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?


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.


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.


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.

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PerformancePoint Server 2007 Training Sites

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PerformancePoint Server 2007

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Book: The Rational Guide to Monitoring and Analyzing with…

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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,

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Download PerformancePoint Server 2007 Evaluation Version (x86)

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Microsoft Dynamics-Everyone Gets It

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Microsoft & BI Blogs

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Intelligent Insight on PerformancePoint – PerformancePoint Server

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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

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

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Microsoft BI Partners

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SQL Server Analysis Services 2005 (Microsoft)

What is OLAP?

Commentary: Business Intelligence Competency Centers

Dimensional Relational vs. OLAP: The Final Deployment Conundrum

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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

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

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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!:)