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Overview of PerformancePoint data connections

SharePoint 2010

Published: May 12, 2011

PerformancePoint Dashboard Designer enables dashboard authors to create and publish dashboard content that includes reports, scorecards, and dashboards. To create these items, dashboard authors need access to one or more data sources. This article briefly describes the different kinds of data sources that can be used with Dashboard Designer and includes a video.

View a chalk talk

In this video, Microsoft Senior Test Lead Kevin Beto provides an overview chalk talk about data connections that you can use with PerformancePoint Services in Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010.

Screenshot of video

Running time: 9:24

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Overview of PerformancePoint data connections

Data connections can be organized into two main categories: Multidimensional and Tabular. The data connections that are available to dashboard authors affect what kinds of reports, scorecards, and filters that can be created by using Dashboard Designer. You might consider creating and maintaining a data source inventory to track all the various data sources your organization uses with PerformancePoint Services.

Multidimensional data sources

PerformancePoint Services supports the two kinds of multidimensional data connections that are described in the following list:

In PerformancePoint Services, multidimensional data sources give you the most flexibility in the kinds of dashboard items that you can create. For example, you can create complex key performance indicators (KPIs); interactive scorecards and reports; and dynamic, multilevel filters.

Tabular data sources

PerformancePoint Services supports four kinds of tabular data connections that are described in the following list:

  • Excel Services workbooks

  • Excel workbooks from which you can import data

  • SharePoint lists

  • SQL Server tables

Tabular data sources enable you to create KPIs, scorecards, and filters that use data from various sources. For example, in Dashboard Designer you cannot connect directly to Microsoft Access data. However, you can publish that data to SharePoint Server as a SharePoint list, and then connect to that data in Dashboard Designer. Depending on the particular data source, tabular data might be static or dynamic.

How data sources relate to reports, scorecards, and filters

The data connections that are available in Dashboard Designer help determine what kinds of KPIs, scorecards, reports, and filters that you can create directly in Dashboard Designer, as described in the following table.

Data source Dashboard items

Multidimensional data sources that include cubes that are stored in Analysis Services or in PowerPivot workbooks

You can create all of the following dashboard items by using Analysis Services data:

  • KPIs

  • Scorecards

  • Filters that include those that use the MDX Query, Member Selection, Name Set, Time Intelligence, and Time Intelligence Connection Formula filter templates.

  • Analytic Charts and Analytic Grids

In addition, you can configure scorecards and reports that enable dashboard users to open the Decomposition Tree from a value in a report.

Tabular data sources that include Excel Services files, Excel workbooks, SharePoint lists, and SQL Server tables

You can create all of the following dashboard items by using tabular data:

  • KPIs

  • Scorecards

  • Filters that include those that use the Custom Table, Member Selection, Time Intelligence, and Time Intelligence Connection Formula filter templates.

In addition to dashboard items that you create directly in Dashboard Designer, you can also create special PerformancePoint Web Parts to display existing reports that are hosted on other servers. These external reports are described in the following table.

Report Description

Excel Services

You can use Excel Services reports to display PivotChart reports, PivotTable reports, charts, tables, worksheets, and workbooks that have been published to SharePoint Server.

Excel Services supports various data sources that include Analysis Services, SharePoint Lists, SQL Server tables, text files, and databases that include Microsoft Access databases.

Reporting Services

You can use Reporting Services to display various reports that include maps, charts, tables, and scorecards that have been published to Reporting Services Report Server or to SharePoint Server.

Reporting Services supports various data sources that include Analysis Services, SharePoint Lists, SQL Server tables, and databases that include Access, Oracle, and more.

ProClarity Server

If your organization is still using ProClarity, you can use ProClarity Server reports to display views that have been published to ProClarity Analytics Server.

Web Page

You can use Web Page reports to display websites, Visio Services reports, and other views.

For more information about the kinds of dashboard items that you can create, see Overview of PerformancePoint reports and scorecards and Overview of PerformancePoint dashboard filters and connections.

Maintaining a data source inventory

Most organizations have a many kinds of databases that contain different kinds of data. For example, a Finance and Accounting department might use one system, whereas a Sales team might use another system, and Human Resources might use an additional system.

To help keep track of all the data sources, you might consider creating a data source inventory. You can either create your own, or you can use a template that we created for this purpose. For more information and to download the template, see Create a data source inventory for PerformancePoint dashboard authors.

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