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August 2010, Vol. 3

Where to look next for BI applications? Try the cloud

In the last year, cloud computing has gained significant traction. Currently, there are two options for database and business intelligence (BI) applications like the PowerPivot product for accessing and consuming data in the Microsoft cloud -- SQL Azure and a new technology code-named “Dallas.” Each of these products has a particular sweet spot for deployment. Here’s a look at how they can benefit you based on your line of business. PowerPivot: BI applications for Excel Users PowerPivot is a free add-on for Microsoft Excel 2010 that provides BI capabilities such as data viewing, reporting, and slicing and dicing from within Excel. Before releasing PowerPivot, Microsoft did an extensive research of BI users, learning which tools they were using and which ones they needed. One of the main findings was that the vast majority of BI users didn’t have any tools, mainly because of their cost and complexity. PowerPivot allows BI users to leverage their knowledge of Excel to create BI applications. It puts the power of BI into the hands ...

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