The Microsoft SharePoint Training Series: How To Use SharePoint For Business Intelligence




With the passage of time, there has been an increased demand for a business intelligent platform that is linked to SharePoint platform. People with SharePoint training know the true potential of SharePoint because they see it as a central repository for content that enables easy communication amongst different employees. It was because of the growing demand that Microsoft added Business Intelligence features to SharePoint.

Learning about Business Intelligence

Business intelligence comprises of scorecards, dashboards, and reports to make decisions and track performance. Depending on the structure of your organization, you can have one person or multiple people that are responsible for creating business intelligent content. It is important for businesses to have a BI Center site like SharePoint because it helps them to share, consume, and manage information that is of use.

A BI Center site is a platform that brings processes, information, and people together. It doesn’t matter what your role in your organization is, because one thing is for sure, and that is BI is the perfect solution for your organization. In a BI Center site, administrators can manage and create data connections that need authors. The authors can use the data sources to make dashboards, scorecards, as well as reports. BI content makes it easy for managers to explore data, make business decisions, and keep track of employee performance. If projects or the business needs change, administrators can easily update the BI content, so that the team members or the information consumers have the current information.

Learning about the Core Features

With the passage of time, Microsoft has added the following core features:

Excel Services

If you deal with relatively smaller volumes of data, and have been using Microsoft Excel to organize, present, and edit data, the good news is that you can easily adopt centralized business intelligence. Instead of attaching the Excel data in an email, what you can do is publish it with the right kind of security measures on a SharePoint document library. This will make it easy for employees to view the data, and use it according to their needs.

One great thing about SharePoint is that Excel documents retain data connections and the viewer can see the changes in real time. Workbooks have data models that combine data from different mediums like SQL Server, Access, and XML. You can also control the view of Excel to a Single PivotChart, which make it easier for the user to look at the information you are trying to highlight. Users that have the Office Web App can easily interact with the data from the web browser, which will help them in saving a lot of time and effort. There is only one issue with Excel Services and that is it is no longer a part of SharePoint services but is a part of Office Online Server.

PerformancePoint 

PerformancePoint is a strategic data and analysis tool that makes it possible for core On-Premises data to be used and analyzed as it is presented on the dashboards. It won’t be wrong to say that it is the Cadillac of BI in Microsoft. In order to get in-depth analysis, the core design application can be used to push reports and data into SharePoint. It has deep integration with a data warehouse that makes it possible for the users to make sensible business decisions that are linked to the organization’s vision, mission, and long term plan. In addition to this, the core components allow the web parts to be added to SharePoint for web services.

Visio Services 

This was added to SharePoint in 2013 in order to help with the visualization of data. It has a number of features that makes it possible to form detailed diagrams and to map data within the canvas. The diagrams are high resolution and make it possible for users to look at it and interact without having a local visio. These diagrams can be easily extended with the help of web part connections and JavaScript that helps in enhancing the user experience. Making this a part of Business Intelligence was great because it helps employees to come up with unique ideas that are catered specifically to the person’s industry and organization.

PowerPivot 

This became a part of SharePoint in 2013 and is an effective tool that deals with a large dataset work. It is tied to Excel Data that gives maximum control of the charts and makes it possible to pivot data with ease. It was designed as a client-side application or as an add-on Excel feature.

Power BI

Power BI makes it possible to share your data with all the employees in your organization on multiple devices. The best part is that you can collect this data and can import it to Excel. You can also use different visualization mechanism like Power View, KPIs in Power Pivot, as well as Power Map that will put out the data for all the users.

SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS)

SSRS has been a hot topic amongst different organizations. With the help if this, programmers and IT experts have made structured reports. These reports are then published with the help of a controlled environment on SharePoint sites that gives users a great experience.

It is important you know that SharePoint offers great Business Intelligence but it still doesn’t have some of the advanced features that other products are currently offering. Microsoft in heavily investing in Business Intelligence but they are more focused on cloud offerings, release of SQL, and getting their hands on the acquisition of Datazen.

This is how Microsoft has made it possible for different organizations to use SharePoint for Business Intelligence. Want to learn more about business intelligence and how it is being used? Enroll in an accredited SharePoint training course with QuickStart!

About The Author
Jasper
Account Manager (SMB) at QuickStart

Jasper Zubairi

Jasper is a passionate performer in the IT training space. With over 5 years of experience in sales, customer support and business development, he has helped a number of businesses meet their IT training needs through e-learning. When he is not working or studying, he likes to spend his time at the gym. You can find more of his blog posts here at QuickStart.