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PerformancePoint Server and other BI products

PerformancePoint Server 2007

Updated: 2009-01-05

Microsoft has several business intelligence (BI) tools and applications with BI features, each of which is important to understand as you decide what will work best for your situation. This article discusses specific BI features in three products, PerformancePoint Server, Office SharePoint Server (including Excel Services), and Excel. Data access and data integration also are discussed.

NoteNote:

The type of problem you are trying to solve will determine which BI tools you choose. It is recommended that you read the Microsoft business intelligence stack overview prior to reading this topic. The stack overview explains the purpose and context for the Microsoft business intelligence products discussed in this topic.

The following sections are organized on the core BI and performance management capabilities: monitoring, analysis, planning, and reporting. At the most fundamental level, the functions of these capabilities investigate the following questions:

  • What has happened?

  • What is happening right now?

  • Why is something happening (whether good or bad)?

  • What will happen in the future?

  • What do I want to have happen?

Monitoring and analytics

Business users can use monitoring to define and use scorecards, reports, charts, and graphs, and key performance indicators (KPIs) to drive accountability and alignment across the organization.

Organizations can use analysis capabilities to create analytics that include charts, key performance indicators (KPIs), and data grids, that use advanced visualization functionalities off of Analysis Services. These rich capabilities help users rapidly identify trends, opportunities, and even threats to the business hidden within large quantities of data.

NoteNote:

Office SharePoint Server and PerformancePoint Server KPI, scorecard, and dashboard objects are not interchangeable and thus cannot be migrated between applications. PerformancePoint Server can be installed with either Windows SharePoint Services or Office SharePoint Server and the BI features of each can complement those of the other.

Feature Description Excel 2007 Office SharePoint Server PerformancePoint Server 2007

Key Performance Indicators (KPI)

Definition: A measurement defined for a given objective. KPIs are usually expressed in terms of actual values compared with target values.

PeformancePoint Server has more control over how KPIs are scored and rolled up. Additionally, the concept of Objectives is featured in PerformancePoint Server so you can group, organize, and role up KPIs into a balanced scorecard. Objectives represent top-level organizational goals and are discussed in How do I build a scorecard. KPIs are also easily created from multiple data sources to roll up into Objectives.

PerformancePoint Server lets you store and maintain KPIs centrally so they can be used across the organization and assembled into high level Corporate Dashboards. KPIs can be reused in departmental dashboards with rich analytics to better understand the data.

Office SharePoint Server KPIs can be built with multiple data sources by using an SQL Server Analysis Services (SSAS) cube or spreadsheet.

Yes

Yes

Yes

Scorecards

Definition: A scorecard is a visual representation of your company’s strategy. PerformancePoint Server 2007 helps you take critical metrics and build scorecards that map to your strategic goals throughout the organization.

Office SharePoint Server scorecards are lists with no roll-up feature.

PerformancePoint Server also supports ad-hoc queries, various filters such as applying an MDX query template, and shows relationships between dimension hierarchies, attribute hierarchies and measures, thereby simplifying the navigation of cubes. The advanced analytic features are available in a thin client.

No

Yes

Yes

Dashboards

Definition: A dashboard is a collection of graphs, reports, and KPIs that can help you monitor such things as progress on a specific initiative, the effectiveness of operations, and progress against sales forecasts.

Office SharePoint Server can create interactive business intelligence (BI) dashboards that assemble and display business information from disparate sources by using built in Web Parts.

PerformancePoint Server provides an interactive reporting interface that embeds a scorecard with other analytic or production reports, as well as other data visualization elements.

No

Yes

Yes

Excel Services as a data source

Excel Services, part of Office SharePoint Server 2007, extends the capabilities of Microsoft Office Excel 2007 by allowing broad sharing of spreadsheets, improved manageability and security and the ability to re-use spreadsheet models using a scalable server-based calculation service and interactive Web-based user interface.

Excel Services allows Web access to workbooks. The Excel interface is a familiar end-user analytics tool. IT can be used as a data source for both Office SharePoint Server and Performance Server dashboards.

No

Yes

Yes

Other data sources

See the section called “Data sources and integration” at the bottom of this article.

Yes

Yes

Yes

SQL Reporting Services reports

Office SharePoint Server and PerformancePoint Server can both display SQL Server Reporting Services as Web parts in a dashboard. For information about more reporting features, see the "Report" table.

