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Building a BI Portal for the Tabular Model

January 20, 2012

Thanks to the folks that braved the snow and freezing rain to see the session on building a BI portal for the tabular model. Here is the deck: Building a BI Portal.

There is some reference material in this deck that is useful to those who were not there this morning. What I did was walk through four major Microsoft reporting/data visualization tools (Excel, Power View, Reporting Services, and PerformancePoint) and looked at the strengths and weaknesses of the tools. I sliced the decision making on two axes: technological considerations (requirements such as SharePoint, mobile, ad hoc reporting, etc) and also data visualizations (availability of the different types of charts, graphs, Analysis Services capabilities, etc) in each tool. There are a number of slides that stack the four tools against each other in each of these areas, and compare/contrast in one place the capabilities of each tool. Check it out, if there are questions let me know.

Bottom line: Power View just adds to the offerings in the Microsoft BI stack. No existing tools, including older tools like PerformancePoint, are killed or displaced by Power View. In some ways, Power View actually makes BI pros jobs harder. The slick data visualizations that people want to see front and centre are actually incredibly difficult to integrate into a full-fledged BI dashboard, as there is no custom web part for Power View and no way to link in child reports from Power View reports. BI Pros wanting to make use of the full set of reporting capabilities available for the tabular model will have to do a delicate and creative dance between four tools and try to glue the bits and pieces together.

This presentation was based off the data set for the Hans Rosling project. I have extended this data set and added arms import and export data (to get some additive measures), I will post an updated data set in the future. Also I will post some DAX learning resources for building the tabular model driving the Hans Rosling project. Links to the date/time functions in particular will be very helpful for those approaching DAX for the first time.

Looking forward to doing this one again at SQLBits.

  1. While following the link to the “Hans Rosling Project” and the link to the SQL Server data source, im directed to a SkyDrive account where I can download a .bak file. Im unable to restore this on 2008R2. Do you have any take on this?

    Best regards

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