Understanding business intelligence planning solutions and scenarios (SharePoint Server 2010)


Applies to: SharePoint Server 2010 Enterprise

Topic Last Modified: 2011-01-24

This section of articles contains direction and samples for developing a Business Intelligence (BI) solution with planning, budgeting and forecasting capabilities for Finance, HR, and other departments in an organization. The solution is architected to enable planning functions that include Write-back capabilities to Microsoft SQL Server Analysis Services (SSAS) cubes, SharePoint lists, and relational databases. These articles also demonstrate how the Microsoft platform can be used in developing financial calculations and business rules to link forms and reports data through Microsoft Excel 2010. Workflow and security are also included as functions to enable collaboration in a Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 environment. Finally, building and maintaining a centralized data model will be covered as well.

Organizations today are under considerable pressure to make informed decisions daily. This not only requires establishing metrics that assesses what is happened in the past, but also requires an effective response to risks and opportunities by planning for the future.

Financial planning requires alignment with the rest of the organization to create plans that represent each business units’ perspectives. Today, many companies still rely heavily on spreadsheets to create and collect data that is specific to their daily function, but that have no central data repository to plug into. Reconciling these spreadsheets manually can be a difficult task.

What Microsoft Office 2010 and SQL Server 2008 R2 offer is a suite of components and out of box functionalities that let companies to address some difficult challenges of planning, budgeting, and forecasting. Planning functionalities that are included on the Microsoft platform include the following:

  • Centralized data model with SQL Server 2008 R2 Analysis Services.

  • Form and report authoring through Excel 2010 PivotTables.

  • Data entry and What-If analysis through Excel 2010 PivotTables.

  • Dimensional data modeling with PowerPivot for Excel 2010.

  • Online document storage and collaboration with security and workflow for forms and reports through SharePoint Server 2010.

The articles in this section outline the basic and sophisticated planning scenarios that Office 2010 and SQL Server 2008 R2 can support and gives guidance and on the steps that should be taken when you build a planning solution.

In this section: