Monthly Microsoft BI newsletter by Stephan Georgescu
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Business Intelligence for Everyone?

First of all, why?  Business Intelligence implementations should enable business users to make better decisions quicker.

By ‘better’, we mean informed decisions supported by relevant information.

By ‘quicker’, we mean that information is more timely, more accessible and easier to understand.

Your organization will be more productive, more effective, and will grow faster when all employees are equipped to take the rights actions to succeed.  When your organization’s systems and processes are aligned to enable quicker recognition and response to new trends and situations, the value of your organization rises and becomes more measurable.

What’s the value of a better decision?  How does Microsoft help your organization get there?

Functionality

Microsoft Business Intelligence applications provide the necessary functionality to accommodate the critical BI needs of your organization.  Your organization has a spectrum of users who each have a variety of needs, for example:

  • Executives – responsible for making informed business decisions
  • Analysts – responsible for understanding the data and conveying information insights to others
  • Engineers – responsible for product development
  • Field Agents – responsible for engaging customers

Each user applies different levels of functionality depending upon the situation – each user is a power user for some things and a casual user for others.  How do you provide an application that sufficiently meets the needs of all users through the same system?

Business Intelligence does not live within one application.  When BI is successful, users are compelled to act on the new insights, to dig deeper, to collaborate, to input new information, to share documentation, to respond quickly.

The Microsoft Office System offers the most complete framework to accommodate all of these functions.

Integration

It is certainly necessary to provide a platform capable of bringing a variety of data sources together so they can be accessed through a unified application.  The Microsoft Platform offers market leading tools for data integration.

BUT, in order to roll out a BI initiative throughout the entire organization, the applications must integrate with the way people work every day.  How does your organization’s BI application enable employees to integrate their work with the enterprise so that they can demonstrate their performance and alignment with corporate objectives?

Business Intelligence activities – such as reviewing or updating reports, analyzing data, comparing trends – only comprise an aspect of the typical day, they don’t encompass all of our daily activities.

The Microsoft Platform is designed to comprehensively integrate Business Intelligence with all of the other key activities that we perform everyday to accomplish our tasks and meet our commitments, activities like email and collaboration, workflow, search, document management, and planning.

Economics

If it’s too expensive to equip all of your users with licenses, then you need to choose who to equip.  By selecting one group of users to equip and leaving other users out, organizations create major ongoing issues, such as:

  • Higher IT costs – those who you don’t equip compete with your organization’s IT strategy and infrastructure by pulling information into desktop databases and applications, by developing custom processes for their team or dept. that become entrenched and difficult to integrate into the enterprise; these types of deferred costs often increase exponentially for every user group left out.
  • Opportunities missed– who will be responsible for your organization’s next innovation?  which clients are being overlooked?  which production issues could have been caught months earlier?  will extensive reconciliation cycles lead to surprises effecting our bottom line or budgets?
  • Reporting Treadmills – more time is spent organizing information than understanding it, requiring higher headcounts, data latency, greater risk of error.
  • Operations don’t align with Strategies – employees become overwhelmed by what they need to do and completely unaware of why they do it and how they can improve their contribution.

Some analysts note that the typical large organization owns on average 6 different BI systems – and still, more than 70% of information workers don’t use BI systems.  What does this tell you about the traditional BI economic model?

Microsoft has introduced a new economic model for Business Intelligence that delivers enterprise grade BI functionality and integration at a fraction of the cost of traditional BI vendors.

*** Note: the perspective provided above has been collected from a variety of BI-related resources and discussions, but the views expressed are mine and do not represent Microsoft’s official position.

Upcoming Events
IT Executive Roadmap Tour

covering Business Intelligence (BI), Enterprise Content Management (ECM), Unified Communications (UC)

When: Jan 22 (Tue) @ 8:30am-12:30pm

Where: Winnipeg, MB

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When: Jan 22 (Tue) @ 8:30am-12:30pm

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When: Jan 24 (Thurs) @ 8:30am-12:30pm

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When: Jan 29 (Tue) @ 8:30am-12:30pm

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When: Jan 31 (Thurs) @ 8:30am-12:30pm

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Performance Management Analytics – CFO Magazine Conference

