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Microsoft Business Intelligence For Dummies (0470606347) cover image

Microsoft Business Intelligence For Dummies

ISBN: 978-0-470-60634-6
E-book
432 pages
March 2010
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Introduction 1

Part I: Embracing a Microsoft Business Intelligence Solution 7

Chapter 1: Surveying Microsoft Business Intelligence from 50,000 Feet 9

Chapter 2: Blazing a Trail through the Data Jungle 23

Chapter 3: Adopting Microsoft Business Intelligence 39

Part II: Wrapping Your Head Around Business Intelligence Concepts 57

Chapter 4: Using Data to Inform and Drive Business Activities 59

Chapter 5: Taking a Closer Look at Data Collection 77

Chapter 6: Turning Data into Information 99

Chapter 7: Data Mining for Information Gold 123

Part III: Introducing the Microsoft Business

Intelligence Technologies 145

Chapter 8: Meeting SQL Server 147

Chapter 9: Excel — Digital Data Power to the People 175

Chapter 10: SharePoint Shines 211

Chapter 11: Expressing Yourself with Development Tools 247

Part IV: Incorporating Microsoft Business Intelligence into Your Business Environment 273

Chapter 12: Setting Your BI Goals and Implementation Plan 275

Chapter 13: Evaluating and Choosing Technologies 297

Chapter 14: Testing and Rolling Out 315

Chapter 15: Training, Using, and Evaluating Results 335

Part V: The Part of Tens 353

Chapter 16: Ten Microsoft BI Implementation Pitfalls 355

Chapter 17: Ten Keys to Successful Microsoft Business Intelligence 363

Chapter 18: Ten Ways to Boost Your Bottom Line with Microsoft Business Intelligence 375

Glossary 383

Index 387

Table of Contents

Introduction 1

About This Book 2

How to Use This Book 2

How This Book Is Organized 3

Part I: Embracing a Microsoft Business Intelligence Solution 3

Part II: Wrapping Your Head Around Business Intelligence Concepts 3

Part III: Introducing the Microsoft Business Intelligence Technologies 4

Part IV: Incorporating Microsoft Business Intelligence into Your Business Environment 4

