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PowerPivot Usage Data Collection

SQL Server PowerPivot for SharePoint can be deployed in a SharePoint farm to provide server-side, in-memory data storage and query processing for PowerPivot data in Excel workbooks. As information workers access and use PowerPivot workbooks, statistics and metrics about workbook usage is collected internally. This information enables farm administrators and document owners to find out how often the data is being used and by whom.

Usage data collection is a farm-level SharePoint feature. PowerPivot for SharePoint uses and extends this system to support built-in reports in the PowerPivot Management Dashboard that show how PowerPivot data and services are used. Depending on how you install SharePoint 2010, usage data collection might be turned off for the farm. A farm administrator must enable usage logging to create the usage data that appears in the PowerPivot Management Dashboard. For more information on how to enable and configure usage data collection for PowerPivot events see Configure Usage Data Collection (PowerPivot for SharePoint).

This topic contains the following sections:

Usage Data Collection and Reporting Architecture

Sources of Usage Data

Services and Timer Jobs

Reporting on Usage Data

PowerPivot usage data is collected, stored, and managed using a combination of features from the SharePoint infrastructure and PowerPivot server components. SharePoint infrastructure provides a centralized usage collection database, a usage service, and built-in timer jobs. To these standard features, PowerPivot for SharePoint adds longer term storage for PowerPivot usage data and operational reports that you view in Central Administration.

In the usage data collection system, event information enters the usage collection system on the application server or Web front end. Usage data moves through the system in response to timer jobs that cause data to move from temporary data files on the physical server to persistent storage on a database server. The following diagram illustrates the components and processes that move usage data through the data collection and reporting system.

Components and processes of usage data collection.

Phase

Description

1

Usage data collection is triggered by events that are generated by PowerPivot service applications. Configurable events that can be turned on or off include connection requests, load and unload requests, and query response timing events that are monitored by the PowerPivot service on the application server. Other events that are managed solely by the server and cannot be turned off. These include data refresh and server health events.

Initially, usage data is collected and stored in a local log file using the data collection features of the SharePoint system. This file and its location is part of the standard usage data collection system in SharePoint. The location of the file is the same on every server in the farm. To view or change the location of this log file, use the Usage Logging page in Central Administration.

2

At scheduled intervals (every hour by default) the Microsoft SharePoint Foundation Usage Data Import timer job moves usage data from the local file to the central SharePoint usage collection database that stores usage data for the farm. The SharePoint usage data collection system keeps data for a period of 30 days. There is one usage collection database for each farm. To view or modify usage data collection database settings, use the Usage Logging page in Central Administration.

3

To support consolidated reporting, PowerPivot usage data is copied to the PowerPivot service application database for longer term storage.

At scheduled intervals (daily by default), the Microsoft SharePoint Foundation Usage Data Processing timer job moves PowerPivot usage data from the central SharePoint usage collection database to the PowerPivot service application database. If you have multiple PowerPivot service applications in a farm, each one will have its own database. The event includes internal information that identifies which PowerPivot service application produced the event. The application identifiers ensure that usage data is bound to the application that created it.

4

Data is copied to an internal reporting database that is available to the PowerPivot Management Dashboard in Central Administration. The data source is a PowerPivot data source that you can access to create custom reports in Excel.

5

Usage data is presented in consolidated reports for service application administrators who manage server performance and availability. For more information, see Reporting on Usage Data in this topic.

When usage data collection is enabled, data is generated for the following server events.

Event

Description

Configurable

Connections

Server connections made on behalf of a user who is querying PowerPivot data in an Excel workbook. Connection events identify who opened a connection to a PowerPivot workbook. In reports, this information is used to identify the most frequent users, the PowerPivot data sources that are accessed by the same users, and trends in connections over time.

How do I…

Query response times

Query response statistics that categorize queries based on how long they take to complete. Query response statistics show patterns in how long it takes the server to respond to query requests.

How do I…

Data load

Data load operations by the Analysis Services service. Data load events identify which data sources are used most often.

How do I…

Data unload

Data unload operations by PowerPivot service applications. An Analysis Services service unloads inactive PowerPivot data sources if it is not being used, or when the server is under memory pressure or needs additional memory to run data refresh jobs.

How do I…

Server health

Server operations that indicate server health, measured in CPU and memory utilization. This data is historical. It does not provide real time information about the current processing load on the server.

No. Usage data is always collected for this event.

Data refresh

Data refresh operations initiated by the PowerPivot service for scheduled data updates. Usage history for data refresh is collected at the application level for operational reports, and is reflected in the Manage Data Refresh pages for individual workbooks.

No. Data refresh usage data is always collected if you enable data refresh for the PowerPivot service application.

The following table describes the services and data collection stores in the usage data collection system. For instructions on how to override the timer job schedules to force a data refresh of server health and usage data in PowerPivot Management Dashboard reports, see Enable and Configure PowerPivot Data Refresh.

Component

Default schedule

Description

SharePoint 2010 Timer Service (SPTimerV4)

This Windows service runs locally on every member computer in the farm and processes all timer jobs that are defined at the farm level.

Microsoft SharePoint Foundation Usage Data Import timer job

Every 30 minutes

This timer job is configured globally at the farm level. It moves usage data from local usage log files to the central usage data collection database. You can run this timer job manually to force a data import operation.

Microsoft SharePoint Foundation Usage Data Processing timer job

Daily at 3:00 A.M.

This timer job is configured globally at the farm level. It checks for expired usage data in the central usage data collection database (that is, any records that are older than 30 days). For PowerPivot servers in the farm, this timer job performs an additional check for PowerPivot usage data. When PowerPivot usage data is detected, the timer job moves the data to a service application database using an application identifier to find the correct database.

You can run this timer job manually to force a check on expired data, or to force a data import of PowerPivot usage data to a PowerPivot service application database.

PowerPivot Data Management Dashboard Processing timer job

Daily at 5:00 A.M.

This timer job updates the internal PowerPivot workbook that provides administrative data to the PowerPivot Management Dashboard. It gets updated information that is managed by SharePoint, including server names, user names, application names, and file names that appear in dashboard reports or web parts.

To view usage data on PowerPivot data, you can view built-in reports in the PowerPivot Management Dashboard. The built-in reports consolidate usage data that is retrieved from reporting data structures in the service application database. Because the underlying report data is updated on a daily basis, the built-in usage reports will show updated information only after the Microsoft SharePoint Foundation Usage Data Processing timer job copies data to a PowerPivot service application database. By default, this occurs once a day.

For more information about how to view reports, see View Administrative Reports (PowerPivot for SharePoint).

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