Robert Skoglund, solutions architect

Robert Skoglund

Creating Great Business Intelligence Solutions using SharePoint 2010 is the next session.  BI represents a major growth area in IT, and SharePoint and Office provide a great set of BI features to build and integrate data-driven spreadsheets and applications with SharePoint 2010.  I’m looking forward to hearing about PowerPivot, Performance Point Services, Excel Services, KPIs and such from the one and only Robert Skoglund.  He’s a solutions architect for Microsoft Consulting Services.

Enabling BI solutions is greatly misunderstood from a traditional IT standpoint.  Because the SharePoint product had to be installed on your machine, it was difficult to do BI in previous versions.  In 2010, this has been greatly improved.  In the SharePoint 2010 capabilities diagram, these are in the Insights slice: Performance Point Services, Excel Services, Visio Services, Chart Web Parts and Status Lists, Web Analytics and SQL Server Integration.

Visio Services are immensely valuable to provide real-time visual data and updates with data connectivity.   See the illustration below to understand the potential of blowing away your boss:

Performance Point Services enable visual scorecards integrated with SharePoint with details KPIs and decomposition trees.  A video is really the right medium to explain this further.  Here’s a bite-sized one:

The single most interesting thing about BI on this platform for me has to do with PowerPivot Services.  It’s important to know this consists of two products that must be downloaded and installed in order to work together:  PowerPivot for Excel and PowerPivot for SharePoint

You CAN use the Excel product separately. If you have the data on your local device, you can use PowerPivot for Excel to deliver a BI solutions that rivals something an IT professional would take weeks or months to deliver.  It’s for those of us too impatient to wait and need deeper business insight to shorten decision cycles.  But, cominging this with PowerPivot for SharePoint enables administrators a way to deliver this capability to everyone, helping lead to better, faster, more relevant decisions while avoiding the proliferation of spreadmarts and data silos in the enterprise.

Overviews, how-to’s, and linkes to demos and a hands-on lab are available here: http://www.powerpivot.com/videos.aspx

The other content was shared too quickly for me to be able to share here.  The rest of the session was spent doing a slow demo and fielding questions from the crowd.  I still don’t understand why he recommends separating your BI dashboard from user collaboration…I mean you could just add social web parts.  But, I’ll dork around with it and maybe achieve the same epiphany as Robert.  But, didn’t Microsoft mean to weave social into all of this?

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Author: Ynema Mangum

Ynema Mangum is an experienced, data-driven principal product manager of mission-critical composable infrastructure at HP Enterprise. Constantly curious, her passions draw her to emerging technologies. She joined HP 6 years ago as a solutions architect for private IT cloud computing. She then served as owner of the enterprise social collaboration domain at HP, responsible for its future direction. Prior to her current position, she was a senior product manager for the massive HP ConvergedSystem 900 for SAP HANA. At SUN, she was a product line manager for cloud computing, responsible for the requirements for common subsystems of the Sun Cloud, as well as user personas, industry analysis, and competitive research. Her product experience also includes building web based database management systems at BMC Software targeted at Oracle, Microsoft SQL Server, Sybase, DB2 and DB2 UDB. Y provides an invaluable hybrid mix of strategist, architect, product manager and product marketer with an unbendable passion for the user experience. Her entrepreneurial experience allows her to understand business as a whole and drives her to make decisions and execute quickly. As an added bonus, she is certified in ITIL v3 best practices for IT and Pragmatic Product Management. Ynema is a change agent. She considers herself a determined influencer and a connector whose collaborative nature ensures success in introducing new concepts and services into the mainstream -- even in the most complex environments. She thrives on doing what seems to be impossible, and enjoys taking calculated risks in her personal life -- snowboarding, skiing, SCUBA diving or wake boarding when the season is right.

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