Part V: The Part of Tens 4

Icons Used In This Book 5

Let’s Get Started! 6

Part I: Embracing a Microsoft Business Intelligence Solution 7

Chapter 1: Surveying Microsoft Business Intelligence from 50,000 Feet 9

Introducing Microsoft Business Intelligence 9

Knowing the components of Microsoft BI 10

Tracing the terminology 11

Getting to the Core of Microsoft BI 12

Date warehousing and data marts 13

Reporting on data 13

Integrating data from many sources 14

Analyzing data 14

Data mining 15

Microsoft BI Data Presentation 15

Microsoft Office Excel 16

Microsoft Office Visio 16

Microsoft SharePoint 16

Microsoft BI Development Tools 18

Visual Studio 19

Report Builder 20

Silverlight 20

Microsoft NET 21

Microsoft Business Intelligence For Dummies xii

Chapter 2: Blazing a Trail through the Data Jungle 23

Exploring the Data Lifecycle 24

Data generation and collection 25

Data transformation and organization 29

Data visualization and reporting31

Data analysis 32

Data mining 33

Understanding How Microsoft BI Fits into the Data Lifecycle 34

Juggling Data 36

It’s a Flood of Data! Headed This Way! 37

Chapter 3: Adopting Microsoft Business Intelligence 39

Understanding the Adoption Process 40

Determining what to ask the BI genie 42

Investigating your current Microsoft product usage 43

Taking stock of your Microsoft knowledge 47

Saving your sanity with a prototype 48

Iterating the prototype to success 49

Documenting Your Key Business Processes 50

Understanding Where to Find Microsoft BI Guidance 51

Taking advantage of in-house expertise 51

Calling in the experts 51

Tracking down individual experts 53

Who you gonna call? Microsoft Support! 54

Other resources online and on paper 55

Part II: Wrapping Your Head Around Business Intelligence Concepts 57

Chapter 4: Using Data to Inform and Drive Business Activities 59

The Importance of Data in Making Business Decisions 60

Tracking down the relevant data 62

Getting the right data to the right person at the right time 63

BI and the risk of high-tech tunnel vision 65

Why All the Fuss about OLAP? 66

What is OLAP? 66

What makes OLAP so fast? 67

Why OLAP? 69

Databases and cubes 70

Measures and facts (of life) 74

Hierarchies of detail 75

Table of Contents xiii

Chapter 5: Taking a Closer Look at Data Collection 77

The King of BI Concepts — ETL 78

Extracting data 78

Transforming data 79

Loading data 81

SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS) — Microsoft’s ETL Tool 83

