Breakthrough Insight: Unlocking new insights with data exploration and visualization across the organization with SQL Server Code Name “Denali”

With SQL Server Code Name “Denali” we are excited to provide new end-user capabilities for rapid data exploration and visualization through project “Crescent” and the award winning PowerPivot. To ensure that IT Professionals continue to have the tools they need to manage and deliver credible, consistent data across the organization we introduce Data Quality Services, the BI Semantic Model, and other enhancements for increased scale and performance.

Here are some of the exciting new technologies for Business Intelligence and Data Warehousing that you’ll find in the next release:

Familiar data exploration and visualization with Project “Crescent”: an interactive data exploration and visual presentation experience targeted at Information Workers who need access to their business data but don’t have the technical knowledge to write their own queries or specialized knowledge around reporting.  Built on top of the BI Semantic Model, which provides a user friendly view of the data, “Crescent” gives the user a powerful yet simple to use experience. Now anyone can create a report in just seconds, transform the “shape” of data with a single click, add powerful timed animation sequences to quickly identify trends or anomalies, and make a more convincing case through rich presentation of discovered insights.

Inspire innovation with powerful data mash-ups in PowerPivot: with this version of PowerPivot customers can continue to mash-up data in a familiar way in Excel and can now leverage new advanced analytic capabilities such as the ability to create KPIs, Ranking, Hierarchies and sophisticated business logic. The new version of PowerPivot also extends the powerful functionalities of DAX (Data Analysis Expressions) giving end users the power to build sophisticated analytical solutions with the familiarity of Excel like functions.

Greater integration with SharePoint: new capabilities for Information Workers to set their own end user alerting parameters on Reporting Services reports published to SharePoint, to increase information worker productivity by providing reliable data alerts to data conditions that matter to them most.  Also, we improve Reporting Services integration with SharePoint by consolidating Reporting Services administration, configuration, and management capabilities into SharePoint 2010 Central Administration Portal and PowerShell scripting. Administrators can now enable reporting to all Information Workers in the organization by using a single switch and manage it like any other SharePoint feature.

Consistent view of your data through a single BI Semantic Model: Analysis Services provides a single model for Business Intelligence applications, from reporting and analysis to dashboards and scorecards, enabling users to have a consistent view of their data. We also introduce the new tabular mode, architected with in-memory column store technology that provides faster iteration and reduces complexity in design as well as lightning quick query performance. IT Professionals can also now import PowerPivot models that have been created in Excel, into the BI Development Studio in Visual Studio 2010.

Complete Enterprise Information Management (EIM) portfolio with new data cleansing, impact analysis & lineage capabilities and significant enhancements to Integration Services, Master Data Services:  SQL Server Code Name “Denali”  rounds out a complete EIM portfolio allowing customers to produce trusted data that can meet governance and compliance requirements. SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS) continues to  offer Extract, Transform, Load (ETL) capabilities from both Microsoft (SQL Server, Access, Excel) and non-Microsoft data sources (Oracle, Sybase, DB2, Teradata, MySQL, SAP, Siebel, Salesforce, Hyperion, etc).  Brand new in SQL Server Code Name “Denali”  is Data Quality Services (DQS)  to profile, cleanse, and match data.  Customers can access the Windows Azure Marketplace DataMarket as a source of 3rd party data to help validate and cleanse data in a data quality project. Also new is data lineage and impact analysis capabilities allowing users to answer the question where any specific column or data comes from or where it goes to.  Finally, significant improvements were made to  Master Data Services (MDS) making master data management and data stewardship easy for end users from within the Excel interface.

Scalable Analytics and Data Warehouse solutions: engine tuning in Analysis Services enables support for the largest analytic solutions.  Also, continue to support growing data warehousing with table partitioning that now scales to 15,000 partitions. This new expanded support helps enable large sliding-window scenarios which will streamline maintenance of large sets within filegroups that need data switched in and out per the needs of the data warehouse.
With SQL Server Code Name “Denali” we continue to deliver on our approach of delivering breakthrough insight to end users on a complete and integrated platform so that IT Professionals have the tools they need to provide credible, consistent data at scale.