With the constant expansion of IT services and data collection capabilities, it is becoming more and more important to have a way to view your data and provide consistent reporting for your management team and your employees. If you are not viewing metrics reports, dashboards or KPI’s, or if you are not utilizing any sort of business analytics or business intelligence tools (what’s the difference), there are likely some blind spots for your company that could come back and bite you.
In a previous blog post I discussed my experience as a SharePoint administrator, and I described some of the potential pitfalls that an organization will experience in using SharePoint solely as a file share service. For organizations that have a SharePoint deployment, it is important to recognize the many tools and services that can be leveraged to help your business succeed. The BI and dashboard capabilities have expanded vastly with the release of SharePoint 2013 and SQL 2012 SP1.
Below are some of the most common BI and BA tools that can be leveraged within a SharePoint deployment.
Power View is a tool that was made available with the release of SQL 2012 Service Pack one. This is a reporting and dashboard tool that can create live data reports with the ability to add the reports directly into PowerPoint presentations, where the data can be interacted with in the presentation, or displaying on a SharePoint site.
This tool is a key component that interacts with Power View on your SharePoint sites. PowerPivot provides pivot table capabilities such as those that have been available in the last two releases of Microsoft Excel. With Power Pivot enabled, you can interact with pivot tables within SharePoint.
PerformancePoint was originally released as a separate application from Microsoft. It has been folded up into the SharePoint product line and provides a quality dashboard platform where users can build and edit reports. Data connections can be made to various different types of databases to report on.
Power BI is the new SharePoint Business Intelligence tool offered exclusively in the Office 365 suite. This is a huge bonus for the customers who are using Office 365, as they can now get the added benefits of PowerView, PowerMap and SAP Interaction. The ability to connect to SAP business objects is especially interesting as there have been some issues in previous apps with making these connections.
These are just a few of the BI tools that can be used with SharePoint. These tools are great ways to build reports and analyze data for your business. If you have any questions or comments please hit the comment button at the top of this post, and be sure to follow me on twitter @burked585.