I was at a client site today giving a demo of our recent construction of a data warehouse.
They liked the progress, yet asked about a self service option, as they had looked in a product called Domo and liked it's capabilities.
So I opened Excel 2013, connected to the new SSAS cube via PowerPivot, showed them the model.
Then clicked the PowerView button and a new tab opened, similar to a Pivot table which they were familiar with, and by simply clicking on a field, it instantly appeared on the window pane.
Clicking on more fields, the response time was quick. Then by selecting different Charts, we easily converted the dataset to a variety of graphs. Then added a few more graphs and within minutes we had a working self service dashboard.
The PhD in the room asked if this was going to replace their SPSS, which in truth, it just may. Because all the heavy lifting was done on the ETL, mapping, vetting the data, a power user can now connect and discover the trends which once required a full blown PhD.
They were quite impressed and after the meeting I was asked if this product could also work on their phone system data and replace the Crystal Reports, sure, why not.
All in all, Microsoft BI offers traditional reporting, Dashboards and Scorecards through PerformancePoint as well as Self Service, Visualizations and Discovery through PowerView/PowerPivot.
A full arsenal at the customer's disposal.
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