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Business Intelligence Systems can be Successfully Built on a SharePoint Server Foundation

This is the latest in our current series of blog posts. In this series we provide readers with some familiar application drivers, which some businesses will want to capture should they decide to implement SharePoint. Each of these drivers amounts to a popular solution in today’s enterprise computing markets. Once an organization decides to pursue a method of implementing one of them, then it makes sense for leaders within the organization to take a stake in a positive outcome for the effort. These stakeholders are then likely to need a method of encouraging personnel to abandon old methods of successfully performing computing tasks, for new ones conforming to the new system. In other words, these stakeholders will be looking for methods of hastening user adoption.

Absent a compelling driver, industry analysts generally agree there is little reason to implement SharePoint, and even less of a reason to allocate potentially costly resources to encourage users to adopt the new computing methods associated with SharePoint. So we think its worth the effort to publish a set of posts on some of these application drivers.

In the last post to this blog I talked about Enterprise Governance, Risk and Compliance (EGRC) systems. In this post I briefly touch on Business Intelligence (BI) solutions.

Over the last several quarters, mature ISVs, including Microsoft® have published gains in enterprise sales of BI solutions. Adding a truly useful BI component, in theory, makes a lot of sense. But in practice, enterprise customers have only demonstrated a real interest in these solutions over the last couple of years. One difficult issue has, in the past, been implementation costs. BI systems, in order to be effective, must be truly enterprise in scope. Like any other similar systems, a lot of work is required to build them out, and, subsequently, to train users in their operation.

SharePoint can be used, with great success, for BI gathering purposes. If SharePoint has already been implemented, then the cost of spanning the enterprise with a system capable of collecting enterprise data, and then organizing the data into a collection reflecting an accurate taxonomy for how the organization prioritizes information, is already taken care of.

The methods required to build the actual BI systems can be exposed to appropriate personnel from the organization, itself, thereby delivering even greater savings as compared to bringing in outside parties to build them out. This isn’t to say third parties need not be used, but, rather, internal personnel can more closely monitor progress once they are familiar with rationale for installing BI system components, and the methods required to successfully accomplish the task.

We publish sets of video tutorials specifically on these points. For SharePoint 2013, Jason Himmelstein, an acknowledged subject matter expert, led an online course on BI options for us in the fall of 2013. We’ve published this course in a set of video content titled SharePoint 2013: Business Intelligence. We also publish several sets of video tutorial content supporting the implementation of similar functionality with SharePoint 2010. If you would like to receive some pointers to this content, then please contact us. We’ll send you the links.

Ira Michael Blonder

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