Understanding what really drives your business
Providing information to the organisation involves targeting the correct format to the user that will be consuming the information. Simply providing someone with a large report of detailed information does not work. Information can be thought of in three types and each type has a particular medium for delivering the data.
|Strategic||Data Warehouse||High level summarised reporting that indicates the health of an organisation|
|Tatical||Data Warehouse||Summarised data used to determine where the organisation is and how it got there. Data analysis capabilities.|
|Operational||Source Systems||Reporting used to run the business on a day to day basis.|
Microsoft SQL Server provides a number of solutions to provide the correct information to the correct audience in an easily consumed format.
Dashboards and Scorecards
Dashboards and Scorecards provide a highly summarised strategic picture of the organisations health and help to quickly identify any areas that need attention. Used correctly they can provide management teams with a quick understanding of any urgent areas they need to attend to now, and an ability to understand if their areas of responsibility are on track to meeting the organisations goals. Microsoft Performance Point combined with SharePoint Server provides this functionality.
Reporting can be delivered in two streams; “canned” where the reports are written, developed, tested and then distributed to the organisation on a scheduled or as demanded basis, and “ad-hoc” where the business users can access information and build their report requirements on the fly. Both types of reporting needs are important to an organisation as they provide differing views of information.
- Trusted information
- Delivered on a regular basis
- One version of the truth
- Answers questions not covered in other mediums quickly.
- Provides businesses with access to information to make decisions when they need it.
Reporting can be delivered via a number of options in Microsoft SQL Server including;
- Microsoft Reporting Services
- Microsoft Excel
- Microsoft PowerPivot
Microsoft Excel and SharePoint can also be used to provide analytical abilities to users allowing them to explore their data and discover what is making the business really tick.
Predictive Analytics and Data Mining
Understating the trends in your business and what factors influenced those trends can provide a deep understanding of what is happening to your business both internally and externally. By using this insight you can improve the accuracy of your forecasting or provide more targeted marketing campaigns. Microsoft SQL Server Data Mining will allow your skilled business users to build models that provide deep insight into what is influencing your business.
Having one location where users can access all their information, perform ad-hoc analysis and discover trends in their business is important. The Microsoft SQL Server Business Intelligence toolset integrates with Microsoft SharePoint Server to provide a collaboration portal, supplying Business Intelligence to internal staff and external consumers.