Guide: SQL Server engages users with self-service business intelligence

SQL Server engages users with self-service BI

Learn how SQL Server enables a successful self-service business intelligence environment, with a focus on ease of use and intuitive BI tools.

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.

Self-service BI Quiz