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BI Center Site Collection SharePoint Online Library and List Types

The following screen is produced with SharePoint Online, Enterprise Edition, once a Business Intelligence Center (BIC) site collection has been successfully added:
The three prompts in the center of the screen are simple and right to the point:

Explore and Analyze Data

Create powerful data mash-ups of millions of rows of data from various sources using PowerPivot

Design Interactive Reports

Create presentation ready reports that tell a compelling story using Excel and Power View

Share Dashboards

Publish dashboards that users can interact with Excel Services

But there is no specific mention, for line of business (LoB) users otherwise unfamiliar with SharePoint, of a core function of any site collection, which is to host a set of lists and library which can be shared among teams of users. The last bullet we just listed, “Share Dashboards” requires a shared document library within which dashboards can be saved and accessed. The first bullet, “Explore and Analyze Data” requires SharePoint Online lists to expose the “millions of rows of data”, from which “powerful data mash-ups” (?) will be created, to users. But there is no more detail on just how to build these libraries and lists.

For readers who may not be familiar with the term “mash-up”, the web site WhatIs.com defines “[a] mash-up [as] a Web page or application that integrates complementary elements from two or more sources. Mash-ups are often created by using a development approach called Ajax”.

If the definition is still elusive, let it suffice to say the three prompts on the screen are clearly designed for a highly technical audience of administrators, developers and/or architects who will need to build the libraries and lists for the this BIC site collection. But the reason for building these components of SharePoint Online is to provide LoB users with access to the graphical dashboards usually required to manage projects, and even the overall performance of a business unit. So it makes sense for LoB users to pay attention to the BIC site collection component of SharePoint Online and to learn further about it. In the next post we will look further at a Dashboard Library as one option for shared document libraries for a BIC site collection.

If your organization has a serious commitment to SharePoint Online, but you can use help distilling a useful opinion about the features you ought to be implementing, please let us know. You can contact us, we’re eager to learn more about what you’re after.

Ira Michael Blonder

© Rehmani Consulting, Inc. & Ira Michael Blonder, 2013 All Rights Reserved