Tossing the packages into the projects 84

Connecting to data sources 85

SSIS Toolbox 86

Data transformations 88

Anything is possible with custom code 89

A Simple SSIS Walk-Through 89

Exploring Data Generation 95

Computers speed everything up 95

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) 96

Rise of the machines 97

Chapter 6: Turning Data into Information 99

Data Storage for BI 100

Data warehouse100

Data mart 106

Data-storage patterns 108

Models, schemas, and patterns 110

Understanding SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) 111

Business Intelligence Developer Studio (BIDS) 112

Report Builder 114

Getting Familiar with SharePoint 115

Excel Services 116

PerformancePoint Services for SharePoint 117

KPI lists119

Dashboards 119

Scorecards 120

Chapter 7: Data Mining for Information Gold 123

Going Deep with Data Mining 124

An algorithm defined 124

Data mining’s role in the BI process 126

Digging In to Data Mining in the Microsoft World 126

The Microsoft data-mining process 127

Data-mining structures 131

Data mining models 132

Knowing the Microsoft Data-Mining Tools 133

Integrating with Microsoft Office 133

Visual Studio 135

SQL Server Management Studio 139

Using Microsoft Data Mining Algorithms 140

Microsoft Business Intelligence For Dummies xiv

Part III: Introducing the Microsoft Business Intelligence Technologies 145

Chapter 8: Meeting SQL Server 147

First Contact with SQL Server 148

Primary Components of SQL Server 149

The SQL Server Database Engine 151

SQL Server Reporting Services 155

SQL Server Integration Services162

SQL Server Analysis Services 162

Looking at the Different Versions of SQL Server 163

Core editions 163

Specialized editions 164

Installing SQL Server 166

Checking Out SQL Server Tools 169

SQL Server Management Studio 170

Transact-SQL 172

MDX 173

Chapter 9: Excel — Digital Data Power to the People 175

Excel as a BI Application 176

Generating Data 178

Collecting Data 179

Getting Organized 181

Show Me the Data! — Data Visualization 183

Conditional formatting 184

Charts and graphs 189

Analyzing Data: Pivot on This and Pivot on That 191

Using Excel PivotTables 191

PivotChart 195

Data Mining with Excel 197

Using Excel to boss SSAS 197

Pulling cube data for PivotTables and PivotCharts 200

Keeping Score with the Excel Scorecard 205

Knowing the Limits of Excel 207

Looking at the Future of Excel 209

Chapter 10: SharePoint Shines 211

Getting to Know SharePoint 212

What exactly is SharePoint? 212

Understanding the versions and editions of SharePoint 216

Making BI Information Available in SharePoint 218

SSRS integration 219

Excel integration 220

InfoPath Form Services 226

Using Key Performance Indicators 227

Business Connectivity Services 228

Table of Contents xv

Unleashing Human Business Intelligence with SharePoint 229

SharePoint Web sites 230

Document libraries 231

SharePoint Lists 232

Wikis 234

Blogs 235

Discussion boards 235

Office integration 236

Learning What Was Added with SharePoint Server 2010 239

Cruising with the Navigation Ribbon 240

Providing a more fluid user experience 240

Developing applications with Silverlight 241

Integrating visualizations with PowerPoint themes 241

Visio Services 242

Sorting and filtering lists dynamically 243

Using Business Connectivity Services 243

Increasing efficiency with Office integration 243

Taking SharePoint offline with SharePoint Workspace 244

Chapter 11: Expressing Yourself with Development Tools 247

Taking a Look at Visual Studio 248

The Visual Studio interface 248

Flavors of Visual Studio 250

Visual Studio in the BI world 255

Examining the NET Framework 259

A language only a computer chip can love 259

Intermediate Language (IL) 260

The Common Language Runtime (CLR) 260

Exploring Report Builder 261

Diving In to SQL Server Management Studio 263

Getting to Know SharePoint Designer 264

Seeing the (Silver)light and Tasting Expression Blend 268

Understanding PerformancePoint 269

Part IV: Incorporating Microsoft Business Intelligence

into Your Business Environment 273

Chapter 12: Setting Your BI Goals and Implementation Plan 275

Setting Your Business Intelligence Goals 276

Understanding the components of business goals 276

Examining technology goals 279

Determining Your Implementation Plan 281

Comparing waterfall and iterative methodologies 281

Discovering how things really work 285

Identifying the power users 289

Solidifying the goals of the BI project 290

Microsoft Business Intelligence For Dummies xvi

Identifying the data needed to attain your goals 290

Setting a solid foundation for a BI implementation 291

Scope creep can be your friend 292

Chapter 13: Evaluating and Choosing Technologies 297

Assessing Your BI Capabilities 298

Identifying your current BI-friendly tools 298

Knowing your current licensing 303

Determining your current skill sets 303

Choosing Technologies to Incorporate 306

Understanding your business foundation 306

Putting together the BI technology puzzle 307

Plugging in the pieces 308

Utilizing Free BI Tools: Try Before You Buy 309

Trying SQL Server 311

Checking out SharePoint 312

Reducing Risk 313

Chapter 14: Testing and Rolling Out 315

Continuously Adding Value 316

Testing Your BI Implementation 316

BI testing diversity 317

Unit testing 320

Rolling It Out — Again and Again 323

Surfacing information 324

Having a BI Management Plan 327

Managing Change 328

Gaining early adoption 329

Transparency is crucial 330

Delegating ownership 331

Changing business processes 332

Introducing new technology without mutiny 333

Chapter 15: Training, Using, and Evaluating Results 335

Tackling Training Efforts 336

Continuous education 336

Enabling self-service training 336

SharePoint training resources 337

SQL Server training resources 340

Training users at the grassroots level 342

Evaluating Results 342

Getting feedback with SharePoint 343

Incorporating Feedback 349

Creating a BI Culture 349

Inclusion 350

Communication and collaboration 350

Ownership 350

Merit-based recognition 351

Trust 351

Table of Contents xvii

Part V: The Part of Tens 353

Chapter 16: Ten Microsoft BI Implementation Pitfalls 355

Drowning Under the Waterfall 356

Getting Stuck on the Shelf(-ware) 357

Letting Politics Kill the BI Project 358

Ignoring IT 358

Disregarding Power Users 359

Snubbing Business Processes 360

Overpromising Results 360

Getting Squashed by Top-Down Decree 361

Skimping on the Foundation 361

Misjudging How to Use Consultants 362

Chapter 17: Ten Keys to Successful Microsoft Business Intelligence 363

Reiterating an Iterative Approach 364

Obtaining Executive-Level Sponsorship 365

Assessing Your Current Environment 366

Developing an Implementation Plan 367

Choosing the Right People for the Implementation Team 368

Your in-house team members 368

Calling in consultants 368

Creating an Inclusive Environment 369

Fostering a Culture of Communication and Collaboration 370

Starting with the Right Goals 371

Reducing Risk 371

Maintaining Perspective 372

Chapter 18: Ten Ways to Boost Your Bottom Line with Microsoft Business Intelligence 375

Increasing Efficiency 376

Improving Agility 377

Increasing the Visibility of Business Processes 378

Forecasting 378

Taking Advantage of Existing Skill Sets 379

Collaborating and Communicating 380

Reusing Code in Various Functional Areas 380

Consolidating Content 381

Increasing Productivity 381

Making Deep Use of SQL Server and SharePoint 382

Glossary 383

Index 387

Microsoft Business Intelligence For Dummies xvii

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