When: Feb 3-5

Where: San Francisco, CA

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Find Events & Webcasts

Upcoming Webcasts
PerformancePoint Server Demo

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Dec 18 @ 11am PST

Jan 15 @ 11am PST

Jan 22 @ 11am PST

SQL Server Spatial Data: Delivering Locations Intelligence

Delivered by Neudesic

When: Dec 19 (Wed) @ 11am-12pm

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Unlock the Business Intelligence Capabilities of SQL Server

When: Jan 9 (Wed) @ 11am PST

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http://www.microsoft.com/events/EventDetails.aspx?CMTYSvcSource=MSCOMMedia&Params=%7eCMTYDataSvcParams%5e%7earg+Name%3d%22ID%22+Value%3d%221032361186%22%2f%5e%7earg+Name%3d%22ProviderID%22+Value%3d%22A6B43178-497C-4225-BA42-DF595171F04C%22%2f%5e%7earg+Name%3d%22lang%22+Value%3d%22en%22%2f%5e%7earg+Name%3d%22cr%22+Value%3d%22US%22%2f%5e%7esParams%5e%7e%2fsParams%5e%7e%2fCMTYDataSvcParams%5e

Driving Business Performance with Microsoft Business Intelligence

When: Jan 14 (Mon) @ 9:30am PST

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Customer and Product Monitoring with PerformancePoint Server 2007

When: Jan 29 (Tue) @ 11:30am PST

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Training
PerformancePoint Server 2007 Training Sites

PPS Planning, Monitoring and Analytics, online training includes videos and workbooks

BSM & ProClarity self-paced online training

Hitachi Consulting

Business Intelligence Education Services

Solid Quality Mentors

BI Courses, including SQL 2005, PPS and ProClarity

IT Mentors

Microsoft Office PerformancePoint Server 2007 Monitoring & Analytics

Premier Knowledge Solutions

ProClarity Training

SQL Server Training Courses

Online & Instructor led

Partner Program – webcasts

Business Intelligence Using PerformancePoint Server 2007 Business Modeling (Level 200)

ISV Web Seminar Series Part 1: PPS – Leveraging PerformancePoint in your BI Solution

ISV Web Seminar Series Part 2: PPS – Planning

ISV Web Seminar Series Part 3: PPS – Monitoring

Online Training Webcasts – (keyword =  performancepoint)

Resources
Microsoft BI

Whitepapers

Demos

Product Evaluations

Channel 9: Business Intelligence Platform Overview

PerformancePoint Server 2007

System Requirements

Book: The Rational Guide to Monitoring and Analyzing with…

Book: The Rational Guide to Planning with…

Book: Business Intelligence with Microsoft Office PerformancePoint Server 2007 (not released yet)

Book: Pro PerformancePoint Server 2007: Building Business Intelligence Solutions (not released yet)

Flash Demo: Virtual Experience

Datasheets:  Overview, Monitor, Analyze, Plan, Management Reporting

Case Studies: Energizer, Oticon, Skanska, Gemplus, Capella, CompUSA

Webcast: Performance Management 101 with PerformancePoint Server 2007,

Webcast: Business Intelligence with Office PerformancePoint Server 2007

Webcast: Revenue Forecasting with PerformancePoint Server 2007

Video:  PerformancePoint Server Team Video

Download PerformancePoint Server 2007 Evaluation Version (x86)

Download PerformancePoint Server 2007 Evaluation Version (x64)

Sample: Monitoring Data here

Sample: Planning Data here

Data Import Wizard for Microsoft Dynamics AX Tool here

Scorecard Migration Tool here

PPS Planning & Architecture Guide

PPS Deployment Guide

PPS Operations Guide

PPS Whitepapers

PPS Developer Portal

ProClarity

ProClarity Forum: discussion board for ProClarity technical questions

Search the Support Knowledge Base

Microsoft ProClarity Software Developer’s Kit 6.3

SQL Server 2005

Best Practices

SQL Server 2005 Business Intelligence

BI Presentations

SQL Server 2005 – Learning Portal

Archived Webcasts, Virtual Labs and Podcasts

Microsoft SQL Server 2005: Scales to your growing business needs

Case Studies: Kelley Blue Book, National Aquarium, Barnes & Noble

Book: The Microsoft Data Warehouse Toolkit: With SQL Server 2005…

Training: SQL Server 2005 Learning Paths

SQL Server 2008

Business Intelligence

Data Warehousing

Performance Improvements for MDX in AS 2008

SQL 2008 CTP, November 2007

November CTP quick review – by Vidas Matelis

Datasheet: Business Intelligence

Whitepaper: Business Intelligence, Data Warehousing

Training: SQL Server 2008 Learning Paths

Analysis Services

Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Analysis Services Step by Step

Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Analysis Services (Paperback)

Applied Microsoft Analysis Services 2005… (Paperback)

Delivering Business Intelligence with… (Paperback)

Microsoft Technet Whitepapers

Whitepaper: Identifying and Resolving MDX Query Performance Bottlenecks in SQL Server 2005 Analysis Services

SharePoint Server 2007

SharePoint Business Intelligence

Evaluation Guide

Data Mining

SQL Server Data Mining

Webcast: Building Adaptive Applications with SQL Server Data Mining

Video: SQL Server 2008 Data Mining Enhancements

Dynamics

Microsoft Dynamics-Everyone Gets It

Evaluate Microsoft Dynamics—What is Microsoft Dynamics?

Whitepaper: Evaluating Financial Management Software…Is it time for a change?

Microsoft & BI Blogs

The Microsoft PerformancePoint Team Blog

Patrick Baumgartner’s Unofficial PPS Blog

Intelligent Insight on PerformancePoint – PerformancePoint Server

Adrian Downe’s Blog – Great 7 Part Series on PPS Planning Features!

Ian Tien’s Unofficial PerformancePoint Server and Business Scorecard Manager Blog

Microsoft BI Blog – by Patrick Husting

Nick Barclay’s BI Blog –PerformancePoint Server resources

Chris Webb’s BI Blog – MDXtreme Programming

Vidas Matelis BI Blog – SQL 2005 resources

Microsoft OLAP by Mosha Pasumansky – Deep Insights into SSAS & MDX

Prologika (Teo Lachev’s Weblog) – Reporting Services insights

Direct Reports (Brian Welcker’s Weblog) – Reporting Services

The Data Puzzle – Solving the Enterprise Data Puzzle with Microsoft BI

Microsoft BI Partners

http://www.microsoft.com/bi/partners/partners.aspx

OLAP Report – summaries

Preview of PerformancePoint Server 2007

Market share analysis

SQL Server Analysis Services 2005 (Microsoft)

What is OLAP?

Commentary: Business Intelligence Competency Centers

Dimensional Relational vs. OLAP: The Final Deployment Conundrum

Analyst Reports

AMR Research: Microsoft’s Looming Impact on the Business Intelligence and Performance Management Market

Forrester Report Detail BPM Growth and Market Leadership

Gartner Research: Microsoft Office PerformancePoint Server 2007 Coming Soon to a Desktop Near You

Business Intelligence Virtual Labs

Try out a business intelligence virtual lab to test out the technology stack, including:

  • Analysis Services
  • Excel 2007
  • Business Scorecard Manager 2005 (BSM)
  • ProClarity
  • Report Builder
  • Integration Services
  • Data Mining
News Links & Press Releases

Is the newly-launched Microsoft Office PerformancePoint Server suite the real deal?

Progressive Gaming to Introduce Casinolink® Enterprise Edition 3.0 at the 2007 Global Gaming Expo

Microsoft Readies SQL Server 2008

SAP Microsoft Duet has growing appeal for business users

Can You Answer These 3 Questions?

Gartner data warehouse DBMS Magic Quadrant 2007: New tools, old mantras

The Best Architecture for Business Intelligence

BI project management: Five must-have pieces of advice

Successful business intelligence secrets: BI front-end tools

Business Intelligence Roles and Responsibilities

The Road to Business-IT Alignment, Part 2

Business Intelligence and Data Delivery: Converging with SOA

High-Impact Business Intelligence Opportunities in the Financial Services Industry

Business Intelligence Consolidation Won’t Kill Innovation, Claim Execs

How Buying Changes in the New BI Landscape 

Holiday break: The next newsletter is scheduled to hit your inbox mid-January. Have a great break and a Happy New Year.

We are all taking a break over the next week and you’ll see us blogging again next year 🙂 We all hope you have a fabuluos holiday and a great 2008!:)