes time and doesn’t always lead to results. Automating daily reports, however, comes with three distinct advantages, allowing users to:

  • Save time in report creation.
    When using our automated report solution, MicroStrategy administrators don’t have to modify the SQL. This saves time and makes the process much simpler — in fact, the administrator doesn’t have to understand the SQL or how MicroStrategy is storing all of the metadata to create the report.
  • Gain instant visibility.
    With the standard daily change report, it’s impossible to know who modified what. So, even after the root cause is identified, administrators have to email the team of developers to find out who made the modification. Only then can the issue be fixed. With our automated change report, administrators receive details on which developer modified what, and can go directly to the source to fix the problem.
  • Get to the root cause faster.
    Our automated report makes it easy to identify the root cause, which is rarely the case with manually-created change reports. With the manual method, our own MicroStrategy administrators often struggled to find the root cause, but that doesn’t happen with our automated solution.

These benefits make a big difference in day-to-day operations, affecting everything from decision-making to efficiency and your bottom line. Consider, for example, a recent problem with one of our sales reports showing incorrect sales data. By using our automated daily change report, our team discovered quickly that a metric and formula used in the sales report was modified the day before. We didn’t have to spend time on root cause analysis or emailing the developers asking who had made the modification. Instead, the report provided the information we need — and saved our MicroStrategy administrator roughly three to four hours of effort.

If you’re looking for ways to streamline change reports and other database administration and warehousing tasks, our team at InfoCepts can help. Get in touch to learn how.