Yes

Yes

Yes

Advanced analytics

PerformancePoint Server analytics include graphs, key performance indicators (KPIs), data grids, and advanced visualization in order to allow multidimensional slice, drill-across, and drill-to-detail operations, as well as root-cause analysis, and centralized business logic definitions.

No

No

Yes

Dashboard designing

Office SharePoint Server KPIs are displayed in a customized document list. You can use Excel Services (as a part of Office SharePoint Server) to build scorecards in Excel and display them inside Office SharePoint Server.

PerformancePoint Server

No

Yes

Planning

PerformancePoint Server 2007 includes applications and reporting tools that you can use for effective planning, forecasting, and budgeting­—all essential elements of a dynamic, ongoing performance management process.

Planning Business Modeler includes functionality for planning, budgeting, and forecasting as part of a dynamic, ongoing performance management process. The planning application provides users with a complete, enterprise view of the data, offering consolidation, allocation, and elimination. It integrates with Office Excel, Office Outlook, and Office SharePoint Server for workflow and collaboration.

The PerformancePoint Add-in for Excel is a companion to Planning Business Modeler. Workers can use the PerformancePoint Add-in for Excel to work with financial data in a spreadsheet and store user cell annotations. Business logic is managed by the server.

Management Reporter is a report writer designed to support financial tasks such as consolidation. The financial consolidation process and tasks occur within the financial models of PerformancePoint Server. Then, through Office Excel or Management Reporter, financial reports can be created to help deliver management and statutory reports. Management Reporter can turn advanced financial analysis, such as sensitivity and variance analysis (for example, price/quantity/customer/product mix/timing), into easy-to-understand reports.

The PerformancePoint Server Data Import Wizard provides a simple, guided process that enables you to import data from general ledger and enterprise resource planning systems into Planning Server using a data provider.

Reporting

Feature Decription Excel 2007 Office SharePoint Server PerformancePoint Server 2007

Reports

PerformancePoint Server is deployed with either Windows SharePoint Server or Office SharePoint Server, in whichever report delivery is managed. You can publish reports through Web parts in a thin portal.

In PerformancePoint Server Dashboard Designer, you can expose data in a dashboard by creating supportive reports with any number of templates. See the following section about report templates.

Office Excel 2007 provides new PivotTable views for data navigation and analysis, a data connection library for easy backend data connections, visualizations such as data bars, heat-maps, and icon sets, and conditional formatting.

Yes

Yes

Yes

Advanced financial and management reporting

 

No

No

Yes

PerformancePoint Server Dashboard Designer report templates

The following are report options in PerformancePoint Server Dashboard Designer.

  • Strategy Map reports display various performance measures in an organization. The strategy map uses shapes in an Office Visio 2007 diagram to show the relationships between the objectives and KPIs, and it uses color to communicate how each objective or KPI is performing.

  • Trend Analysis reports offer specialized functionality and use scorecards as data sources. Dashboard users can click an individual KPI and cause the linked reports to automatically refresh and display future performance of KPIs based on predictive algorithms.

  • Web Page reports are fully functional internal or external Web sites that you display in a Web Part next to your other dashboard elements.

  • Advanced analytical reports include the Perspective View, Decomposition Tree, Performance Map, and analytic charts and grids.

  • Reporting Services reports link to an existing Reporting Services report from within your dashboard.

Data sources and integration

Office Excel 2007, Excel Services, and PerformancePoint Server can connect to various Microsoft data sources such as SSAS, Office SharePoint Server, or SQL Server table data, Excel spreadsheets, and ODBC-compliant sources by using different tools.

PerformancePoint Monitoring Server data sources

KPIs and scorecards can use data from any configured data source. In contrast, analytic charts and grids must use data from SSAS. The following are the different data source elements to configure.

  • Multidimensional data sources that access SSAS data.

  • Tabular data sources that access SQL Server data tables, Excel 2007 worksheets, SharePoint lists, or worksheets in Excel Services.

  • Open Database Connectivity (ODBC) compliant data sources.

  • Use the interfaces in the PerformancePoint Server SDK to create a custom data source.

For more information about connecting to a data source, see Create a data source.

PerformancePoint Planning Server

The following two methods exist for data integration in PerformancePoint Planning Server.

Office SharePoint Server

Office SharePoint Server provides the following data access and integration resources.

  • The Business Data Catalog connects to registered line-of-business (LOB) applications and configured sites, lists, and business data Web Parts.

  • Web and programmatic access to Office Excel workbooks through Excel Services is available.

  • Data connection libraries can be created as .odc files. You can create a connection within Excel Services to access SharePoint libraries.

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