Microsoft has a strong suite for the back-end as well as the front-end functionality of a Business Intelligence (Microsoft BI architecture) & Performance Management architecture. element61 expertise covers the complete end-to-end technology stack.
- SQL Server Database: to provide an optimal storage for all data warehousing needs. The database engine is optimized at several points to handle certain data warehouse queries better. SQL Server also provides a perfect security mechanism to make sure that only the right people have access to the information they are cleared to view.
- Integration Services: integration Services is the ETL tool from Microsoft. It's an enterprise grade tool for extracting, transforming and loading your data warehouse. Next to its nice features as Persistent Caching, parameterization and many others, it is also highly extendable to your specific needs.
- Analysis Services: composed with the OLAP/cubes solution of Microsoft or with the Tabular model, using in-memory columnar storage.
- Reporting Services: the Microsoft solution for all your reporting needs. This comes with its own reporting portal environment where you can run the reports online or schedule them to be automatically delivered to a central folder or your mail box. Next to the standard reporting portal, you can also choose to incorporate reporting services in your SharePoint environment. Reporting Services also delivers mobile reporting capabilities.
- Report Builder: delivers intuitive report authoring capabilities to end users. In addition to offering an enhanced authoring experience for business users, Report Builder 2.0 benefits power users that are looking for a more sophisticated authoring environment. This authoring of reports can be done on a delivered semantic report model or on several data sources (e.g. SQL Server, Oracle, etc.).
- Microsoft Excel: is the most commonly used "Business Intelligence" solution today. It is a powerful application that provides all the functionality you need in order to create spreadsheets, analyze data, and share information in a manageable environment. On top of Analysis Services, one can easily create and use reports that include formatted tables, graphs and rich data visualization. Excel comes also packed with self-service capabilities through the tools Power Query, Power Pivot and Power View. Nowadays, MS Excel also has - quite unknown- easy-to-use data mining capabilities, which enable predictive analysis at every desktop. By harnessing the data mining algorithms of Microsoft SQL Server Analysis Services, business users can quickly gain valuable insight into complex sets of data with just a few mouse clicks. All this information can then be shared and viewed in your corporate SharePoint environment.
- SharePoint: from all knowledge management functionalities Microsoft SharePoint offers, the most important feature for Business Intelligence is probably to facilitate the collaboration between individuals and teams in your organization. With SharePoint a portal can be created, where all information to make important corporate decisions is accessible from one single location. Next to uploading important business data documents to be shared with all stakeholders of the information, you can also analyze data online or open reports created in Reporting Services. You can also open Excel files online in Excel Services. Finally, users can create their own pages or dashboards with a mix of scorecards, filters, charts and data.
- Power BI: the self-service BI solution of Microsoft in the cloud. You can create interactive reports with the free tool Power BI Desktop or with Excel. You can then publish your work to the Power BI cloud service, where your colleagues can view your work in their browser. Power BI is an incredibly powerful and flexible platform that will play an important role in the business intelligence strategy of Microsoft in the coming years.