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2012 Microsoft Self-Service BI

Expanding on “Microsoft BI –No More Excuses”, I recently updated Denali SQL 2012 (Community Technology Preview CTP3) on my demo machine to work with Microsoft’s latest Self-Service BI (SSBI) tools. The result is a MS 2012 Denali SSBI demo and presentation available now from Perficient’s National MS BI team. Below are the highlights of the full blog post here, with specifics to be expanded in future blogs.

SQL 2012 Breaks SSBI Barriers

2012 MS SSBI has broadened all BI possibilities.  Denali (SQL 2012) breaks any remaining barriers for business and IT to coexist hand in hand for BI or SSBI solutions. It builds on existing BI stack strengths & embraces new territories:

  • SQL 2012 One BI Semantic Model: 2012 SSBI enables BI possibilities throughout your organization—from traditional BI content contribution accessing a variety of data sources easily, to extending BI visualization in support of business case analysis and strategy. Denali’s new semantic BI model allows a free-flow of BI development in all directions, from/to business or IT, and the new tabular model structures of SQL 2012 support a breakthrough for SSBI in 2012.
  • SQL 2012 SSBI is Enterprise-BI Capable. PowerPivot for SharePoint supports PowerPivot queries and the SharePoint component provides specific PowerPivot services, infrastructure, dashboards, web parts, content types, and library templates. SQL Server adds PowerPivot data processing to a SharePoint farm and SharePoint Central Administration provides service administration and oversight for PowerPivot processing in the farm, for IT-managed BI.
  • Power View Breakthrough Visualization: The new Power View visualization analysis reporting tool is a simple and effective mix of business-perspective functionality:
SQL 2012 Power View SSBI

Smart and powerful querying, with zero configuration for filteringPower View conveys business ideas supported by data analysis into a visual story that translates to strategic ideas and tactical decisions for opportunities, business decisions and transactions (revenues, cost-reductions or strategies).

SSBI is a serious catalyst for new organizational BI.

  • Through identification, self-analysis, self-reporting, and presenting BI-sourced data information, a business case often tells the story for decisions and actions. PowerPivot and Power View enable this process. Existing BI and reporting integrate seamlessly with new SQL 2012 Denali SSBI functionalities. Denali’s new semantic BI model allows a free-flow of BI development in all directions, from/to business or IT, and the new tabular model structures of SQL 2012 support a breakthrough for SSBI in 2012.

Strengths of SQL 2012 SSBI:

  • Faster to develop than traditional (multidimensional) BI
  • Less expensive to use in terms of time, resources and skill requirement
  • Great for prototypes on larger multidimensional solutions & reporting
  • Easier to update in terms of having the flexible data model (i.e. PowerPivot) with an application interface (i.e Excel Pivot table, Charts and visualization)
  • Ability for final logic customization via Excel or PowerPivot business logic
  • New interactive visualization with SQL 2012 new Power View analysis tool which operates off PowerPivot data (via SharePoint 2010, SSRS & Silverlight)

Next Steps:

  • Understand the varied benefits and options for SQL 2012 SSBI by getting in tune with SSBI from different role perspectives, including:
    • Businesses requiring robust POC solutions quickly and inexpensively
    • SharePoint Users who collaborate and report business information to analyze with colleagues
    • Database professionals and IT pros partnering with business, and providing monitoring, security and data management control
    • Excel users who analyze multidimensional data in workbooks and PivotTables, to create reporting, visual analysis & BI for business decisions
    • Business people who independently create custom-logic calculation models and are learning Microsoft PowerPivot for this purpose.
    • Anyone requiring a new standard for business case visual presentation with interactive data analysis using Power View.
  • Review the SQL 2012 SSBI possibilities, and then assess your next steps based on need. I am happy to demo SQL 2012 SSBI to provide details or continue your understanding and explore options. Contact me or any member of the Perficient National BI team for a SQL 2012 SSBI demo or other SQL 2012 Denali or BI solution information.

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Perry Thebeau

PROFESSIONAL OVERVIEW Ten years technology experience and nineteen years overall business experience. Certified in SQL & BI technologies including Microsoft Performance Point Services. Supporting business solutions from technology pre-sales to functional solution development to strategic business intelligence delivery. Also experienced in requirements gathering, data validation and project management. Delivery focused on people and business relationships to creatively support customers, sales, and revenue-generating business. Solution expertise also includes SQL 2012 tabular modeling, PowerPivot and self-service BI.

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