Tuesday, 10 March 2009

Okay this is BI

Okay maybe you BI was someone sent you an Excel spreadsheet in Outlook. Its not your fault that you were drawn in to the dark side of knowledge construction, waisting resources and working in isolation on documents that evolve away from central visions and purposes.

Loading that spreadsheet in to a document libraruy is something of an improvement, but not much.

BI need to follow a set of polices:

1. Single version of the truth
2. Clear representation
3. Controlled access
4. Real time exploration.

InSource gave a great NHS presentation on BI and Microsoft and it was great to see a Gold Partner who sees the light. BI is not installing SharePoint with some KPIs and going off to a Star Trek convention.

The graph above shows very clearly a vision of BI. You need some basic technologies no matter what:

SQL, (pretty cheap)
Reporting and Analysis Server, (free with SQL)
SharePoint, (If you wnat to do BI is costs, sorry)

but the BI answer is still open. One thing I hate in IT is having to think about the product. You go with Microsoft because you want to buy stacks that you can service and support.

But the BI story in Microsoft is still in focus. It will be interesting to see how the next SharePont resolves things. But the sad reality is BI is something you have to spend lots of time with.

By lots of time I would say 100 man days on the initial analys and building the framework and deciding how you are gong to present BI. I also will be frank, though analys and reporting servies come with SQL you are facing added license cost either buying a BI product or using more expensive CALS from Microsoft.
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