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Microsoft business intelligence stack overview

PerformancePoint Server 2007

Updated: 2008-12-18

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. The BI tools you use depend on the specific problems you are trying to solve. Your daily business activities have associated information and insights that emerge in three main areas of business intelligence: personal, team, and organizational. There will be overlap across these areas. For example a company’s employees may use Office Excel and Excel Services in Office SharePoint Server to make relevant business decisions at the corporate level. PerformancePoint Server uses Excel, Office SharePoint Server, and Excel Services to complement its BI tools in order to deliver a corporate BI solution that has elements of personal and team BI. By design all Microsoft BI products interoperate so that teams and individuals within an organization can move across the continuum of personal, team, and organizational and have all products work together.

Business intelligence categories overview

Personal BI Team BI Corporate BI

Personal BI delivers information to people when they need it and in the desired format. Personal BI is probably independent of a connected data store or direct involvement from the IT department.

People don’t work just as individuals but in groups and teams to complete projects. Team BI delivers information that reflects this, providing BI that focuses on accountability to promote collaboration, and rapid sharing of information to drive to a common decision.

Corporate BI describes a set of tools that help people align their objectives and activities with overall company goals, objectives, and metrics. It is BI that helps synchronize individual efforts by using scorecards, strategy maps, and other tools that connect to corporate data.

Excel

Office SharePoint Server and Excel Services

PerformancePoint Server 2007

Can be linked to a SQL Server Analysis Services cubes

Built on trusted data using Microsoft SQL Server

Built on trusted data using Microsoft SQL Server

Business intelligence product scenarios

The following are brief scenarios designed to illustrate how each tool can be used in different circumstances.

Scenario and BI context Excel Excel Services PerformancePoint Server

Personal BI

End users perform quick analysis in Excel on available information.

X

End users analyze and perform exploratory and free-form analysis on data from a variety of sources in a way that requires minimal IT involvement.

X

End users create a quick spreadsheet-based report.

X

Team BI

Enable Microsoft Office users to more easily store and share documents in a way that enhances collaboration and empowers teams to easily work together on projects and objectives.

X

End users share their analysis in dashboards or reports with others.

X

End users can create simple data indicator objects on a SharePoint page. The objects can query basic data sources for a value, compare the value to another value, and show the relationship with a set of standard visual indicators.

X

End users need to secure access to the files produced.

X

Organizational BI

There is a need for organizational planning, budgeting, forecasting, and financial consolidation capabilities.

X

The IT department provides defined data views across the organization with business user role-defined views of metrics and strategies.

X

The IT department needs oversight into organization-wide corporate governance and compliance initiatives.

X

The IT department needs to implement an organization-wide Balanced Scorecard initiative.

X

Business users can create a "guided analytics" experience with structured data; end-users use a single application to follow a train of thought against a prebuild data source specific to running some area of the business. End users can create dashboards that contain scorecards, KPIs, analytical reports and analytical views against the data source and keep it in one location.

X

End users need access to unstructured data, providing context to the scorecard metric.

X

Financial business users can create consolidated financial reports without having to prebuild a financial data mart using PerformancePoint Server Management Reporter.

X

For more information

To drill down on what each product can do for business intelligence, see the following.

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