Self-service BI is appealing on many levels, enabling end users to create reports and analyze data on their own. IT staffers are able to concentrate on more tech-heavy responsibilities after setting the BI system in motion. Each new release of SQL Server offers new tools and capabilities to improve ease of use for end users and ease of management for IT.
Enhancements to Microsoft's SQL Server have revolved around the concept of "the democratization of BI," simplifying complex business intelligence operations so that any user familiar with Excel can also carry out self-service BI functions. Excel is also the springboard for BI tools that provide users with new and easier ways to visualize and analyze data.
This guide highlights top stories on self-service business intelligence systems, the expanded offerings that come with SQL Server 2012 and the specific uses for new self-service BI tools.
Table of contents:
BI Systems and Self-Service
Business intelligence systems make business data visible and functional so users can make better decisions and participate in business intelligence projects more effectively. While self-service offers independence to users, companies must also consider issues related to security, cost and ease of use. These stories take a look at some of the challenges associated with self-service BI.
How BI systems help you make decisions
Self-service BI systems require close attention
Avoid security issues with your BI system
Business intelligence for your SMB: Boost BI skills
Building effective BI systems in the SMB
Expand BI usage with self-service software
SQL Server 2012
SQL Server 2012 builds on the self-service BI accessibility offered in SQL Server 2008 R2. It offers new data quality services, analysis services and master data management features, resulting in a more integrated BI platform that allows IT better control over performance. The following articles explore these upgrades and how companies can take advantage of them.
SQL Server 2012 includes several new business intelligence capabilities
Intel speeds self-service BI with help from "data steward" role
Learn about the various SQL Server 2012 BI options
Author Brian Larson discusses SQL Server BI
SQL Server 2012 facilitates IT management of self-service BI
Self-service BI Tools
The SQL Server platform continues to evolve to better serve IT managers, database administrators and end users. Many of the new self-service business intelligence tools and options are surfacing in Excel, integrating business intelligence functions as an extension of traditional spreadsheet use. These articles examine BI tools such as GeoFlow, PowerPivot and Power View in more detail.
Microsoft packs SQL Server with new capabilities, offering something for everybody
GeoFlow: Cool new 3D mapping tool from Microsoft
Learn how to create Data Analysis Expressions (DAX) in PowerPivot
Improve BI reporting with Power View tool
See SQL Server business intelligence in a new light with Power View
Quiz: SQL Server Self-Service Business Intelligence
Test your knowledge of self-service BI topics as they relate to new developments in SQL Server by taking this brief quiz.