Business Intelligence Recap of 2010

Ah yes. The closing of another great year and the promise of a new year is just around the corner. It’s been a busy year that’s for sure and I thought I’d take a minute to recap some of the things we are thankful for. Not an exhaustive list, as I am sure I’ll miss a few things but a list none-the-less. Of course I’ll take a BI-Lens to it…

10 – The launch Excel 2010, SharePoint 2010 Insights, and SQL Server 2008R2.. It wasn’t long ago that we unveiled the newest offerings of these platforms in May. If you missed the launch, check out the press release and related content here

9 – Reporting and Maps – One of the most asked for features for Reporting Services is maps and the team delivered not only out of the box maps, but also integration with Bing Maps for some fantastic visuals for your reports. Check out Robert’s blog, better yet, try it yourself with Report Builder 3.0

8 – Report Parts – while we are at it, Report Parts has to be the easiest way to create reports for all levels of report authors. Whether you are just starting out, or are advanced in the ways of Reporting Services, Report Parts are a novel way to reuse content and leverage the insights of your organization. Find out more here.

7 – PerformancePoint Services – One of the key highlights of SharePoint 2010, from my point of view of course, is the integration of PPS into SharePoint 2010, and the slew of new capabilities it now offers. A SharePoint service, PPS gains the scalability and reliability of SharePoint, while enabling rich new business intelligence applications and deployments. Let your scorecards and dashboards roll. Find out what’s new here

6 – Visio Services – sometimes overlooked, Visio provides a wealth of visualizations and diagram ability that is unique to business intelligence. With Visio Services, you can share your Visio diagrams on the web, with the same fidelity as the client, without needing the client. Diagrams can be refreshed from various data sources in SharePoint and integrated as web parts on your Dashboard pages and as part of PPS. Find out more here

5 – PowerPivot – This free add-in to Excel 2010 is magical. We are constantly amazed at what our customers have achieved using PowerPivot, the continued feedback we get from the community, and the amazing amount of interest that it generates. In fact, PowerPivot was selected in eWeek’s 2010 products of the year along with another amazing Microsoft product, Office for Mac. Checkout Mr.Excel’s podcast on PowerPivot on how you can started, and of course, download the plugin here.

4 – Leader’s quadrant in Forrester and Gartner – it was nice to be recognized by both Forrester and Gartner analysts of the advancements we’ve made in Business Intelligence, and how our customers are adopting our technology to solve their business problems. Read the Forrester wave here and Gartner here.

3 – BI Semantic Model – At PASS we introduced our new BISM capabilities. This is PowerPivot on steroids. Everything you love about PowerPivot beefed up, inside of Visual Studio, full set of capabilities and a rich new semantic model providing your users with a single source of metadata for their BI goodness. SQL Server Analysis Services in “Denali” is going to change the way you think of OLAP, Models, and Semantic layers. Oh My! Read the SQL Server blog here

2 – Project Crescent – Another announcement at PASS we made a few weeks back. Crescent is all about having fun with data. Yes, you’ll get to visualize, interact, create, and share, but more importantly you’ll have fun doing all these things, and more. If you haven’t seen the video, check it out here and stay tuned for more info on what Projects Crescent will bring.

1 – The community – Our Customers and Partners is what keeps us motivated day in and day out. Your continued feedback, support, and stories keep us going and thriving to deliver the very best BI platform on the market (did you hear about Yahoo’s 12TB cube?). Every day we learn how you are using our technology to run your business, drive change and foster relationships. We are continuously amazed at your solutions and are humbled by the trust you place in us. For that, we are entirely grateful.

Wishing everyone happy holidays and a fantastic New Year. We hope to see as many of you as we can at the various conferences coming in 2011, and if you happen to be in Seattle for whatever reason, drop us a line.

Pej Javaheri
Group Product Manager, Business Intelligence
Microsoft Corp