Between going public in 2009 and February of this year, shares of Medidata Solutions (NASDAQ:MDSO) surged in value almost 700%. Since then, however, the stock has cooled off considerably, falling more than 40%.

Medidata has carved out a lucrative niche with drug companies. It provides cloud solutions to help companies streamline the FDA testing and approval process. While R&D costs are somewhat high right now, the company is able to win over customers and create a situation where switching costs are very high.

That business model enticed me to buy shares in August of last year. Though I have a long-term time horizon, the slideshow below will cover when any type of investor--short, medium, or long term--should be looking for when the company reports earnings later this week.

Brian Stoffel owns shares of Medidata Solutions. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.