When starting something new (this being my first blog post), I thought it would be a good idea to have a pause and have a look back at how the Business Intelligence (BI) landscape has evolved through mergers and acquisitions and shortly review the history of BI.
We used to (at least some of us) talk about Decision Support Systems (DSS) or Executive Information Systems (EIS) before the term “Business Intelligence” became popular. It has often been said that the term was coined by the then-Gartner analyst, Howard Dresner, in 1989, even though the term “Business Intelligence” first appeared in H.P. Luhn’s IBM Journal article: “A Business Intelligence System” back in October, 1958!
Nevertheless, the BI market has grown dramatically and continues to grow (Technology Business Research (TBR) recently predicted that the BI software market will exceed $40 billion by 2018) and it has been characterized by vendor consolidation as in…
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An ugly reality of Business Intelligence development is the immense effort that is required to build and maintain the data warehouses that lie behind such an endeavor, particularly when data is coming in from multiple sources. In a typical situation, this task requires the use of ETL software to load data into the data warehouse, while transforming it to the desired structure. There is an inherent inflexibility in the procedure, since any change in design requires altering the ETL and reloading data.
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Here are a few tips I’ve discovered whilst building SSRS reports to host in SharePoint. Some of these are report based tips and a few apply to SharePoint. I willadd to and update these as I discover more.
1. [Report based] Avoid using the Total Pages built in field as if you use this the rendering engine has to complete a full pre-render of the entire report primary dataset before it starts the final render. This can add a great deal of processing overhead and the report will take much long to finally display;
2. [Report based] Ensure results are paged. This should occur by default but if you choose to turn it off for your report there is a risk that you will encounter problems as the HTML rendering format that is used to initially render a report opens the report in your browser. If the report is not…
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Wow, can Excel be a Power BI Tool?
Power Map is a 3D data visualization tool for Excel that provides an immersive experience for making discoveries in data that might never be seen in traditional 2D tables and charts. Power Map lets you plot geographic and temporal data visually, analyze that data in 3D, and create cinematic tours to share with others.
With Power Map you can:
- Map Data: Plot more than a million rows of data* in 3D visually on Bing maps and visualize the data with 3D columns, bubble/pie charts, heat maps, and regions.
- Discover Insights: Discover new insights by seeing your data in geographic space and seeing time-stamped data change over time.
- Share Stories: Capture screenshot “scenes” and build cinematic, guided interactive or video “tours” that can be shared broadly, engaging audiences like never before.
I hope you were able to attend my free webinar on Understanding Microsoft Self-Service BI on September 26, 2013. If you weren’t you can now download the recording here.
Because I covered new material all the way to the end of the webinar i thought I’d also answer some of the top questions I didn’t have time to answer here.
Q: Can an Excel Power Pivot 2013 model be read by Excel 2010 or Excel 2007? What about Excel versions and their compatibility with SharePoint Versions? I ask because we are upgrading our SharePoint environment to 2013 but most of our users have Excel 2010 (a few have 2007).
You can open an Excel 2013 workbook that has a Power Pivot model in older versions but you cannot modify them. You can however deploy Excel 2010 and Excel 2013 workbooks to you SharePoint 2013 environment and it they interact…
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The idea of data mining with natural language looks to be very interesting. Will need to get more info on this concept.
The SQL Server blog posted a new blog post about the new features of Power BI
Microsoft Updates Power BI for Office 365 Preview with New Natural Language Search, Mapping Capabilities
Today we’re pleased to announce the addition of significant new features to the Power BI for Office 365 preview, including natural language search with Q&A and improved experiences in two preview add-ins for Excel with 3D mapping visualizations through Power Map and improved data search in Power Query.
Search-driven data visualization with Q&A, want to see an example?
The full blog post about Power BI’s new features can be found here.
In his keynote speech at the sixth annual Tableau Customer Conference, company co-founder and CEO Christian Chabot borrowed from Steve Jobs’ famous quote that the computer “is the equivalent of a bicycle for our minds,” to suggest that his company software is such a new bicycle. He went on to build an argument about the nature of invention and Tableau’s place in it. The people who make great discoveries, Chabot said, start with both intuition and logic. This approach allows them to look at ideas and information from different perspectives and to see things that others don’t see. In a similar vein, he went on, Tableau allows us to look at things differently, understand patterns and generate new ideas that might not arise using traditional tools. Chabot key point was profound: New technologies such as Tableau with its visual analytics software can use new and big data sources of information…
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